Entertainment The Very Best British Crime Dramas, Ranked  

Ranker TV
Originally by
5.3k votes 749 voters 17.3k views 40 items

List Rules Vote up your favorite suspenseful British shows.

British crime dramas are beloved around the world, thanks in part to the detectives who make sure the bad guys receive justice. The top British crime shows take viewers through the process of figuring out who done it. This is a list of the best British crime drama shows, including everything from Midsomer Murders to Death in Paradise to Wallander.

What series will you find on this list of the greatest British crime dramas? In LutherIdris Elba stars as a brilliant, but troubled detective with a bit of a temper. Waking the Dead is another good British crime series. Gillian Anderson hunts an elusive serial killer, played by Jamie Dornan, in the BBC Two series The Fall. Other great English crime shows featured on this list include Vera, Miss Marple, and Rosemary & Thyme.

Which of these popular British crime dramas is the best? Give your favorites a thumbs up to move them to the top of the list, and please add any great shows that are missing.

list ordered by

1
146 59
Broadchurch is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list The Very Best British Crime Dramas, Ranked
Guest_a33c6e56-af79-42f0-8fff-3b917c83a4f7 added David Tennant, Olivia Colman, Jodie Whittaker
Broadchurch is a British television drama broadcast on ITV. It was created and written by Chris Chibnall and produced by Kudos Film and Television, Shine America, and Imaginary Friends. The ...more

2
210 109
Midsomer Murders is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list The Very Best British Crime Dramas, Ranked
Suzi Quatro, John Nettles, Neil Dudgeon
This is a British television detective drama that has aired on ITV since 1997. The show is based on Caroline Graham's Chief Inspector Barnaby book series, as originally adapted by Anthony ...more

3
194 100
Sherlock is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list The Very Best British Crime Dramas, Ranked
Benedict Cumberbatch, Martin Freeman, Una Stubbs
Sherlock is a British television crime drama that presents a contemporary adaptation of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle's Sherlock Holmes detective stories. Created by Steven Moffat and Mark Gatiss, it ...more

4
53 6
Endeavour is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list The Very Best British Crime Dramas, Ranked
Shaun Evans, Roger Allam, James Bradshaw
Endeavour is a British television detective drama series. It is a prequel to the long-running Inspector Morse and—like that series—is set primarily in Oxford. Shaun Evans portrays a young ...more

5
52 6
Inspector Lewis is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list The Very Best British Crime Dramas, Ranked
Eric Thomas added Kevin Whately, Laurence Fox, Clare Holman
Lewis is a British television detective drama produced for ITV. A spin-off from Inspector Morse, like that series it is set in Oxford. Kevin Whately reprises his character Robert ...more

6
163 90
Father Brown is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list The Very Best British Crime Dramas, Ranked
Father Brown is a British television period drama which began airing on BBC One on 14 January 2013. It features Mark Williams as the eponymous crime-solving Roman Catholic priest. The series is ...more

7
50 6
Shetland is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list The Very Best British Crime Dramas, Ranked
Shetland is a BBC Scotland crime drama television series starring Douglas Henshall as Detective Inspector Jimmy Perez. The story takes place on the Scottish archipelago of Shetland, though much ...more

8
150 92
Vera is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list The Very Best British Crime Dramas, Ranked
Brenda Blethyn, Jon Morrison, David Leon
Vera is a British detective television series based on the works of crime author Ann Cleeves. It stars Brenda Blethyn and is broadcast on ITV and in the United States on public television

9
144 87
Foyle's War is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list The Very Best British Crime Dramas, Ranked
Michael Kitchen, Honeysuckle Weeks, Anthony Howell
This series is a British detective drama television series set during and shortly after WWII, created by screenwriter and author Anthony Horowitz and commissioned by ITV after the long-running ...more

10
42 6
Grantchester is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list The Very Best British Crime Dramas, Ranked
James Norton, Robson Green, Morven Christie

11
98 61
Doc Martin is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list The Very Best British Crime Dramas, Ranked
NRoden1951 added Martin Clunes, Caroline Catz, Ian McNeice
Doc Martin is a British television medical comedy drama series. Dr Martin Ellingham (Martin Clunes), a brilliant and successful vascular surgeon at Imperial College London, develops haemophobia ...more

