Strap in for the busiest of all years…
This is going to be ridiculous.
So many shows were halted during production in 2020 because of COVID that it means that 2021 is almost like a double year when it comes to crime drama. Once again, we’ve scoured the internet highways and byways and rinsed our contacts book to try and formulate some sort of gigantic preview for you.
As ever, some of these shows might get pushed back into 2022 and times and dates will undoubtedly change, but for now this is what we have.
And, as you can see, it’s set to be a spectacular – and jam-packed – year.
Charles Sobhraj (Tahar Rahim) was the chief suspect in the unsolved murders of up to 20 young Western travellers across India, Thailand and Nepal’s ‘Hippie Trail’ in 1975 and 1976. Psychopath, con man, thief and master of disguise, having slipped repeatedly from the grasp of authorities worldwide, by 1976 serial killer Sobhraj was Interpol’s most wanted man and had arrest warrants on three different continents. When Herman Knippenberg (Billy Howle), a junior diplomat at the Dutch Embassy in Bangkok, unwittingly walks into Sobhraj’s intricate web of crime, he sets off an extraordinary chain of events that will see Knippenberg seek to bring Sobhraj to justice for his terrible crimes. Also starring Jenna Coleman.
Incoming: Friday 1st January
Baptiste (Series 2)
Tchéky Karyo returns for a new series of The Missing spin-off. The titular detective will delve into Budapest’s corrupt underworld in an attempt to find a British Ambassador’s family, who goes missing on a skiing holiday in the Hungarian mountains. Series two welcomes Fiona Shaw as guest star.
Silent Witness (Series 24)
The explosive conclusion of series 23, in February 2020, shocked audiences with the departure of two of the series’ regular characters: Clarissa Mullery (Liz Carr) and Dr Thomas Chamberlain (Richard Lintern). Series 24 finds Dr Nikki Alexander (Emilia Fox) and Jack Hodgson (David Caves) looking forward to the future. However buried secrets and memories soon surface, and, when ghosts from the past emerge, the two are forced increasingly close to one another. The arrival of Adam Yuen (Jason Wong) disturbs this new dynamic. A confident, bright and keen pathologist who’s constantly striving to be the best, he immediately rubs Nikki and Jack up the wrong way. Will Adam find his own way to fit in and last at the Lyell?
A four-part thriller, Ridley Road tells the story of a young Jewish woman, Vivien Epstein. After falling in love with a member of the 62 Group, she rejects her comfortable middle-class life in Manchester and joins the fight against fascism in London, risking everything for her beliefs and for the man she loves. Inspired by the struggle of the 62 Group, a coalition of Jewish men who stood up against rising neo-Nazism in post-war Britain, Vivien is working with them when she realises that Jack, her missing boyfriend has been badly injured. Vivien infiltrates the NSM, a neo-Nazi movement which is becoming increasingly prominent in London. As Vivien descends further into the fascist organisation her courage and loyalties are challenged.
The mysterious disappearance of a Scottish fishing trawler and a death on-board a Trident nuclear submarine bring the police into conflict with the Navy and British security services. DCI Amy Silva (Suranne Jones) leads an investigation on land and at sea into a conspiracy that threatens the very heart of Britain’s nuclear deterrent. Together with independent health and safety consultants, in full consultation with industry partners, and in accordance with all current government guidelines, the Vigil production team will adhere to comprehensive production protocols to ensure that the series is produced in a safe and responsible manner during this time of global pandemic.
Another Jeff Pope true-crime adaption. The three-part Four Lives (previously titled The Barking Murders) will go beneath the headlines of the Stephen Port case to shed new light on this story by telling it from the point of view of the families of the victims, focusing on their fight to uncover the truth about what had happened to their lost sons and brothers in the face of a now widely criticised police investigation. Stephen Merchant has undergone a bit of a transformation to take the starring role, while Sheridan Smith also appears.
James Nesbitt will star in Bloodlands, a major original crime drama for BBC One, created by Chris Brandon and produced by Jed Mercurio’s production company HTM Television. When a car containing a possible suicide note is pulled out of Strangford Lough, Northern Irish police detective Tom Brannick (Nesbitt) quickly connects it to an infamous cold case with enormous personal significance. Bloodlands follows his dogged hunt for a legendary assassin, an explosive cat-and-mouse game where the stakes have never been higher.
