What’s coming up this autumn and winter? Read on…
Just when you thought that we’ve had loads of (really good) crime drama this year (and the standard has been high this year), along comes autumn and winter – the time when, traditionally, the big channels bring out their big guns. So much for having a social life, then.
As ever, we’ve scoured the highways and byways of the internet and called in a few favours from our industry chums to produce what we think is the most comprehensive crime drama preview anywhere in the world. The big news is that there is an absolute cart-load. We’ll do our best to review as much of it as we can, but in the meantime, here’s what we know and what we think is coming up.
Strap yourselves in – it’s going to be a busy end to the year.
Trapped (Series 2)
The big one. And the big question. Series two will air in its native Iceland in October, so the hope is this will return sometime in the winter in the UK. Perhaps December. Perhaps January. And perhaps on BBC Four. We’ll see. The story? As an Icelandic government minister enters the parliament building, she is attacked by a man who sets fire to both of them. Investigation of the incident then takes unexpected turns.
Incoming: Winter (TBC)
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.
Incoming: Saturday 1st September
The Gladbeck crisis was one of the biggest criminal cases in post-war German history. The series dramatises the events following a bank raid gone wrong. The robbers took several hostages and, while being pursued by police and tracked by the media over several days, travelled across several West German state lines. The ensuing murder and carnage unfolded in a media circus that saw reporters interview hostages while they were still being held at gunpoint. The debacle ultimately led to new rules governing media coverage, and the police were accused of bungling their handling of the case.
This six-part Aussie series tells the story of Detective Jay Swan (Aaron Pedersen), assigned to investigate the mysterious disappearance of two young farmhands on an outback cattle station, one a local indigenous football hero and the other a backpacker. Working together with local cop Emma James (Judy Davis), the investigation uncovers a past injustice that threatens the fabric of the whole community.
BBC Four (TBC)
The hope is that we’re going to get some new Beck on BBC Four before the year is out. Series seven aired in Sweden earlier in the first part of this year and introduced new main characters. Let’s hope we get to see these four new episodes sooner rather later.
Incoming: Winter (TBC)
Luther (Series 5)
As a series of monstrous killings becomes ever more audacious, Luther and new recruit DS Catherine Halliday are confounded by a tangle of leads and misdirection that seems designed to protect an unspeakable horror. But even as the case brings him closer than ever to the nature of true evil, a reluctant Luther must also face the ghosts of his own past. Striding back into the line of fire, he must choose who to protect… and who to sacrifice.
Based on the novel by Helen FitzGerald, The Cry is a four-part drama that tells the story of Joanna (Jenna Coleman) and her husband Alistair (Ewen Leslie), who travel with their baby from Scotland to Australia to see Alistair’s mother, Elizabeth (Stella Gonet), and to fight for custody of Alistair’s daughter Chloe (Markella Kavenagh). However, when they arrive in Australia, Joanna and Alistair are forced to face an unthinkable tragedy that changes their lives and their marriage forever. It is the catalyst for a journey into the disintegrating psychology of a young woman, exposing the myths and truths of motherhood.
The ABC Murders
Sarah Phelps’ latest Agatha Christie adaptation for the BBC sees John Malkovich take on the legendary Poirot. This time the setting is the 1930s. A time when the nation is dangerously divided and suspicion and hatred are on the rise. In the midst of this Hercule Poirot faces a serial killer known only as A.B.C. First, the killer strikes in Andover, then Bexhill. As the murder count rises, the only clue is the copy of The ABC Railway Guide at each crime scene. Poirot’s investigations are thwarted at every turn by an enemy determined to outsmart him. If Poirot is to match his nemesis then everything about him will be called into question; his authority, his integrity, his past, his identity.
