The Best TV Detectives

The Daily Telegraph recently published a list of the 40 best TV Detectives & Sleuths. I highlight a few of my favourites but if you’d like to see the full list, you’ll find it here

Morse. The whisky drinking, opera loving, Jaguar driving, Chief Inspector who always did things his way irrespective of his boss’s wishes. Ran for 13 years and even spawned a couple of spin-off shows involving his sidekicks.

The Bridge. This original detective series started with a body lying on the border between two countries (The Tunnel was a carbon copy). Cooperation between the Swedish and Danish police is essential to solving the crime but it isn’t easy with dysfunction Swedish detective Saga Noren (played by Sofia Helin), making you wonder at times how she stayed employed.

The Fall. A moody and at a times dark drama about a serial killer in Northern Ireland, a ‘normal’ killer whose day job is a bereavement counsellor. Gillian Anderson played CS Stella Gibson, a sexy, intelligent woman who gets too close to the villain for her own good.

The Sweeney. Noted for its non-pc approach to policing and criminals. It wouldn’t work nowadays with a more forensic and police procedure-savvy television audience, but it was raw and exciting, and who doesn’t want to see criminals getting a bloody nose rather than a bloody caution?

The Killing. Sofie Grabol was terrific as Swedish detective, Sarah Lund, the wearer of natty jumpers and the driver of dirty Volvos across a bleak, winter scared landscape. Very atmospheric.

Sherlock Holmes. Almost too clever for its own good, with little asides and a pop-up computer graphic indicating which parts of the victim’s anatomy or crime scene Holmes was analysing with his computer-like brain. Benedict Cumberbatch did a great job bringing Sherlock Holmes to a modern audience.

NYPD Blue. New York to it’s very core with almost unintelligible street slang and odd mannerisms but evoking the heat (and the cold) of dirty, steamy streets with great accuracy and verve. Dennis Franz played Detective Andy Sipowicz for 12 years, but he didn’t get to say the show’s most memorable line, ‘Just remember, be careful out there.’

Hill Street Blues. Chronicling the life and characters at the fictional Hill Street police station in a unnamed town. Bruce Weitz won a supporting actor Emmy award for his role as Michael Belker. He played the cigar chomping detective who often looked more like a tramp than a detective.

Which one is your favourite and who should play DI Angus Henderson?


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