The eagle-eyed among you will know that the first week of January is mayhem when it comes to crime drama. The schedulers like to batter us with new series left, right and centre after the perceived quiet period over Christmas, and they think that all we want to do is stay in and watch TV and after a week of staying in and watching TV. No matter – this week sees the start of a LOAD of new crime drama series. You may not leave the house again for the next month or so.
1 Sherlock *NEW UK PREMIERE EPISODE*
The detective faces a dangerous new enemy in the seemingly unassailable Culverton Smith, a man whose position of power conceals a terrible secret. Estranged from John, Sherlock must confront his demons to defeat his enemy’s plans.
Sunday 8th January, 9pm, BBC1
2 Unforgotten *NEW UK PREMIERE SERIES*
Nicola Walker and Sanjeev Bhaskar are back, this time called out to a perfectly preserved remains of a middle-aged man found in a suitcase in the silt of a London river. As the detectives begin the complicated task of trying to identify the victim, four unconnected people go about their business – Brighton-based lawyer Colin Osborne, paediatric nurse Marion Kelsey, teacher Sara Mahmoud and respected police officer Tessa Nixon – unaware they are about to be dragged into the investigation.
Thursday 5th January, 9pm, ITV
3 Endeavour *NEW UK PREMIERE SERIES*
In the summer of 1967, Morse and Thursday are both devastated by Joan’s abrupt departure from Oxford. The young detective responds to his loss by throwing himself into his work, investigating the suspicious drowning of a scientist who was part of a research team working on an early computer. At first it appears to be a simple suicide – until two more bodies are found in the river.
Sunday 8th January, 8pm, ITV
4 Silent Witness *NEW UK PREMIERE SERIES*
A severed finger is brought to the Lyell Centre by DCI Rory Goodchild and immigration enforcement officer Pia Butler, who ask Nikki and Thomas to test for a DNA match with 17 year-old Syrian illegal immigrant Akka Khoury. The teenager was sent the digit by a people-smuggler who claims to have her mother and is demanding money for her safe return. Meanwhile, Akka’s 12 year-old cousin Sosa is trying to enter the UK illegally hidden in a van on a cross-channel ferry.
Monday 2nd and Tuesday 3rd January, 9pm, BBC1
5 No Offence *NEW UK PREMIERE SERIES*
DI Viv Deering returns to work after a few months off, and finds herself banging heads with a new boss – not to mention a powerful crime matriarch. Things kicks off at the funeral of a notorious local gangster’s son, where the officers realise tensions could easily bubble over into a gangland war. Meanwhile, Joy and Tegan team up with the dodgy crematorium owners to piece together another case.
Wednesday 4th January, 9pm, Channel 4
6 Murdoch Mysteries *NEW UK PREMIERE SERIES*
A woman is murdered at a society ball, but a fire begins to rage through downtown Toronto, distracting Murdoch and his officers from the case and putting Julia in grave danger.
Monday 2nd January, 9pm, Alibi
7 Midsomer Murders *NEW UK PREMIERE EPISODE*
Angus, a member of the Bleakridge Watch, a group of villagers who walk the streets reporting anyone who falls foul of the law, is found dead in his meat freezer. Barnaby and Winter meet Angus’s devastated sister and her daughter and learn that Angus was investigating a recent spate of burglaries in the village, but had yet to identify the culprit. Angus’ post-mortem reveals strange restraining injuries on his wrists and the plot thickens as Barnaby discovers just how far some people will go for power.
Wednesday 4th January, 8pm, ITV
8 Death In Paradise *NEW UK PREMIERE SERIES*
A scientist studying a live volcano is found dead halfway up the mountain, and the evidence points to a heart attack. Humphrey is convinced one of the dead man’s colleagues murdered him – an unlikely possibility, since they all have alibis. Away from the investigation, the inspector eagerly awaits Martha’s return to the island, while JP settles into married life and Dwayne makes an error of judgment while talking to a journalist.
Thursday 5th January, 9pm, BBC1
9 The Young Montalbano *NEW UK PREMIERE SERIES*
A Vigata inhabitant, who has made a habit of showing up at other people’s funerals, is found brutally murdered in the street, and only the disappearance of a woman linked to his former employer gives Montalbano his first lead.
Saturday 7th January, 10pm, BBC4
Out-of-town DI Alec Hardy investigates the mysterious death of an 11-year-old boy in an idyllic seaside community, aided by local girl DS Ellie Miller, who has her work cut out dealing with her unyielding new boss. Meanwhile, the sadness of losing their child consumes Beth and Mark Latimer as they and the other residents of Broadchurch try to cope with the media frenzy surrounding the case.
Sunday 8th January, 10pm ITV Encore