We’re hoping that this spin-off of The Missing pops into the schedules this winter, but it could easily fall into the early part of 2019. We know it’s filming at the moment, so we’re keeping our fingers crossed. Tchéky Karyo returns is the titular main character, and is joined by the likes of Tom Hollander and Jessica Raine. When Julien and his wife are on a visit to Amsterdam, the Chief of Police – who also happens to be an old girlfriend – seeks out his help due to his renowned and methodical crime-solving skills. Baptiste is rapidly embroiled in a case that looks beyond the beautiful streets, canals and houses of Amsterdam to the seamy underworld beneath.
Incoming: Winter (TBC)
This six-part series tells the story of Raza, a young, second-generation Pakistani man from East London (Nabhaan Rizwan) who is coerced by Gabe, a Counter-Terrorism officer (Paddy Considine) to go undercover and inform for him. Gabe, who has a past he is unwilling to expose, is joined by Holly, his new and ambitious partner (Bel Powley) whose endless curiosity becomes threatening to him. As the central counterterrorism investigation heats up, the stakes for all three get higher and higher. Informer tells a story about identity in a world where lines are increasingly being drawn and sides are being taken. What happens when you, or your friends, family or neighbours fall on the wrong side of that line and the personal becomes political?
The Little Drummer Girl
A spy drama, but worth a mention because it has an all-star cast, is based on a John le Carré novel and boasts Old Boy’s sensational Park Chan-wook behind the director’s chair. Brilliant young actress Charlie (Florence Pugh) strikes up an acquaintance with an intriguing stranger while on holiday in Greece, but it rapidly becomes apparent that his intentions are far from romantic. The man is Becker (Alexander Skarsgård), an Israeli intelligence officer, who entangles her in a complex and high stakes plot orchestrated by Spymaster, Kurtz (Michael Shannon).
Black Earth Rising
This is borderline for us because it’s more of a law thriller than a crime drama. But still, one to watch out for if that’s your thing. The story centres on Kate Ashby (Michaela Coel) who was rescued as a young child during the Rwandan genocide and adopted by Eve Ashby (Harriet Walter), a world-class British prosecutor in international criminal law. Kate was raised in Britain and, now in her late twenties, she works as a legal investigator in the law chambers of Michael Ennis (John Goodman). When Eve takes on a case at the International Criminal Court, prosecuting an African militia leader, the story detonates, pulling Michael and Kate into a journey that will upend their lives forever.
Sandra Oh is Eve, a bored MI5 security officer whose desk job does not fulfil her fantasies of being a spy. Jodie Comer plays Villanelle, a fearsome assassin clinging to the luxuries her violent job affords her. When Eve is tasked with tracking down Villanelle before she can strike again, the two women are thrown into a cat-and-mouse game that turns the traditional spy-thriller on its head.
Vicky McClure (Line of Duty) plays Susan McHugh, the Dublin mother of two so outraged by the loss of young life that she organised one of the largest peace rallies in Irish history, leading thousands through the streets in protest at the continued violence of the Troubles. Anna Maxwell Martin plays Wendy Parry, the mother of 12-year-old Tim Parry who lost his life in the attack which left two boys dead and many others injured. Daniel Mays will play Tim’s father Colin Parry, with David Wilmot as Arthur McHugh.
Incoming: Monday 3rd September, 9pm, BBC Two
Starring Donald Sutherland as J. Paul Getty Senior, the oil tycoon and art collector at the head of the Getty family, Trust tells the real-life story of the kidnap of the mega-rich playboy Getty grandson in the early 1970s. Sutherland stars alongside a stellar cast that includes Hilary Swank, Brendan Fraser, Harris Dickinson, Anna Chancellor, Charlotte Riley, Amanda Drew and Sophie Winkleman.
This eight-part series stars John Simm, and comes from The Missing’s Harry and Jack Williams. Professor Jonah Mulray’s life is turned upside-down when his wife, Megan, is killed in a car crash in Hong Kong. Although she lived and worked there half the year, Jonah’s never been. He lives a small, sheltered life, and his fear of flying has kept him in London. But now he has no choice but to cross the ocean to identify the body of the woman he loved. Not long after arriving in Hong Kong, Jonah makes a shocking discovery about his wife. Over the course of eight thrilling hours, Jonah is drawn deeper and deeper into a web of conspiracy as he comes to terms with this utterly alien and unfamiliar environment, battling to uncover the truth about his wife’s death.