Line Of Duty (Series 6)
One of the most eagerly anticipated crime dramas of the year, the sixth series of Line Of Duty has wrapped filming after COVID delays. In series six, Scottish actress Kelly Macdonald will play Detective Chief Inspector Joanne Davidson, the senior investigating officer of an unsolved murder, whose unconventional conduct raises suspicions at AC-12.
Shetland (Series 6)
Douglas Henshall reprising his role as DI Jimmy Perez alongside series regulars Alison O’Donnell and Steven Robertson. Not much is known about the plot, but with two new series commissioned, it’s safe to say that Shetland will be around for a little while longer yet.
The three-part Jimmy McGovern series stars Sean Bean, Stephen Graham, Siobhan Finneran, Sue Johnston and Hannah Walters. Bean takes on the role of Mark Hebden, a teacher, husband and father, who killed an innocent man in an accident. Consumed by guilt, he accepts and even welcomes his four-year sentence. Separated from his family, he has no idea what to expect in this unforgiving new environment and needs to learn quickly how to survive.
Created by Stephen Moffatt, this four-part mini-series tells the story of a prisoner on death row in the US and a woman trapped in a cellar under an English vicarage, who cross paths in the most unexpected way…
The mini-series will trace the life of Jimmy Savile, a man who rose from working-class origins to become one of the biggest stars of British television, but in death has become one of the most reviled figures of modern history. The story will trace Savile through his early years in the dance halls of northern England, his career with the BBC, to his twilight years when, in failing health and with his fame in decline, he sought to dispel the growing rumours about his life and the legacy he would leave behind.
The Sixth Commandment
From writer Sarah Phelps, this true-crime adaptation tells the story of how the meeting of an inspirational teacher, Peter Farquhar, and a charismatic young student, Ben Field, who bonded over their love of books and involvement with the Church of England, set the stage for one of the most complex and confounding criminal cases in recent memory. It also focuses on how suspicions around Ben’s relationship with Peter’s deeply religious neighbour Ann Moore-Martin, also targeted by Field, unlocked a series of stunning revelations, culminating in a headline-grabbing trial.
Peaky Blinders (Series 6)
We’re expecting series six of Steven Knight’s gangland opus to air some time towards the back end of the year. No details yet…
Claire Wilson, a popular young high school English teacher, has an affair with an 17-year-old student, Eric Walker. The miniseries explores the complexities and consequences of Wilson’s abusive coercion of her student. Starring Kate Mara.
Incoming: Sunday 3rd January
This Danish series follows the complex investigation carried out by Jens Møller, the Head of Homicide for the Copenhagen Police, surrounding the murder of Swedish journalist Kim Wall. Søren Malling leads the cast as Jens Møller, alongside Pilou Asbæk as the prosecutor Jakob Buch-Jepsen and Pernilla August and Rolf Lassgård as Kim Wall’s parents, Ingrid and Joachim Wall.
The North Water
Stephen Graham, Tom Courtenay and Peter Mullan are among the names joining Colin Farrell and Jack O’Connell in Andrew Haigh’s forthcoming adaptation of The North Water. The North Water tells the story of Patrick Sumner (O’Connell), a disgraced ex-army surgeon who signs up as ship’s doctor on a whaling expedition to the Arctic. Onboard he meets the harpooner Henry Drax (Farrell), a brutish killer whose amorality has been shaped to fit the harshness of his world. Hoping to escape the horrors of his past, Sumner finds himself in a male-dominated world, on an ill-fated journey with a murderous psychopath. In search of redemption, his story becomes a harsh struggle for survival in the Arctic wasteland. The North Water is set in Hull and the ice floes of the Arctic in the late 1850s.
Impeachment: American Crime Story (Series 3)
Written by Sarah Burgess, Impeachment: American Crime Story unravels the national scandal that swept up Paula Jones, Monica Lewinsky and Linda Tripp as principal characters in the country’s first impeachment proceedings in over a century. It features a stellar cast starring Emmy and Golden Globe Award winner Sarah Paulson as Linda Tripp, Beanie Feldstein as Monica Lewinsky, and Annaleigh Ashford as Paula Jones.
Spiral (Series 8)
Series eight is now with us, finally, with Caroline Proust – as well as Audrey Fleurot and Thierry Godard – confirmed to return for a 10-episode series. It’s been confirmed that rapper Kool Shen is also to appear in this eighth series.
