The Killing Times’ Top 12 Crime Dramas Of 2014: Part Two, 6-1

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Screen shot 2014-06-15 at 22.26.28A few days ago (Sunday 28th December) I posted the first part of our countdown of this site’s best crime dramas of the year (OK, I admit… my favourites), and now it’s time to go through numbers six to one.  If you missed the first part on Sunday, I mentioned a whole heap of dramas that came very close to being included in this, ahem, hugely prestigious list (Shetland, Matrioshki, Quirke et al). It just goes to show that there are some terrific writers and performers currently working in the genre, and there’s no doubt that we’ve been spoiled over the last year. If anything the very fact we can make a list of any sort shows the depth of acting, writing and directing talent out there. Anyway, here we go… six to one.

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The Killing Times’ Top 12 Crime Dramas Of 2014: Part One, 12-7

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‘Tis the season to be listy. And trifely. And here at The Killing Times, things are no different. We’ve been treated to such a huge amount of quality crime dramas throughout 2014, I couldn’t resist sitting down to make a list of the best crime dramas we’ve seen and enjoyed during the past year (while eating a bowl of trifle, naturally). Before I launch into the Top 12 (no, I don’t know either), to prove the sheer amount of quality dramas we’ve seen this year, just look at those that didn’t make the Top 12 (look at what you could’ve won etc). I really enjoyed Shetland, Wallander, Matrioshki and Quirke. And then there was Sherlock right at the very start of the year, the ever-gruesome Hannibal, David Morrissey’s The Driver, Inspector De Luca, the Montalbanos (young and old), the slow-burning Longmire, Gotham, Mammon, Scott & Bailey, Lewis, Reece Shearsmith in The Widower and Chasing Shadows, Grantchester, Irish drama Amber, the gorgeous-looking Crimes Of Passion, and, of course, stylish early-20th century gangster drama Peaky Blinders (which, our panel of writers absolutely loved. Read that here). Charlie Brooker’s Black Mirror: White Christmas was also under consideration (peel the back the layers of techno Dystopia and it was so a crime drama). So there was a lot to love this year (I’ve probably even forgotten a few, and I certainly haven’t even begun to clamber through the phalanx of consistent US dramas available in the UK), and choosing the site’s favourite 12 was tricky. But enough of the natter let’s get started… Continue reading

Review: Agatha Raisin And The Quiche Of Death, Thursday 26th December, Sky1

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Agatha-Raisin-Ashley-Jensen-1-16x9-1There has been a distinct lack of crimey wimey stuff on the box this year –plus ça change – but look hard enough and there are a few nuggets embedded in the frozen edifice of festive television that is comprised of Christmas specials and the discarded boxes of a million Yule logs, with the wind of family arguments howling all around it. One of those little nuggets was an adaptation of MC Beaton’s novel, which introduced us to a new, very modern amateur detective, Agatha Raisin. Continue reading

Review: Elementary (S3 E7/24), Tuesday 23rd December, Sky Living

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Elementary-season-3-episode-61In what must count as a festive episode, the smell of nutmeg points to a serial killer, and Holmes acts as a rather self-interested matchmaker. The only real festive element to that little lot of plot elements is the spice, but fair’s fair – Elementary in the UK is broadcast a bit later than its original US transmission date. Continue reading

Peaky Blinders, Happy Valley, The Missing And Fargo: The crime writers’ best crime dramas of the year

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There’s no denying we’ve had a great year when it comes to television crime drama, but we’ve also had a great year in the world of crime fiction, too. The two worlds cannot exist without each other – writers are inspired by visual ideas, while the TV series themselves are often adaptations of crime novels. So with that in mind, I asked some of my favourite crime writers to choose their favourite TV crime dramas of the year. Their choices make for interesting reading, and it seems a certain post-WWI, Birmingham-set gangster drama was a particular favourite. Continue reading

Get your Sherlock fix on Radio 4 this Christmas

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TheEyesOfMaxCarrados-01Last year we were treated to some new Sherlock on TV, but this year, as Benedict Cumberbatch and Martin Freeman struggled to find time to fit any more new episodes of the updated and snappy series into their busy schedules, this year’s festive period is a little bit barren when it comes to crime drama. But thank the crime gods for radio, because that’s where you’ll find a little morsel of Victorian/Edwardian crime to sate your need. Continue reading

The Christmas puzzle of Kurt Wallander: why there are new episodes during this festive period

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Rolf-Lassgard-007Once upon a time there was a dour, tormented man in a snow-bound wasteland, trudging through the whiteness and bleak and beautiful landscape, staring into the abyss and seeing first-hand what the dark side of the human race is capable of. His name was Kurt Wallander, and his story ended back in the summer. But even though we thought we had seen the last of him, the pained Swedish detective is back on our screen this Christmas. But how?

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