At the heart of the drama is the dangerous relationship between university professor Leah (Katherine Kelly), and her student Rose (Molly Windsor), when, what begins as a seemingly open and shut case of academic deception, quickly spirals out of control, ending in fatal consequences, and triggering a devastating sequence of events that threaten to engulf them both. With two fiercely intelligent minds unwilling to back down, Cheat explores just how far we’re prepared to stand up for what we believe, and at what cost. This could be 2019.
Incoming: Autumn/Winter (TBC)
Written by Chris Lang, Tom Riley returns in a full, six-part series. DI Will Wagstaffe, who is haunted by the murder of his parents when he was a series will see him trying to solve brutal crimes while also attempting to hold his fractured life together. His history continues to impact both his work and his personal life, affecting his on-off relationship with girlfriend Sylvie. His sister Juliette and her son Harry are the closest people in his life: Harry sees Wagstaffe (known as Staffe to his colleagues) as a father figure – a role he might not be suited for.
No Offence (Series 3)
Mayoral hustings in Cinderly, an inner-city area of Manchester, is a tinderbox ready to ignite following race riots kicked off by an arson attack on a mosque. Fuelling the chaos in the community is the leader of the extreme Far Right group Albion, Dennis Caddy (Neil Maskell), his outspoken girlfriend Bonnie (Tamara Lawrance) and his mouthy sister Faye (Sharon Rooney). The febrile atmosphere in Cinderly ignites as the mayoral candidate anti-establishment, local girl-done-good politician Caroline McCoy (Lisa McGrillis) goes head to head for the high-stakes electoral ward, with woolly liberal Mayor Karim Hassan (Ace Bhatti). In their midst is the master puppeteer, mercenary Far Right fanatic Ralph Beckett (Darren Connolly), forcing Viv and the team to fight toe to toe as he wages his war on both the cops and culturally-vulnerable targets – with devastating consequences.
Channel 4 (Walter Presents)
When a dirty cop decides to go straight after having accidentally shot his partner, he must first get dirtier than ever as the gangsters he used to work for go after his family, while his new partner, a by the book careerist, is out to get him.
Incoming: Thursday 20th September
Channel 4 (All4)
Sara Dogg Asgeirsdottir plays Laura, a reporter who manages to get embroiled simultaneously with an oil executive who may be a rapist and murderer and a drug-dealing motorcycle gang. She comes with a high body count: In one six-episode season her work gets one family member beaten, another killed and a colleague put into a coma. Her doggedness stems partly from her journalistic ideals but largely from the need to pay an 800,000 krona fine in a defamation case.
Incoming: Wednesday 5th September
All4 (Walter Presents)
The Court follows the public and private lives of three lawyers in a Reykjavik law firm. The drama is executive produced by acclaimed producers Kjartan Thor Thordarson (Stella Blomkvist, Case, Cover Story) and Magnus Vidar Sigurdsson (Trapped, Black Angels, The Night Shift).
Killer By The Lake (Le Tueur Du Lac)
All4 (Walter Presents)
Three years after Vanished By The Lake, Lise and Clovis are now by another lake, in Annecy, and face the challenge of a new family life with their nine-month-old son Tom as the couple takes on a demanding new investigation.
All4 (Walter Presents)
Farang explores the aftermath of a father’s decision to flee Sweden after testifying against a former criminal accomplice. The complicated ties between father and daughter come to the fore as he faces a family crisis.
The Deuce (Series 2)
David Simon and George Pelecanos’s sprawling, Dickensian tale of the burgeoning porn industry, cops and gangsters in 1970s New York jumps forward to 1978 in series two (disco! punk!). And that’s about all we know when it comes to a synopsis, although the likes of Maggie Gyllenhaal and, controversially, James Franco are down to reprise their roles. If it’s half as good as series one, we’re in for a treat. The images that have been released suggest that at the very least it’s going to look incredible.
