15 best British TV crime dramas of all time (so far)

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British actors John Thaw (1942 – 2002), and Kevin Whately in a publicity still for the television detective series ‘Inspector Morse’, circa 1987. John Thaw plays the eponymous policeman and Kevin Whately is his sidekick Sergeant Lewis. (Photo by Larry Ellis Collection/Getty Images)

Line of Duty is among the list of top 15 British TV crime dramas ever

There have been some excellent TV crime dramas over the years from all over the UK. It’s time to narrow the list to the top 15 British TV crime dramas.

It sometimes feels like Britain has all the best content when it comes to TV crime dramas. The shows are gritty and intense. Personally, I often feel like it’s because of the shorter seasons. There’s only time to focus on specific storylines, delving deeper into them instead of doing a case of the week format.

With so many British TV crime dramas out there, it’s easy to become overwhelmed by the choices. That’s why you need someone to breakdown a list of the best options. Here are my top picks when it comes to British TV crime dramas.

15. Inspector Morse

Number of seasons: 7 seasons and 5 specials

Created by: Anthony Minghella and Kenny McBain developed the novels by Colin Dexter

Starring: John Thaw, Kevin Whately, James Grout, Peter Woodthorpe, Amanda Hillwood, Clare Holman

What it’s about: Based on the novels by Colin Dexter, this British TV crime drama follows Detective Chief Inspector Morse, as he solves various crimes in his local area. He’s joined by Sergeant Lewis, who would later get a spin-off series of his own. It’s one of the favorite British TV crime dramas when it comes to reruns.

Why it’s the best This is one of the oldest and most beloved series on our list. It became the bar for these types of shows in the past, opting for a case of the week format while offering great character development. There aren’t too many dark and gritty moments, which allows it to appeal to Agatha Christie fans.

The seven seasons were beautifully written, taking us on a journey to solve the crimes. The best thing is we know the killer at the end of each episode, and it makes it easy for watching out of order through reruns.

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