Incoming: Saturday 2nd January
Man In Room 301 (Huone 301)
Man In Room 301 tells the story of the Kurtti family, whose lives irrevocably hanged when two-year-old Tommi was killed by a gunshot. Whilst on their family holiday in Greece 12 years later, they come across a man that looks just like the boy’s alleged killer. It’s written by British writer, Kate Ashfield.
We’re expecting some new Beck episodes this year, after it was announced that four new films were made in 2019 and 2020. The new films, 39-42 in the series, pick up right where the Beck team left off last time. Martin Beck (Peter Haber) is now top brass and Alexandra Beijer (Jennie Silfverhjelm) heads up the team, side-by-side with her colleagues Steinar Hovland (Kristofer Hivju), Oskar Bergman (Måns Nathanaelson), Ayda Cetin (Elmira Arikan) and Jenny Bodén (Anna Asp). Martin’s daughter (Rebecka Hemse) and The Neighbour (Ingvar Hirdwall) are also returning by popular demand.
Darkness: Those Who Kill (Den som dræber) (Series 2)
The filming for the new season has now completed. Once again, it is a dark, psychological crime, where viewers will follow uncompromising profiler Louise (Natalie Madueño) in the hunt for a serial killer – this time accompanied by the actors Helle Fagralid, Solbjerg Højfeldt and the Norwegian actress Tobias Santelmann.
Vera (Series 11)
The 11th series of Vera opens when the body of well-respected local builder, Jim Tullman, is found beaten to death on the steps of the Collingwood Monument. DCI Vera Stanhope (Brenda Blethyn) questions how such a seemingly beloved and imposing figure could be attacked so viciously. The mystery deepens when she discovers that Tullman was due to testify in court as the key witness in a violent assault. Could these two crimes be connected? As Vera delves deeper into Jim Tullman’s life she discovers unresolved bitterness between his estranged wife Barbara and doting son John Paul, while tensions with old family friends Gary and Lesley Clayton threaten to spill over. Vera must see through the web of family grievances, jealousies and lies to ensure justice is done.
Endeavour (Series 8)
No plot news is out there just yet, but we are expecting the eighth series either in 2021 or early 2022. Showrunner, Russell Lewis, said on Twitter: “We’re thrilled ITV has asked #TeamEndeavour to continue to add to the Casebook of Colin Dexter’s immortal creation, and take E. Morse and Oxford’s Finest into a new decade of decimalisation, package holidays, the Oil Crisis, Blackouts, Three Day Weeks, and Europa Endlos.”
Based on the hit Belgian series of the same name, Professor T is set against the stunning backdrop of one of the world’s most prestigious educational institutions, Cambridge University. The unique crime series is centred around the eccentric, but brilliant Criminology Professor Jasper Tempest, played by Ben Miller, who suffers with OCD and has a tortured past.
Marcella (Series 3)
Following on from the dramatic conclusion of the previous series, the new eight-parter sees Marcella in Belfast as an undercover detective. She has taken on a new identity, Keira, and has infiltrated the infamous Maguire crime family but as she investigates their activities, questions come to the fore about how much she’s embraced the Keira personality and left Marcella behind. In true Marcella style, we’re told the series has interweaving storylines with strands focusing upon the Maguires’ criminal operations. As she inhabits the character of Keira, Marcella’s quest for the truth puts her in danger and others in harm’s way. Her undercover role makes her take risks, but will her old life eventually catch up with her?
The Pembrokeshire Murders
The drama is adapted from the true-crime book Catching the Bullseye Killer, written by Senior Investigating Officer Steve Wilkins and ITV news journalist Jonathan Hill. Luke Evans takes the role of Steve Wilkins. Two unsolved double murders from the 1980s cast a shadow over the work of the Dyfed Powys police force. In 2006, newly promoted Detective Superintendent Wilkins decided to reopen both cases. Employing pioneering forensic methods, Wilkins and his handpicked team found microscopic DNA and fibres that potentially linked the murders to a string of burglaries committed in the 80s and 90s. The perpetrator of those robberies was nearing the end of his prison sentence, but if Steve Wilkins was right, he was also a serial killer… Could Steve and his team find enough forensic evidence to charge their suspect before he was released to potentially kill again?