Incoming: Tuesday 11th September
Escape At Dannemora
Sky Atlantic (TBC)
Based on the stranger-than-fiction prison break in upstate New York in the summer of 2015 which spawned a statewide manhunt for two convicted murderers, aided in their escape by a married female prison employee who carried on months-long affairs with both men. Benicio Del Toro plays convicted murderer Richard Matt, an artistic yet intimidating force within the prison, who masterminds the escape. Arquette plays Tilly Mitchell, a working-class wife and mother who supervises the prison tailor shop and becomes sexually involved with both men, ultimately agreeing to hide hacksaw blades in frozen hamburger meat to help them get out. Paul Dano plays David Sweat, a convicted cop-killer who may have genuine feelings for Tilly and becomes a reluctant partner in Richard Matt’s plot.
Fortitude (Series 3)
Richard Dormer, Luke Treadaway, Sienna Guillory and Dennis Quaid all return for the final four-part series. We’re not convinced this will be too much of a crime drama, but we’re putting it in here for now. In the aftermath of the murder of corrupt mayor Erling Munk at the hands of a mob led by Sheriff Dan Anderson, the concluding chapter will open with the arrival of two new police officers from Oslo.
The Truth About The Harry Quebert Affair
Grey’s Anatomy’s Patrick Dempsey stars as Harry Quebert, a literary icon who must prove his innocence when the body of a 15-year-old girl is dug up in his garden – but is he innocent? Find out in the TV adaptation of Joel Dicker’s bestselling novel from the studio that brought you The Handmaid’s Tale.
Incoming: Tuesday 4th September, 9pm
Narcos: Mexico will explore the origins of the modern drug war by going back to its roots, beginning at a time when the Mexican trafficking world was a loose and disorganized confederation of independent growers and dealers. Witness the rise of the Guadalajara Cartel in the 1980s as Félix Gallardo (Diego Luna) takes the helm, unifying traffickers in order to build an empire. When DEA agent Kiki Camarena (Michael Peña) moves his wife and young son from California to Guadalajara to take on a new post, he quickly learns that his assignment will be more challenging than he ever could have imagined. As Kiki garners intelligence on Félix and becomes more entangled in his mission, a tragic chain of events unfolds, affecting the drug trade and the war against it for years to come.
Tony Danza and Josh Groban star as cops who are also father and son in this dramedy from Monk creator Andy Breckman.
Incoming: Friday 21st September
Dogs Of Berlin
This German series features two Berlin police detectives who team-up against their will to take down an underworld willing to destroy the cops at any cost. They face attacks so personal, it’s hard to tell which side of the law they should be on.
Incoming: Winter (TBC)
Bordertown/Sorjonen (Series 2)
Series one of this Finnish crime drama was pretty good. Detective Inspector Kari Sorjonen is one of the most respected officers at the National Bureau of Investigation in Finland. When his wife barely survives brain cancer, Sorjonen decides to take his family to an idyllic small town near the border of Russia, to live a quiet peaceful life. But how peaceful is life on the border between two worlds? See a trailer here.
The Sinner (Series 2)
Series two of this almost-excellent series sees the very-much-excellent Carrie Coon join the cast. Detective Harry Ambrose (Bill Pullman) goes back to his rural New York hometown to investigate a new, gruesome crime: parents murdered by their 11-year-old son, with no apparent motive. Also joining the cast opposite Pullman and Coon are Natalie Paul (The Deuce) as Heather, a local detective-in-training who calls for Ambrose’s help, and Hannah Gross (Mindhunter) as Marin, Heather’s high school best friend, who disappeared from town.
