The British Crime Dramas Now Available On Netflix
Grow Talk by Sofy Robertson
After the recent successes of British crime dramas including Killing Eve and The Bodyguard, Netflix users will be happy to hear that you can now binge some of your favourites on their service.
Netflix’s success is derived from getting viewers addicted to the stories on its service and what could be more suited to this binge-watch model than a good old British crime drama.
It will come as no surprise that Brits enjoy British crime dramas, but it turns out that those across the pond are partly responsible for driving the demand on Netflix. Why? The British accent, of course. In addition, the legendary nature of Agatha Christie’s Poirot and Conan Doyle’s Sherlock Holmes lords over the crime genre, lending that extra level of authenticity to the stories coming from our fair isles.
Mid-way through January seems like the perfect time to give your poor bank account a rest, cosy up with your cat and remote control and hibernate until a time when there is more money and sunlight in your life. Just because you’re not exercising your body doesn’t mean you can’t exercise your grey matter as you fall down the rabbit hole of a good crime drama.
Starring David Tennant and Olivia Colman, the latter of whom has been dubbed the nation’s favourite and recently collected a number of sparkling accolades, play the lead investigators in the beautiful coastal town of Broadchurch. So, if Olivia Colman is not reason enough to watch this, then the solid whodunit mystery which keeps you guessing carries the authenticity of the crime genre.
I can almost hear the sound of the UK public rejoicing. Previously available solely on the BBC, a wounding blow to those who exclusively use streaming services over a TV license, Luther is now available on Netflix. A show that has received high critical acclaim and success outside of the UK, Idris Elba stars as a grizzled London detective who works obsessively to catch his prey. The unrest and lack of ease of the protagonist is reflected in the camera work with strange angles and sudden movements. The show contains some fairly graphic blood and guts moments but equally Luther offers moments of comic relief through his odd sense of humour.
The show responsible for Benedict Cumberbatch and Martin Freeman’s rise to blockbuster fame, we follow a famous London detective who teams up with a war veteran. Alongside the one-off cases, the detective plays a cat-and-mouse game with a supervillain who appears to be his intellectual equal. This crime drama follows a more ‘fun’ trajectory than other more realistic, gritty offerings and provides binge-worthy watching through the strength of its lead characters.
Starring Carey Mulligan, she and her fellow London detectives try to solve the murder of a pizza delivery driver and find that things are much more complicated than they first appeared. At times, there are some narrative issues but Mulligan’s portrayal of DI Glaspie is worth a watch. Unfortunately, there are only four episodes so it’ll be a short binge watch.
Gillian Anderson stars as the female detective engaged in a cat-and-mouse game with a male serial killer who tortures and murders young women. 50 Shades fans are in for a treat as Jamie Dornan, or Christian Grey, plays the sexually motivated killer in the series. Unlike most crime dramas, the whodunit element is removed in the first episode. We know the killer almost from the get go and through this, numerous surprise elements of his character and lifestyle are revealed to us. There is a strange feeling of power as a viewer; we know more than the killer and the detective, giving us an almost omnipotent role in watching the drama play out. The series traces a fine line between entertainment and perversion, but it also provides plenty of close-call moments and the chance for X-Files fans to see Gillian Anderson back in the role of investigator, but this time with her true accent.
With a Rotten Tomatoes rating of 83%, an acclaimed writer (Hans Rosenfeldt) and Anna Friel in the lead role, the more important question is why wouldn’t you try this series? Set in London in Rosenfeldt’s unique ‘Nordic Noir’ style, an interweaving storyline which follows a complex set of characters makes for gritty and emotional television and will keep you guessing. And great news for when you have found yourself addicted to Marcella, Season Three has been confirmed.
Need more drama?
If you’re a Brit crime junkie looking for your next fix, here are a few more to consider:
- Happy Valley: An ironic title for a show that follows a police sergeant struggling with the suicide of her daughter and divorce from her husband as she attempts to raise her grandson who was conceived through rape.
- River: A London detective struggles with the murder of his partner and tries desperately to keep his job while struggling with his unravelling mind.
- Hinterland: Netflix’s description of the show says it all: “Being a cop in London is murder. A village in Wales sounds like a good beat. But murder never takes a holiday.”
- Shetland: A Scottish detective investigates murders in his native Shetland, trying to save his rustic community from the evil lurking within.
- Doctor Foster: Corrie’s Suranne Jones is the protagonist in this mystery drama and we follow her journey down an exceedingly dark path.