Incoming: Monday 11th January
John Simm stars as tenacious detective Roy Grace, alongside Richie Campbell, who takes the role of DS Glenn Branson and Rakie Ayola as ACC Vosper. The first film, Dead Simple, opens with Grace running enquiries into long-forgotten cold cases with little or no prospect of success. He’s fixated by the disappearance of his beloved wife, Sandy, which haunts his thoughts. His unorthodox police methods have come under scrutiny once again and Grace is walking a career tightrope and risks being moved from the job he loves most. With so much at stake, his colleague Detective Sergeant Glenn Branson knows he has more to give and asks him for help with a case. When a stag night prank appears to go wrong and the groom goes missing, Branson calls upon Grace to unravel events that led to the mysterious disappearance three days before his wedding to his beautiful fiancé.
Incoming: Early 2021
The Bay (Series 2)
In the show’s second series, Lisa Armstrong is at a low ebb: forced to do menial police work whilst she watches Med go from strength to strength. But a new case involving a shocking murder within a loving family brings Lisa unexpectedly back into the front line. She must get under the skin of a new family and prove her worth; to her colleagues, to her family and to herself. Joining the cast for the show’s second season is Joe Absolom, James Cosmo, Stephen Tomkinson, Sharon Small, Sunetra Sarker, Owen McDonnell, Steven Robertson, Amy James-Kelly, Kerrie Taylor, Wendy Kweh, Julia Haworth and Jack Archer.
Innocent (Series 2)
Katherine Kelly returns for Innocent II, which focuses upon the scandal that rocked the small Cumbrian town of Keswick in 2015 involving schoolteacher, Sally Wright, who was alleged to be having an affair with her 16-year-old pupil, Matty Taylor. When Matty is found dead, brutally stabbed with a broken cider bottle, suspicion falls upon Sally who had admitted to taking a special interest in the boy. In spite of having no criminal record, no history of violence and vehemently protesting her innocence and the fact she couldn’t be placed at the remote beauty spot on the day Matty was found murdered, Sally was convicted by a majority verdict and sentenced to a minimum of 15 years in jail.
Based on an idea by Fleabag and Emmy award-winning director, Harry Bradbeer, and co-created and written by Edgar award-winner Ed Whitmore, the gripping five-part drama follows a tense police surveillance investigation into a tight-knit Manchester community and explores whether it is ever possible to observe the lives of others with true objectivity and zero effect. Noel Clarke plays surveillance detective DC Martin Young, who sets up his observation post in the home of single mum and secret voyeur, Zoe Sterling, played by Alexandra Roach. Zoe’s windows command a panoramic view of Westbury Square, and more importantly provides a direct sightline into the home of missing primary school teacher, Gemma Hillman; the home she shares with boyfriend and prime suspect in her disappearance, Greg Sullivan.
Unforgotten (Series 4)
The fourth series opens with the discovery of a dismembered body in a scrap metal yard, which the team believe has been stored in a domestic freezer for 30 years. A unique Millwall Football Club tattoo leads to the victim being identified as Matthew Walsh, a young man in his mid-twenties who went missing in March 1990. Sheila Hancock, Susan Lynch, Phaldut Sharma, Liz White, Andy Nyman, Clare Calbraith and Lucy Speed join the cast.
Too Close focuses on the compelling and dangerous relationship between forensic psychiatrist Dr Emma Robertson (Emily Watson) who is assigned to work with Connie Mortensen (Denise Gough) a woman accused of a heinous crime but who claims she can’t remember a thing. Dr Robertson is not easily shocked. She’s worked with her fair share of high-security patients. However, when she’s sent to assess Connie for trial the two women become dangerously close. Connie has a searing insight into Emma’s deepest insecurities and starts to brutally exploit them. Their sessions become a complex psychological game with confusing undercurrents. Emma tries to understand Connie and her complicated relationship with her beautiful best friend, Ness Jones (Thalissa Teixeira), which seems to have made her snap. But as Emma tries to uncover the truth and learn what triggered Connie’s despicable behaviour, it seems that her attempts to see justice done may destroy her instead.