12
143 104
Luther is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list The Very Best British Crime Dramas, Ranked
Idris Elba, Warren Brown, Dermot Crowley
Luther is a British drama series starring Idris Elba as the eponymous character DCI John Luther. Written by Neil Cross, the first series, comprising six one-hour long episodes, premiered on 4 ...more

13
141 96
Happy Valley is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list The Very Best British Crime Dramas, Ranked
Happy Valley Sarah Lancashire, Siobhan Finneran, Shane Zaza

14
38 7
Unforgotten is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list The Very Best British Crime Dramas, Ranked
Sanjeev Bhaskar, Trevor Eve, Anthony Farrelly

15
36 7
Scott & Bailey is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list The Very Best British Crime Dramas, Ranked
Eric Thomas added Suranne Jones, Lesley Sharp, Amelia Bullmore
Scott & Bailey is a British detective drama series that debuted on ITV on 29 May 2011. The programme's main characters are Detective Constable Janet Scott and Detective Constable Rachel ...more

16
108 96
Death in Paradise is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list The Very Best British Crime Dramas, Ranked
Kris Marshall, Danny John-Jules, Ben Miller
This film is a British-French lighthearted drama television series created by Robert Thorogood, initially starring Ben Miller and Sara Martins, and later starring Kris Marshall and ...more

17
106 90
Line of Duty is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list The Very Best British Crime Dramas, Ranked
Keeley Hawes, Lennie James, Martin Compston
Line of Duty is a British police drama, created by Jed Mercurio, which aired on BBC Two 26 June 2012. The first series was BBC Two's best-performing drama series in 10 years, with a consolidated ...more

18
25 7
Wire in the Blood is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list The Very Best British Crime Dramas, Ranked
Eric Thomas added Robson Green, Simone Lahbib, Hermione Norris
Wire in the Blood is a British crime drama television series, created and produced by Coastal Productions for the ITV network, that ran from 2002 to 2008. The series is based on characters ...more

19
101 91
Hinterland is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list The Very Best British Crime Dramas, Ranked
Richard Harrington, Mali Harries, Alex Harries
Y Gwyll, titled Hinterland in the English-language version (S4C, 2013), is a Welsh noir police detective drama series created by Ed Talfan and Ed Thomas. Troubled Detective Chief Inspector Tom ...more

20
102 94
Miss Marple is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list The Very Best British Crime Dramas, Ranked
Joan Hickson, Gwen Watford, David Horovitch
Miss Marple is a British television series based on the Miss Marple murder mystery novels by Agatha Christie. It starred Joan Hickson in the title role, and aired from 1984 to 1992. All 12 ...more

21
102 94
DCI Banks is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list The Very Best British Crime Dramas, Ranked
Stephen Tompkinson, Jack Deam, Andrea Lowe
DCI Banks is a British crime drama series produced by Left Bank Pictures for the ITV network. The series is based on Peter Robinson's Inspector Alan Banks novels and stars Stephen Tompkinson as ...more

22
94 92
The Bletchley Circle is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list The Very Best British Crime Dramas, Ranked
Rachael Stirling, Julie Graham, Sophie Rundle
The Bletchley Circle is a television mystery drama miniseries, set in 1952–53, about four women who used to work as codebreakers at Bletchley Park. Dissatisfied with official failure to ...more

23
100 98
Wallander is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list The Very Best British Crime Dramas, Ranked
Kenneth Branagh, Richard McCabe, Jeany Spark
Wallander is a British television series adapted from the Swedish novelist Henning Mankell's Kurt Wallander novels and starring Kenneth Branagh as the eponymous police inspector. The first ...more

24
21 10
Peaky Blinders is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list The Very Best British Crime Dramas, Ranked
Cillian Murphy, Helen McCrory, Paul Anderson
Peaky Blinders (BBC Two, 2013) is a British television action drama created by Steven Knight, based upon the exploits of the historical gang. In 1919 Birmingham, England, leader Tommy Shelby ...more

25
103 104
The Fall is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list The Very Best British Crime Dramas, Ranked
Gillian Anderson, Jamie Dornan, John Lynch
The Fall is a BBC drama television series set in Northern Ireland and created, written and, in its second series, directed by Allan Cubitt. The series stars Gillian Anderson as Superintendent ...more