And now for something completely different.
We know that beneath the umbrella of crime drama, a whole host of different variants gather: there are procedurals, there are psychological thrillers, there are whydunits, there are spy thrillers, gangster stories… and historical thrillers.
BBC Four, known for its Scandinavian crime dramas set in the present day, has gone back in time – and back to Spain – for its latest Saturday-night, foreign-language slot.
La Peste (The Plague) goes back to the 16th century for its story. During an outbreak of the bubonic plague in Seville in 1597, Mateo, a former soldier, returns, honouring his word to find and extract a dead friend’s son from the city. Previously, Mateo had been forced to flee the city to save his life, having been sentenced to death by the Inquisition for printing forbidden books. Before he can complete his task, Mateo is arrested by the Inquisitor’s bailiffs, who promise to pardon his life in exchange for solving a series of crimes of diabolic overtones being committed in Seville.
The plague, bearded men, 16th-century sauce and the Spanish Inquisition… what’s not to like?
Here’s a Spanish-language trailer, which should give you a flavour of what to expect:
La Peste: Saturday 1st September, 9pm, BBC Four