Elite/Las Encinas is the best and most exclusive school in Spain, where the elite send their children to study. It’s also where three working-class kids have just been admitted after their academy has collapsed and the local council divvied up the students between other schools in the area. They thought that they’d lucked out… but maybe they weren’t so lucky after all. The clash between those who have everything and those who have nothing to lose creates a perfect storm that ultimately ends in a murder. Who is behind the crime? Is it one of these recent arrivals from a different world? Or is there something deeper hiding beneath the surface?
Julia Roberts plays Heidi Bergman, a caseworker at the Homecoming Transitional Support Center, a Geist Group facility helping soldiers transition back to civilian life. Walter Cruz (Stephan James) is one of these soldiers, eager to begin the next phase of his life. Overseeing Heidi and the facility is Colin Belfast (Bobby Cannavale), an ambitious company man whose manic demands point to questionable motives. Four years later, Heidi has started a new life, living with her mother (Sissy Spacek) and working as a small-town waitress, when a Department of Defense auditor (Shea Whigham) comes to her with questions about why she left the facility. Heidi begins to realize there’s a whole other story behind the story she’s been telling herself.
Incoming: Friday 2nd November
New Doctor Who, Jodie Whittaker, stars in this spy thriller. It goes back to 1985 to chronicle the real-life pursuit of Aldrich Ames, a man who turned out to be one of the most notorious traitors in U.S. history. The search is led by Sandy Grimes, a beautiful wife and mother, who is leading a double life as a counter-intelligence officer at the CIA – the keeper of the nation’s secrets – during the Cold War. Sandy and her partner, Jeanne Vertefeuile, are in a race against time as they search for their mole, Aldrich Ames, and try to protect other intelligence officers from being captured and killed.
Before the 11 series of Murdoch Mysteries – which starred Yannick Bisson as Detective William Murdoch – there were three feature-length films, starring Peter Outerbridge as the titular ‘tec. Keeley Hawes also co-starred as Dr Julia Ogden. Now we in the UK get to see these films, entitled Except The Dying, Poor Tom Is Cold, Under The Dragon’s Tail.
And because we like to keep abreast of what’s happening around the world, here are some shows that haven’t been picked up by a UK broadcaster yet, but will be starting in their native territories soon.
The series follows John Nolan (Nathan Fillion), a 40-year-old man, who moves from his comfortable, small-town life to Los Angeles to pursue his dream of being a police officer for the Los Angeles Police Department. He must navigate the dangerous, humorous and unpredictable world of a “young” cop, determined to make his second shot at life count.
The Red Line
Red Line begins with the mistaken shooting of a black doctor at the hands of a white cop and unfolds from the perspective of each of the families connected to the tragedy. It’s a then-and-now meets us-and-them tale about the often-personal politics of crime.
Based on Kristina Ohlsson’s Bergman & Recht novels, the series follows criminologist Fredrika Bergman who after a tragic car accident, starts working as a civil investigator at Stockholm Police. She’s recruited to their special investigation’s unit and is anything but welcomed by the department. However, her different background and exceptional talent gives her a unique perspective that repeatedly helps the unit solve their cases. Jonas Karlsson (Beck, The Snowman) plays chief inspector Alex Recht, and Alexej Manvelov (Before We Die) is Peder Rydh.
Based on the books by Cilla and Rolf Börjlind and sees Julia Ragnarsson and Kjell Bergqvist return as Olivia Rönning and Tom Stilton respectively (Danish crime drama perennial Dar Salim is also back). Series two is set to start its second series on 16th September, and plot-wise it goes something like this: Rönning and Stilton cross paths once more when the murder of a circus performer in Marseilles is believed to be linked to the suicide of a customs official. Their investigation leads them into the cynical world of risk capital where serious money is being milked from the Swedish welfare system.
