5 British Crime Series To Learn English

Brits are pretty obsessed with dramas, crime series and thrillers so there’s plenty to go around.  In fact, we love them so much that we even have different sub-categories including crime mysteries, crime thrillers and suspenseful crimes. Today we’ll discuss some of the greatest British crime series that you just won’t be able to stop watching.

Sherlock Holmes

Sherlock Holmes is definitely more light-hearted than some of the other series mentioned in this blog.  

This fictional character was created by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle and he’s a detective who collects his evidence through his uncanny ability of observational skills and deductive reasoning between 1887 and 1914. Holmes claims that “when you have excluded the impossible, whatever remains, however improbable, must be the truth”.  Dr John H Watson helps pursue criminal cases with Holmes for clients, such as Scotland Yard.  

Although tidy in his mind, he is less so at home.  Sherlock Holmes lives at 221b Baker Street in London and has a housekeeper called Mrs Hudson. He has great bouts of mania and depression, smokes a pipe, plays the violin and is known for taking cocaine.

Stage and screen have seen many remakes of this character. One particular series included Benedict Cumberbatch as Sherlock and Martin Freeman as Dr Watson. This was the 2010 BBC version “Sherlock” and was set in the present day.



The first fictional series of Broadchurch, in 2013, sent Brits into a frenzy throwing “who-done-it” parties.  

David Tenant plays Detective Inspector Alec Hardy and heads an investigation into the death of an 11-year-old boy, found dead on a Dorset beach in the south of England. Detective Sergeant Ellie Miller, played by Olivia Coleman, believes she should be heading up the team, especially as she is part of the local community.

Each week, as the series progresses, different members of the local community are brought in to portray their role throughout the criminal investigation. It also looks at the direct family dealing with their grief and the involvement of the growing media interest.

The Bodyguard

The Bodyguard is a fictional political thriller featuring Police Sergeant David Budd of the Metropolitan Police, played by Richard Madden. It sees him as the principle protection officer for the home secretary, played by Keeley Hawes, but he does not have the same political views as the Right Honourable Julia Montague MP.

This 2018 series deals with PTSD and the controversial way the government dealt with the handling of private information.  After serving in Afghanistan, Budd is torn between his own beliefs and his duty to protect the Home Secretary. This series won numerous awards and looks likely to return soon.

Happy Valley

Happy Valley, filmed in 2014, is set in the north of England in the largest county, Yorkshire, in a place called Calder Valley in the west of Yorkshire. Sarah Lancashire takes on the role of Sergeant Catherine Cawood who, whilst dealing with the loss of her daughter, looks into local crimes which brings her face-to-face with the past.  

The first series sees the release of Tommy from prison who is hired to abduct and guard the daughter of a local rich businessman.  Tommy is not the shy and quiet guy as first perceived, instead a psychopath who takes control of everything around him. The writer, Sally Wainwright, has created a tough and defiant police sergeant in this award-winning northern series. A third series has been announced and filming will commence in 2022.

Line of Duty


Line of duty, filmed over a long period of time (2012-2021), consists of 6 series (so far).  The popularity of this series saw it move from BBC2 to prime-time BBC1 in the early years. Detective Sergeant Steve Arnott (Martin Compston) is transferred to Anti-corruption unit 12 (AC-12) and along with partner DC Kate Fleming (Vicky McClure), they investigate corruption within the police force under the supervision of Superintendent Ted Hastings.  

Each series focuses on one seemingly corrupt officer who is investigated due to their connections within their police departments – so far this has covered drugs, prostitution, people trafficking and child exploitation. 

There is much ridicule and humour around the use of its many acronyms and almost takes on a language of its own! The series also leaves many questions unanswered and much speculation as to who is “H”??

These are only five popular crime series but there are plenty more highly recommended programs to watch, such as Prime Suspect, Killing Eve, Marcella, Unforgotten, Luther and The Fall.

More light-hearted family type murder mysteries come in the form of Granchester, Miss Marple, Midsomer Murders, Inspector Morse and Father Brown. 


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