McDonalds & Dodds (Series 2)
The new series sees Tala Gouveia and Jason Watkins reprise their roles as the smart and ambitious DCI McDonald and the humble, and quietly brilliant DS Dodds in three new murder mysteries. They are joined in the first film by guest cast members Rob Brydon, Rupert Graves, Martin Kemp, Patsy Kensit and Cathy Tyson. Returning cast includes James Murray as Chief Superintendent Houseman, Jack Riddiford as DC Darren Craig with Lily Sacofsky joining as DC Milena Pachiorkowski.
Manhunt II: The Night Stalker
Manhunt II: The Night Stalker, a four-part drama, is the real-life story of the police pursuit of a notorious serial rapist, whose 17-year reign of terror left thousands of elderly people in south-east London living in fear. It is based on the diaries of Colin Sutton and once again stars Martin Clunes.
Our House tells the story of Fiona Lawson who arrives home one day to find strangers moving into her house. With all her family’s possessions and furniture nowhere to be seen, Fi believes there’s been a huge mistake and insists her home isn’t for sale. With events spiralling beyond her control, we feel her panic rising as she can’t reach estranged husband, Bram. As she reflects upon the safe space in which she and her family had made a life together, Fi begins to peel back the layers of her relationship and discovers her husband has also disappeared. With her life shattered, she realises the secrets and lies have only just begun, but her husband isn’t the only one with things to hide.
The Long Call
Based on Ann Cleeves’ novels (the creator of Vera and Shetland), we first meet the reserved, but intense Matthew Venn outside the local church as his father’s funeral takes place. Sadly, the day Matthew turned his back on the strict evangelical community in which he grew up, he lost his family too. Now he’s back, not just to mourn his father at a distance, but to take charge of his first major murder. A body has been found on the beach near to Matthew’s new home: a man with the tattoo of an albatross on his neck, has been stabbed to death. Through Venn and his team’s investigation, we are introduced to a wonderfully rich ensemble of characters, in a compelling crime story which captures the stark beauty of the North Devon coastline, and a community where murder and intrigue bubble beneath the surface.
The Yorkshire Ripper
The drama will depict one of the most notorious and shocking serial killer cases in the world – the hunt for Peter Sutcliffe, dubbed the Yorkshire Ripper, between October 1975 and January 1981, police undertook the biggest manhunt in British criminal history. The search for Sutcliffe lasted five years, involved over a thousand officers and changed the way the British police worked forever. Written by acclaimed screenwriter George Kay, The Yorkshire Ripper (w/t) is a true-crime drama which will follow the desperate, cat and mouse hunt for Sutcliffe focusing upon the police investigation and the lives of the victims who fatally crossed his path.
The contemporary drama focuses upon an idyllic family holiday to Turkey which turns into a living nightmare for Kathy, played by Sheridan Smith, and her husband Martin when they are left desperately fighting for their 16 year old son’s freedom after he’s accused of a serious crime.
Angela Black’s life appears idyllic: a lovely house in suburban London, days working as a volunteer at the dogs’ home, two wonderful sons and a charismatic, hard-working husband, Olivier (Michiel Huisman). However, beneath this façade of charmed domesticity, Angela is also the victim of domestic abuse. Trapped in a relationship she cannot escape, Angela is approached out of the blue by Ed (Samuel Adewunmi), a private investigator, who spills Olivier’s darkest secrets. When faced with some horrifying truths about her husband, a stunned Angela is left reeling. Can she really trust Ed? Can she leave behind her life as she knows it and finally free herself from Olivier? With one encounter, Angela’s life switches from school runs and the dogs’ home to private detectives and buried secrets as she risks everything she holds dear to fight back against the man who has suppressed and tormented her for most of her life.
Incoming: Early 2021
Fargo (Series 4)
This instalment sees Chris Rock star alongside Jason Schwartzman, Ben Whishaw, Jessie Buckley, Jack Huston, and Timothy Olyphant. Series four is set in 1950 in Kansas City. The locale serves as the crossroads and collisions of two migrations — Southern Europeans from countries like Italy, and African Americans who left the south in great numbers to escape Jim Crow, both fighting for a piece of the American dream. In Kansas City, two criminal syndicates — one Italian, led by Donatello Fadda, one African American, led by Loy Cannon (Rock) — have struck an uneasy peace, which the heads of both families have cemented by trading their youngest sons.
