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The Very Best British Procedurals, Ranked 

Ranker TV
Updated July 13, 2020 2.7k votes 547 voters 23k views 37 items

List Rules Vote up your favorite British procedurals, no matter when they aired.

 

Drama is injected throughout every single step of the crime solving process on the best British procedurals. The top British procedurals take viewers on a mysterious adventure from the moment a crime is committed to the high-stakes trial. This is a list of the greatest British procedural shows, including everything from Midsomer Murders to Heartbeat to Waking the Dead.

What series will you find on this list of the best English procedurals? Each episode of Agatha Christie's Poirot is based on a novel or short story by the beloved author. David Suchet starred as the title character throughout the show's 13 series run from 1989-2002. Inspector Morse is another popular British procedural show. The detectives of Death in Paradise are charged with solving crimes in an idealistic setting. Other good British procedural shows featured on this list include Sherlock, Prime Suspect, and Taggart.

Do you have a favorite British procedural TV show? Give the best series a thumbs up and get in on the conversation in the comments section.

 

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1
Sherlock is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list The Very Best British Procedurals, Ranked
Benedict Cumberbatch, Martin Freeman, Una Stubbs

Premiered: 2010

Sherlock (BBC One, 2010) is a British crime television series created by Steven Moffat and Mark Gatiss, based on stories by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle. The brilliant yet insensitive detective ...more

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2
Midsomer Murders is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list The Very Best British Procedurals, Ranked
Suzi Quatro, John Nettles, Neil Dudgeon

Premiered: 1997

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

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#324 of 333 The Best TV Shows of The Last 20 Years #274 of 389 TV Shows That Only Smart People Appreciate #19 of 98 The Best British Detective Series, Ranked

3
Agatha Christie's Poirot... is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list The Very Best British Procedurals, Ranked
David Suchet, Hugh Fraser, Philip Jackson

Premiered: 1989

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

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4
Broadchurch is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list The Very Best British Procedurals, Ranked
David Tennant, Olivia Colman, Jodie Whittaker

Premiered: 2013

Broadchurch (ITV, 2013) is a British serial crime drama television series created by Chris Chibnall. Police detectives DI Alec Hardy (David Tennant) and DS Ellie Miller (Olivia Colman) ...more

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5
Prime Suspect is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list The Very Best British Procedurals, Ranked
Helen Mirren, Zoë Wanamaker, Tom Bell

Premiered: 1991

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

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#548 of 645 The Best TV Shows To Binge Watch #10 of 98 The Best British Detective Series, Ranked #106 of 125 The Best Serial Cop Dramas of All Time

6
Inspector Morse is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list The Very Best British Procedurals, Ranked
John Thaw, Peter Woodthorpe, Kevin Whately

Premiered: 1987

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

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#6 of 98 The Best British Detective Series, Ranked #232 of 389 TV Shows That Only Smart People Appreciate #102 of 125 The Best Serial Cop Dramas of All Time

7
Foyle's War is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list The Very Best British Procedurals, Ranked
Michael Kitchen, Honeysuckle Weeks, Anthony Howell

Premiered: 2002

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

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8
The Bletchley Circle is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list The Very Best British Procedurals, 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

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#13 of 98 The Best British Detective Series, Ranked #214 of 296 The Best Female-Led TV Shows #251 of 389 TV Shows That Only Smart People Appreciate

9
Inspector Lewis is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list The Very Best British Procedurals, Ranked
Eric Thomas added Kevin Whately, Laurence Fox, Clare Holman

Premiered: 2006

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

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#256 of 389 TV Shows That Only Smart People Appreciate #16 of 98 The Best British Detective Series, Ranked #18 of 45 The Very Best British Crime Dramas, Ranked

10
Shetland is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list The Very Best British Procedurals, Ranked

Premiered: 2013

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

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#265 of 389 TV Shows That Only Smart People Appreciate #5 of 98 The Best British Detective Series, Ranked #12 of 45 The Very Best British Crime Dramas, Ranked

11
Luther is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list The Very Best British Procedurals, Ranked
Idris Elba, Warren Brown, Dermot Crowley

Premiered: 2010

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

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#183 of 645 The Best TV Shows To Binge Watch #294 of 333 The Best TV Shows of The Last 20 Years #26 of 98 The Best British Detective Series, Ranked

12
DCI Banks is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list The Very Best British Procedurals, Ranked
Stephen Tompkinson, Jack Deam, Andrea Lowe

Premiered: 2010

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

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#23 of 98 The Best British Detective Series, Ranked #13 of 45 The Very Best British Crime Dramas, Ranked #7 of 17 The Best British TV Shows on HBO Max

13
Grantchester is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list The Very Best British Procedurals, Ranked
James Norton, Robson Green, Morven Christie

Premiered: 2014

Grantchester is a British ITV detective drama, set in the 1950s Cambridgeshire village of the same name. The show features Anglican vicar Sidney Chambers (James Norton), who develops a sideline ...more