Before We Die (Series 2)
Hanna is said to be hot on the trail of the leak and Christian is suddenly back in town. Marie Richardsson and Adam Pålsson as mother and son, Hanna and Christian, are in – a basic requirement for a second series, one would think. Magnus Krepper (who just appeared in Danish drama Liberty, an export waiting to happen and well worth the watch) will revisit his role as Organised Crime Unit detective Björn. Rickard Forsgren is hunted leak Magnus and Sandra Redlaff returns as Blanka. Unfortunately, there’s no mention of Malgorzata Pieczynska who played Dubravka but that is hopefully just an oversight. It would be an absolute shame if the new Mimica boss didn’t make it to series two. And let’s be honest, it’s not as if they’ve very many members left to squander in the interim after Davor, Zvonomir, Stefan and Majmun all failed to make it to the end of series one alive. We simply need the matriarch to be in charge. There is also no mention of any bikers, so we’ll have to wait and see if Andy’s speculation about Monika (Rebecka Hemse) could materialise, where she would come back to take on Dubravka in some way over the strongly encouraged suicide of her husband and Mobster president Petter.
Black Lake II
Johan Ceder (Filip Berg) tries to live up to his father’s expectations but finds himself drawn into a hedonistic nightclub lifestyle. However, he eventually agrees to spare his family further embarrassment and begins treatment at a facility on the island of Kallskär. But something doesn’t seem quite right… There are dark secrets on Kallskär that date back to World War II and beyond, and it transpires that a former patient disappeared without a trace, but nobody seems to want to know what really happened. Fellow patients include Minnie (Hedda Stiernstedt) who is fighting for custody of her child, Isabelle (Alida Morberg) who has mental issues, Vincent (David Nzinga) who is trying to escape his criminal past, prominent smuggler and addict Amina (Bahar Pars), and Oscar (David Larsson) who struggles with his closed personality. Meanwhile, the facility is run by the charismatic Uno Leijon (André Eriksen) who bought the manor house from the family of patient Gittan (Anja Landgré) who has owned the island for over 300 years.
This six-episode series focuses on a military veteran struggling to readjust to life after the experience of war. Dar Salim stars as CC, who returns home after his last mission resulted in the death of his best friend, Peter. At home in Copenhagen, he cannot shake his feelings of guilt, so offers to help Peter’s widow, police investigator Louise (Danica Curcic), tackle a notorious biker gang.
One crew – one killer. Andrea (Catherine Walker), a damage regulator from Benthos Oil, is sent out to Rig 45 two days before Christmas to investigate a fatal accident. When starting to investigate, Andrea finds that the crew of the rig is unwilling to talk to her and she has a hard time finding out the truth. Just when the rig is hit by a hurricane and all forms of communication to the mainland is cut off, the crew realize that the accident is in fact a murder, and they now know that they are in real danger. With a murderer amongst them, questions are being asked – who is the killer?
Erik and Nina live the family life in a suburb of Copenhagen while trying to conceal their dramatic past as Denmark’s most notorious criminals. But it’s only a matter of time before Erik and Nina are forced to pair parental meetings, food boxes and house shuttles with their biggest bargain so far.
Set in the icy landscapes of Finnish Lapland, the crime show follows police officer Nina (Iina Kuustonen) and German virologist Thomas Lorenz (Maximilian Brückner) as they investigate a deadly virus discovered on the body of a nearly dead prostitute in an old cabin in the wilderness. Clemens Schick plays the multimillionaire CEO of a pharmaceutical company who has financed Lorenz’s previous work in the field of virology, and Pihla Viitala is cast as Nina’s sister, recovering from drug addiction. Also starring Deadwind’s Pihla Viitala.
The series centres on Detective Jen Rooney (Lynn Rafferty) who investigates the violent death of a young Nigerian migrant found abandoned close to a Direct Provision Centre, where refugees wait for political asylum. Her investigation brings us into a twilight world of the new Ireland where slum landlords and criminals prey on the vulnerable.
A detective is obsessed with catching an armed robber who murdered one of her junior officers, while her new trainee Charlie blames her for the death of his best friend. The story surrounds a share-house of international students, a pair of corrupt shop owners, a grieving widow and a gunman, who all collide, leaving one dead and another missing. Starring Rachel Griffiths.