The drama follows affluent, high-flying married couple Rebecca and Sam, whose idyllic lives are shattered after a break-in by two local teenagers, Tommy and Syed, at their luxurious coastal house. Family Liason Officer Bailey becomes embroiled in the ensuing investigation, with those involved heading down a dangerous path of cover-up, corruption and murder. Elaine Cassidy plays Rebecca; Tom Meeten her husband Sam; Helen Behan their friend and confidante Angela; Pauline Quirke is Bailey, whilst television newcomers Adam Richardson and Sonny Poon Tip are Tommy and Syed respectively.
The series stars Jill Halfpenny as Jodie, a mother still recovering from the loss of her son who went missing eight years ago. When she encounters Daniel (Cody Molko), she is convinced he is her son. But her fixation threatens to collapse the life she’s painstakingly rebuilt, as it leads her down a dangerous and morally dubious path. In Jodie’s way stands Daniel’s impassive and protective father, Mark (Rupert-Penry-Jones). Jodie has a strained relationship with her mother Lynn (Deborah Findlay), which means her only sibling Jason (Jonas Armstrong) is also her only shoulder to lean on. Meanwhile, Jason is on the cusp of a huge promotion at his law firm.
Starring Gwyneth Keyworth (Hidden/Craith, Black Mirror, The Crown) and Richard Harrington (Hinterland/Y Gwyll), Fflam (Flame) has been adapted from an original story by Gwenno Hughes who, along with Pip Broughton and Catrin Evans, is part of the team of writers who have scripted the drama.
Life is good for Noni and Deniz (Memet Ali Alabora) as they renovate their farmhouse and look forward to the future. Noni’s best friend Malan (Mali Ann Rees) and Deniz’s sister Ekin (Pinar Ogun), are also full of hope as their plans to have a child together become possible with Deniz agreeing to be a donor so he can be the father of their child.
The future looks bright until Noni sees a ghost from her past – her husband Tom, who was killed in a terrible fire in Edinburgh – or a man who looks very much like him.
Will Noni be able to resist temptation – or will she consider rekindling the relationship?
Starring Hannah Daniel (Hinterland, Keeping Faith) in the lead role, the six-part Bregus is inspired by true events, and is a character lead drama, which is about how a group of friends grapple with change as their lives are thrown off kilter.
To most people, Ellie Davies, devoted wife, loving mother and successful surgeon seems to have it all – the perfect life. But even the strongest of relationships and age old friendships can disappear overnight when secrets, lies and deceit come to the surface.
This is the story of what happens when that day arrives, when tragedy strikes and unleashes demons in Ellie that not only threaten the facade of the life, she and her close friends think they know, but threaten the core of her sanity.
Yr Amgueddfa (The Museum)
From 35 Diwrnod’s Fflur Dafydd, Yr Amgueddfa (The Museum) is based at the National Museum of Wales in Cardiff takes us into the dark and dangerous world of art crime.
Dela Howells (Nia Roberts) is a successful woman, a loyal wife to Alun (Steffan Rhodri) and a loving mother to two children Daniel (Samuel Morgan-Davies) and Mags (Mared Jarman). She has just accepted a position as director-general of the museum and life is good.
On the same night as celebrating her new job at a museum party, she meets Caleb (Steffan Cennydd) who has come as a guest to his gay son Daniel. Dela is completely captivated by Caleb and falls into a furious relationship with him. But a robbery is taking place at the Museum and Dela discovers that Caleb has been drawn to his arms for the purpose of finding some of the museum’s hidden treasures.
Dela’s situation is rapidly deteriorating as she is absorbed into a pool of villains around the city of Cardiff.
Judge Michael Desiato (Bryan Cranston) after his son kills another young man in a hit-and-run. The trouble is, the deceased man is the son of New Orleans crime boss Jimmy Baxter. This incident “leads to a high-stakes game of lies, deceit and impossible choices” as Desiato tries to protect his own son.
Bulletproof: South Africa
Noel Clarke and Ashley Walters return as Bishop and Pike for a special three-part outing for the wisecracking London cops. Having spent two seasons bringing the series’ trademark cinematic action to the streets of London, this time the boys are heading overseas to dive deep undercover in a brand new case. Taking a much-deserved holiday in South Africa, the pair are ready for some sun, sea and serenity. Unfortunately for them, the rest and relaxation will have to wait as they get swept up in an underworld conspiracy involving the kidnapping of a young girl.
