The Killing Times’ 2016 Crime Drama Preview – What to watch and when

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(C) Red Productions – Photographer: Ben Blackall

I promise I’ll calm down and get back to normal this coming week. As ever, we’ll be carrying as many reviews and news of all the brand new stuff on TV these coming weeks and months, but there’s time for just one more list. We’ve just enjoyed a really good year for crime drama, but it’s time to cast our minds forward to 2016 and try and work out what’s coming up and what we’ve got to look forward to. The good news? There’s bloody loads!


Channel: ITV
When? TBC
Lynda La Plante’s iconic Jane Tennison is back with a new six-episode series, which introduces us to a young Tennison beginning her career. It’s Hackney in the 1970s, and women police constables are being uneasily ‘integrated’ into the force. We’re introduced to 22-year-old Jane, a probationary officer in a world where high-ranking police officers were notoriously chauvinistic, and the rules and regulations often bent. Single-minded and ambitious, if a touch naïve, Jane’s dedicated and instinctive approach to her career is evident from the start.  Starting as a WPC on the beat, she is thrown in at the deep end, drawn into a brutal murder enquiry, and experiences first hand London’s violent criminal ganglands. She works alongside senior investigating officer DCI Bradfield, and in her first murder case, sees the devastating effects violent crime has on the victim’s family, as well as experiencing tragic ramifications herself. No casting announcements have been made yet, but we expect this to air towards the end of the year.

Channel: ITV
When? Spring
One of the more intriguing casting announcements last year was when ITV told us that Rowan Atkinson was to star as Georges Simenon’s classic and iconic French period detective, Jules Maigret. Atkinson’s casting has already divided fans, but there’s no denying that it’ll be extremely interesting to see how Atkinson fares in his first straight dramatic role. There will be two stand-alone dramatic films featuring the legendary French fictional detective Jules Maigret, to be played by Rowan Atkinson. Set in the 1950s in Paris, Maigret Sets A Trap is adapted from the Simenon novel Maigret tend un piège, while the second film Maigret’s Dead Man is based on Maigret et son mort. 

Channel: BBC4
When? Spring
We’ve had Swedish dramas, Norwegian dramas, Swedish dramas… aside from Finland, we’ve not had too much from Iceland. That’s about to change with this gripping crime drama.Trapped is based on an idea from Icelandic filmmaker Baltasar Kormákur, and the 10-episode series follows the murder of an unidentified man in small town near an Icelandic fjord, which is cut off from the outside world after a powerful blizzard.

One Of Us
Channel: BBC1
When? Spring (TBC)
The brothers Jack and Harry ‘The Missing’ Williams are back with a new story that’s gathering some buzz among crime drama fans in the know. Set in the Highlands of Scotland and Edinburgh, the four-parter tells the story of an horrific double murder, which rocks the lives of two families living side-by-side in isolated rural Scotland. But instead of focusing on the investigation, One Of Us explores the fallout for the grieving relatives, and the dark consequences that threaten to shatter their lives. The cast includes: Juliet Stevenson, Joanna Venderham, Laura Fraser, John Lynch, Georgina Campbell, Adrian Edmondson, Joe Dempsie and Julie Graham.

Channel: ITV
When? TBC
Or What Hans Rosenfeldt Did After The Bridge. This London-based eight-parter sees Anna Friel star as Marcella, who’s shocked to the core of her being when her husband Jason (Nicholas Pinnock) leaves her unexpectedly, confessing he no longer loves her. Heartbroken, Marcella returns to the Met’s Murder Squad. Ten years ago Marcella gave up her fast-tracked police career to marry and devote her life to her family. With the abrupt end to her marriage and isolated from her 13 year old daughter and 10 year old son, Marcella throws herself into work to stop herself from falling apart. Marcella wants back in on the serial killer case she first worked on in 2005. She’s got a hunch she wants to follow up on, a hunch she couldn’t follow through with due to falling pregnant with a second child. Has the killer re-appeared or is a copycat murderer responsible for these recent deaths? How will Marcella cope returning to duties when her own temperament is so fragile and vulnerable? Will throwing herself into her work provide the answers she’s seeking? Or lead her dangerously into territory she must evade at all cost? Suspicious of her husband’s motives for leaving her, Marcella finds herself playing detective away from work, but will her findings lead her to further heartbreak? Also starring Laura Carmichael, Nicholas Pinnock, Ian Puleston-Davies, Nina Sosanya, Jamie Bamber, Sinead Cusack and Patrick Baladi.