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#11 of 98 The Best British Detective Series, Ranked #322 of 389 TV Shows That Only Smart People Appreciate #111 of 125 The Best Serial Cop Dramas of All Time

14
The Fall is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list The Very Best British Procedurals, Ranked
Gillian Anderson, Jamie Dornan, John Lynch

Premiered: 2013

The Fall (BBC Two, 2013) is a British-Irish crime drama television series created by Allan Cubitt. Metropolitan Police Superintendent Stella Gibson (Gillian Anderson) sets out to capture a ...more

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#286 of 645 The Best TV Shows To Binge Watch #199 of 389 TV Shows That Only Smart People Appreciate #37 of 98 The Best British Detective Series, Ranked

15
Death in Paradise is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list The Very Best British Procedurals, Ranked
Kris Marshall, Danny John-Jules, Ben Miller

Premiered: 2011

Death in Paradise (BBC One, 2011) is a British-French crime drama television series created by Robert Thorogood. After investigating the murder of a police officer on a Caribbean island, British ...more

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#351 of 389 TV Shows That Only Smart People Appreciate #18 of 98 The Best British Detective Series, Ranked #14 of 45 The Very Best British Crime Dramas, Ranked

16
Line of Duty is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list The Very Best British Procedurals, Ranked
Line of Duty Keeley Hawes, Lennie James, Martin Compston

Premiered: 2012

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

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#551 of 645 The Best TV Shows To Binge Watch #28 of 98 The Best British Detective Series, Ranked #72 of 125 The Best Serial Cop Dramas of All Time

17
Marcella is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list The Very Best British Procedurals, Ranked
Anna Friel, Nicholas Pinnock, Ray Panthaki

Premiered: 2016

Marcella is a British crime noir detective series produced, written and directed by Hans Rosenfeldt. Former London detective Marcella Backland is devastated when her husband leaves her and their ...more
18
Wire in the Blood is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list The Very Best British Procedurals, Ranked
Eric Thomas added Robson Green, Simone Lahbib, Hermione Norris

Premiered: 2002

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

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#38 of 98 The Best British Detective Series, Ranked #345 of 389 TV Shows That Only Smart People Appreciate #121 of 125 The Best Serial Cop Dramas of All Time

19
Case Histories is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list The Very Best British Procedurals, Ranked
RoderickKelley added Jason Isaacs, Kirsty Mitchell, Amanda Abbington

Premiered: 2011

Case Histories is a British drama television series based on the Jackson Brodie detective novels by Kate Atkinson. It stars Jason Isaacs as Jackson Brodie. The series is both set and filmed in ...more
20
Silent Witness is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list The Very Best British Procedurals, Ranked
Eric Thomas added Emilia Fox, William Gaminara, Tom Ward

Premiered: 1996

Silent Witness is a British drama series, produced by the BBC, focusing on a team of forensic pathology experts and their investigations. First broadcast in 1996, and still on air, the series ...more

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21
Murder in Suburbia is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list The Very Best British Procedurals, Ranked
RoderickKelley added Caroline Catz, Lisa Faulkner, Jeremy Sheffield

Premiered: 2004

Murder in Suburbia was a British detective drama, shown on the ITV network, that ran for two series in 2004 and 2005, starring Caroline Catz, Lisa Faulkner and Jeremy Sheffield. The series ...more
22
Cracker is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list The Very Best British Procedurals, Ranked
Robbie Coltrane, Geraldine Somerville, Kieran O'Brien

Premiered: 1993

Cracker is a British drama series produced by Granada Television for ITV and created and principally written by Jimmy McGovern. Set in Manchester, the series is centered on a psychologist, Dr ...more

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23
Jonathan Creek is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list The Very Best British Procedurals, Ranked
RoderickKelley added Alan Davies, Caroline Quentin, Stuart Milligan

Premiered: 1997

Jonathan Creek is a British mystery crime drama series produced by the BBC and written by David Renwick. It stars Alan Davies as the title character, who works as a creative consultant to a ...more

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#36 of 98 The Best British Detective Series, Ranked #27 of 45 The Very Best British Crime Dramas, Ranked #96 of 156 The Best Mystery TV Shows

24
Hamish Macbeth is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list The Very Best British Procedurals, Ranked
Hamish Macbeth Robert Carlyle, Shirley Henderson, Barbara Rafferty

Premiered: 1995

Hamish Macbeth is a comedy-drama series made by BBC Scotland and first aired in 1995. It is loosely based on a series of mystery novels by M. C. Beaton. The series concerns a local police ...more
25
Waking the Dead is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list The Very Best British Procedurals, Ranked
Trevor Eve, Sue Johnston, Wil Johnson

Premiered: 2000

This series is a British television police procedural drama series produced by the BBC featuring a fictional Cold Case unit composed of CID police officers, a psychological profiler and a ...more

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#523 of 645 The Best TV Shows To Binge Watch #56 of 98 The Best British Detective Series, Ranked #33 of 45 The Very Best British Crime Dramas, Ranked