Based on the novel ZeroZeroZero by Roberto ‘Gamorra’ Saviano, the series follows the buyers, sellers and brokers who drive the frenzied and lethal world of international drug trafficking. Filmed across three continents (North America, Europe and Africa) and in six languages (English, Spanish, Italian, French, Wolof and Arabic), the eight-episode series revolves around the violent Mexican cartels, power-hungry Calabrian ‘Ndrangheta and corrupt American businessmen who are all competing for supremacy over the
world’s cocaine trade.
Olivia Colman plays Susan Edwards, who along with her husband Christopher, was convicted of killing her parents and burying them in the garden of their Mansfield home. According to Sky, the show is “based on extensive research, hours of interviews and direct access to the accused, who have always protested their innocence of murder”.
As a teenager, Assane Diop’s life was turned upside down when his father died after being accused of a crime he didn’t commit. 25 years later, Assane will use “Arsène Lupin, Gentleman Burglar” as his inspiration to avenge his father.
Incoming: Friday 8th January
Top Boy (Series 4)
No plot details are available yet for this fourth series of Top Boy – the second on Netflix – but if it’s anything like as good as the third, we’re in for a treat. Ashley Walters and Kano return.
Now decamped to Netflix, series three of Trapped is called Entrapped. Netflix says that Entrapped will pick up two years after the ending of the second season: the police duo Andri and Hinrika, get drawn into a war in the remote highlands, where two rival groups fight over specific pieces of land, but for very different reasons.
The neopagan and peaceful sect, The Extended Family, led by its founder and spiritual leader Oddur (Egill Ólafsson) has raised camp on the land, see the land as sacred and want to be close to their heathen Gods. A group of Icelandic bikers, led by an angry young man, Gunnar (Haraldur Stefánsson), also claim the ‘sacred site’. In order to take ownership of the land, he calls for backup and soon a group of Danish bikers arrive by ferry, led by the Danish leader, Hopper (Bo Larsen). The clash of the two groups leads to the death of a young man, Ivar (Auðunn Lúthersson). It turns out that Ivar was not unknown to Andri, so he feels obliged to join Hinrika in the North to investigate the murder case.
Anatomy of a Scandal
A TV anthology series that looks into various public scandals over the years and comes from the creator of HBO’s Big Little Lies. The first season is about a sexual consent scandal and is currently set to star Michelle Dockery, Rupert Friend, and Sienna Miller.
Bordertown: The Mural Murders (Sorjonen)
After the final, third series, this Finnish drama will return as a one-off film on Netflix and sees Kari Sorjonen chases his arch enemy, Lasse Maasalo. The movie is set against the backdrop of a social media voting contest in which people have voted on without whom the country would be better off. When three of the most-voted people disappear, Sorjonen is asked to come back to work to investigate the hate crimes.
The Chestnut Man (Kastanjemanden)
Based on the novel of the same name written by Søren Sveistrup, creator of crime series gamechanger The Killing, The Chestnut Man is the highly anticipated psychological thriller of two detectives Naia Thulin (Danica Curcic) and Mark Hess (Mikkel Boe Følsgaard) who team up to solve the mysterious case of a woman found brutally murdered on a playground. Soon there are more deaths and with each of the bodies the murderer has left a chestnut man.
After the tragic death of his parents, high school graduate Jonas lives with his grandfather on a North Sea island. It is a time of new beginnings, the time of the first great love. The arrival of the new, young German teacher Helena turns Jonas’ life completely upside down. She recognizes and encourages his writing talent and uses this trust to build an intimate relationship with him. Little does Jonas suspect that Helena is pursuing a deadly plan. Black Island is a multi-layered thriller that tells of the fateful relationship between a student and his teacher.
Young Wallander (Series 2)
We don’t know much about the plot, but Young Wallander 2 is happening this year. If all goes to plan, we should get this later in 2021.
The One is set five minutes in the future, in a world where a DNA test can find your perfect partner – the one person you’re genetically predisposed to fall passionately in love with. No matter how good your relationship, which one of us can honestly say we haven’t thought about whether there is someone better out there? What if a hair sample is all it takes to find them? The idea is simple, but the implications are explosive. We will never think of love and relationships in the same way again. Adapted from the novel by John Marrs.