Dark Angel
Channel: ITV
When? TBC
Downton Abbey’s Joanne Forggat returns to play real-life Victorian poisoner Mary Ann Cotton. We first meet Mary Ann as a loving wife and mother, newly returned to her native North East of England. But faced with abject poverty and an ailing husband, we see how ruthlessly determined she is to pursue her desires – and a better life. Mary Ann is a very female serial killer, a poisoner whose methods leave no visible scars, allowing her tally of victims to mount unsuspected by a Victorian society unable to conceive of a woman capable of such terrible crimes. Travelling around the North East, she insinuates herself into unsuspecting families, marrying and creating new families of her own – before killing them, taking their money and moving on. Through adultery, bigamy, fraud and murder, Mary Ann betters herself socially and financially. But the more she kills, the greater the risk her crimes will finally be exposed.

The Five
Channel: Sky1
When? Spring
Best-selling novelist Harlan Coben is behind this 10-part thriller. It follows a group of friends who are united by a terrible incident. Haunted by the disappearance of one of their younger brothers some years earlier, while he was in their care, the group is forced to revisit the past when the missing boy’s DNA turns up at the scene of a murder. Tom Cullen, O-T Fagbenle, Lee Ingleby and Sarah Solemani lead the cast.

Channel: BBC1
When? TBC
From Peter Moffat, this sex-parter stars Adrian Lester and Sophie Okonedo. Just as her life comes under intense public scrutiny Maya, the first black Director of Public Prosecutions, discovers that her husband and the father of her children has been lying to her for years. Is he concealing an affair, or is it something altogether more sinister? If she digs up his real past will she be safe and who wants her in this job and why? Twenty years ago Nick was a fearless and dedicated undercover officer, infiltrating organisations considered a danger to society because of their political beliefs. Nick built himself a fake past and now with his wife unsuspecting and his conscience killing him – his secret identity may compromise the new Director of Public Prosecutions.

Channel: Alibi
When? Early spring
A diverse group of recruits has arrived at the FBI Quantico Base for training. They are the best, the brightest and the most vetted, so it seems impossible that one of them is suspected of masterminding the biggest attack on New York City since 9/11.


Happy Valley
Channel: BBC1
When? February
Sally Wainwright’s award-winning crime drama returns with Sarah Lancashire and James Norton reprising their roles as Catherine Cawood and Tommy-Lee Royce respectively. Also joining the cast are Julie Hesmondhalgh, Katherine Kelly, Shirley Henderson, Matthew Lewis, Vincent Franklin, Con O’Neill, Kevin Doyle and Amelia Bullmore

The Missing
Channel: BBC1
When? TBC
If you watched the BBC’s big new drama trailer (see it here) you may have noticed a fleeting glance of Tchéky Karyo. Nothing much is known about the Williams brothers’ second series except that it will follow an anthology format and will feature a brand-new story. The only character returning for this run is Karyo’s Julien Baptiste.

Channel: BBC1
When? Spring
Kenneth Branagh returns for the final time as the late Henning Mankell’s iconic Swedish detective Kurt Wallander in three films. The first 90-minute story film is based on Mankell’s 1993 novel The White Lioness, while the other two instalments will comprise a two-part adaptation of Mankell’s last Wallander novel, The Troubled Man.

Channel: ITV
When? Spring
James Norton and Robson green return for series two.

Channel: ITV
When? Spring
Brenda Blethyn returns for the four-part series four.

Scott & Bailey
Channel: ITV
When? TBC
Suranne Jones and Lesley Sharpe return for a three-part fifth series.

Channel: BBC
When? Late January
Douglas Henshaw returns for series two.

Ripper Street
Channel: Amazon Prime
When? Late January
David Threlfall joins the cast for series four.

Murdoch Mysteries
Channel: Alibi
When? Late January
The Canadian drama, based in late-Victorian Toronto, is back for a ninth series.


The People vs OJ Simpson: American Crime Story
Cuba Gooding Jnr, John Travolta, Selma Blair, David Schwimmer, Cheryl Ladd… OJ, the Kardashians… what more could you want? Everybody remembers where they were when O.J. Simpson, riding in a white Bronco, led the police on a low-speed chase all over Los Angeles. This marked the emergence of the 24-hour news cycle and the birth of reality television.

Shades Of Blue
Harlee Santos (Jennifer Lopez) is a charismatic single mother and resourceful detective at the heart of a tight-knit crew of Brooklyn detectives, led by enigmatic Lieutenant Matt Wozniak (Ray Liotta), who often leads the team to step outside the limitations of the law in order to effectively protect their precinct and their own. As a big illegal job looms on the horizon, the FBI catches Harlee in the act and pits her against her own unit. As a newly turned informant, she struggles to safeguard her on-the-job family and avoid arrest in order to stay with her daughter. Harlee engages in a perilous dance with her FBI handler, Special Agent Stahl (Warren Kole), who develops an unhealthy obsession with her. Meanwhile, Wozniak, acting as the unit’s patriarch, begins an all-consuming hunt for the informant. Pressure mounts as the crew struggles to perform their brand of street justice under FBI watch. Also starring Drea de Matteo.



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