British The Best British Detective Series, Ranked  

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Ranker Video The Best British Detective Series of All Time

This list of the best British detective series is ranked by British TV fans just like you! Who doesn't love a good detective series? It seems like every few months Britain is putting out the newest, most buzzed about detective show on television. This list ranks the all-time top British mystery series, from classic series like Poirot to modern hits like Luther, so you'll always know what to binge watch next. What are the best British detective series of all time tackling the best weekly whodunit mysteries?

From Sherlock toto classic British detective shows like Agatha Christie's Marple, these great British series will have you solving crimes and mysteries along with your favorite TV detectives. Many of the shows listed here are BBC detective series, while other British mysteries debuted on different British networks. In the states, you can catch many of them on your PBS station, while others are streaming on Netflix or available through Acorn TV. No matter how you watch television, you know detective series are some of the best British TV shows out there.

This list features the most popular British detective series including Sherlock, The Last Detective, Agatha Christie’s Marple, Foyle’s War, Wallander, and Inspector Lewis. Don't see the good British detective shows you love on the list? Add them for other TV fans to vote!

 

list ordered by
1
6,157 3,100
Sherlock is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list The Best British Detective Series, 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
2
5,883 2,271
Father Brown is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list The Best British Detective Series, Ranked
mousenmovie added Mark Williams, Sorcha Cusack, Alex Price
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
3
5,909 2,499
Midsomer Murders is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list The Best British Detective Series, 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
4
4,674 2,198
Inspector Morse is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list The Best British Detective Series, Ranked
John Thaw, Peter Woodthorpe, Kevin Whately
Inspector Morse is a British detective drama television series based on a series of novels by Colin Dexter. It starred John Thaw as Chief Inspector Morse and Kevin Whately as Sergeant Lewis. The ...more
5
3,484 2,077
Death in Paradise is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list The Best British Detective Series, 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
6
4,205 2,087
Grantchester is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list The Best British Detective Series, Ranked
James Norton, Robson Green, Morven Christie
7
4,786 1,866
Agatha Christie's Poirot is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list The Best British Detective Series, Ranked
David Suchet, Hugh Fraser, Philip Jackson
Agatha Christie's Poirot is a British television drama that aired on ITV from 8 January 1989 to 13 November 2013. David Suchet stars as the eponymous detective, Agatha Christie's fictional ...more
8
5,561 2,326
Endeavour is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list The Best British Detective Series, 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
9
4,231 1,643
Vera is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list The Best British Detective Series, 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
10
5,047 1,824
Inspector Lewis is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list The Best British Detective Series, Ranked
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
11
4,767 1,629
Foyle's War is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list The Best British Detective Series, 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
12
5,083 2,129
Broadchurch is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list The Best British Detective Series, Ranked
jobill 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
13
2,739 1,569
Agatha Christie's Marple is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list The Best British Detective Series, Ranked
Geraldine McEwan, Julia McKenzie, Stephen Churchett
Agatha Christie's Marple is a British ITV television series based on the books and short stories by British crime novelist Agatha Christie. The title character was played by Geraldine McEwan ...more
14
2,806 1,489
Prime Suspect is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list The Best British Detective Series, Ranked
KathyGrieco added Helen Mirren, Zoë Wanamaker, Tom Bell
Prime Suspect is a British police procedural television drama series starring Helen Mirren as Detective Chief Inspector Jane Tennison, one of the first female Detective Chief Inspectors in ...more
15
3,540 1,404
Shetland is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list The Best British Detective Series, Ranked
Douglas Henshall, Alison O'Donnell, Steven Robertson
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
16
3,840 2,398
Luther is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list The Best British Detective Series, 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
17
3,335 1,664
Inspector George Gently is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list The Best British Detective Series, Ranked
Martin Shaw, Lee Ingleby, Simon Hubbard
Inspector George Gently is a British television series produced by Company Pictures for BBC One, set in the 1960s and based on some of the 46 Inspector Gently novels written by Alan Hunter. The ...more
18
2,703 1,335
Miss Marple is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list The Best British Detective Series, 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
19
2,641 1,608
DCI Banks is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list The Best British Detective Series, Ranked
Anna Lane added 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
20
3,358 1,842
Happy Valley is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list The Best British Detective Series, Ranked
Anna Lane added Sarah Lancashire, Steve Pemberton, Siobhan Finneran
Happy Valley (BBC One, 2014) is a British crime drama television series created by Sally Wainwright. Catherine Cawood (Sarah Lancashire) is the sergeant on duty when flustered and nervous ...more
21
3,158 1,974
Miss Fisher's Murder Mysteries is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list The Best British Detective Series, Ranked
Essie Davis, Nathan Page, Hugo Johnstone-Burt
Miss Fisher's Murder Mysteries is an Australian television drama series. It was first broadcast on ABC on 24 February 2012. The series is based on author Kerry Greenwood's novels and was created ...more
22
2,050 1,623
Scott & Bailey is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list The Best British Detective Series, Ranked
Anna Lane 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
23
1,972 1,546
The Inspector Lynley Mysteries is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list The Best British Detective Series, Ranked
Nathaniel Parker, Sharon Small, Lesley Vickerage
The Inspector Lynley Mysteries is a series of BBC television programmes about Detective Inspector Thomas "Tommy" Lynley, 8th Earl of Asherton of Scotland Yard and Detective Sergeant ...more
24
2,268 1,511
A Touch of Frost is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list The Best British Detective Series, Ranked
David Jason, Bruce Alexander, John Lyons
A Touch of Frost is a television detective series produced by Yorkshire Television for ITV from 1992 until 2010, initially based on the Frost novels by R. D. Wingfield. Writing credit for the ...more
25
1,959 1,688
Whitechapel is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list The Best British Detective Series, Ranked
f_hyett added Rupert Penry-Jones, Philip Davis, Steve Pemberton
Whitechapel is a British television drama series produced by Carnival Films, in which detectives in London's Whitechapel district dealt with murders which replicated historical crimes. The first ...more