Behind Her Eyes
From the studio behind The Crown (Left Bank Pictures) comes this new psychological thriller adapted from the novel by Sarah Pinborough, which features the talents of Simona Brown, Eve Hewson, and Tom Bateman.
You (Series 3)
The serial killer drama was another COVID casualty this year, but should be back in 2021. The streaming giant confirmed that it had begun production, which means it’ll probably be on our screens at the end of the year.
Ozark’s Julia Garner plays the role of a con-artist who was able to swindle money out of New York’s elite. The series itself is based on the New York Magazine article that chronicled her five-year long-con.
Pieces Of Her
Based on the 2018 novel by Karin Slaughter, this series stars Toni Collette, Bella Heathcote, and David Wenham. Pieces of Her follows a woman who is caught up in a deadly mass shooting in a diner and witnessing her mother swooping in to save the day.
Ozark (Series 4)
The expanded season of Ozark will feature 14 episodes, streaming in two blocks of seven episodes each. Though an exact premiere date had not been announced as of December 2020, expect the first block of new episodes to come in 2021. (The second block could be delayed until 2022.)
All The Sins
All The Sins (Kaikki synnit) begins in classic Nordic Noir with a body winched upside down in a barn as a shadowy assassin draws a knife seemingly to dispatch the victim. But, diverging from the Nordic Noir playbook, we never see the corpse. After a 10-year absence, Detective Lauri Räiha (Johannes Holopainen) is dispatched to investigate the murders of two men, both pillars of the ultra-conservative Laestadian religious community, in Varjakka, a small northern Finnish town where he grew up. He is accompanied by a senior officer, Sanna Tervo (Maria Sid). But why does Räiha have such huge anger-management issues, seething, white knuckles clenched, in a therapy class, after hitting his boyfriend? And why does Tervo feel compelled to sleep with the first man she meets, and the second? It is these character mysteries which, as much as the murders, which transforms “All the Sins” into compulsive viewing.
Rebecka Martinsson: Arctic Murders (Series 2)
Series two sees Engvoll replaced by Sascha Zacharias in the lead role. Several years have passed and Rebecka’s anxieties about truly fitting in and whether she made the right choice have worsened. As a distraction, she throws herself head-first into work to solve gruesome crimes in the area.
Incoming: Friday 8th January, 9pm, More4
A young girl is missing, and her boyfriend dead. Police inspector Hedda Hersoug is back in her birthplace to live a quiet life, but is forced to work with the solitaire superintendent Joel Dreyer hunting down a serial killer. Starring Ingvild Holthe Bygdnes.
Incoming: From Sunday 3rd January, Channel 4/All4
Deutschland 89 (Series 3)
The hotly anticipated final instalment in the Deutschland trilogy is here! The fall of the Berlin wall sends Eastern superspy Martin’s life into turmoil; he must now reinvent himself in the face of a new world order.
The eight-part series is an original prequel to the stories written by A.C. Baantjer, the most successful Dutch book franchise of all time. Set in the city in the 1980s, Detective Judd Cox has just been promoted to the roughest department within the capital’s police force. Along with his new partner Montijn, the pair are investigating a murder case that leads to plans of an attack which would occur on the coronation day of Princess Beatrix. The duo must do everything in their power to stop such an attack.
Based on a true story, a Sicilian Prosecutor in the 1990s with a killer instinct for tracking down top Mafiosi soon becomes known as ‘The Hunter.’ But success will come at huge personal cost.
Moscow, the city of big money, passion and dangerous intrigues. A young woman is drawn into a game of wealthy matchmaking, but finds that behind all the luxurious clothes and jewellery lies something much darker.
Starring Rosario Dawson, Briarpatch updates the pulp fiction genre for a new era and follows the determined and no-nonsense detective, Allegra Dill (Dawson), who returns to her quirky hometown after her sister is murdered.
Incoming: Wednesday 13th January
Murdoch Mysteries (Series 14)
The Canadian golden-age crime drama returns. In the opening episode, titled Murdoch And The Tramp, a Victoria Day carnival turns sour after a man falls to his death beside vaudeville impresario Obie Stratford. As Murdoch and Crabtree investigate, they meet Charlie Chaplin, a cocksure Englishman, who says the victim was an insult comic who tussled the previous night with performer Ed Ward. Ward claims Chaplin’s friend Stan Laurel was also miffed and there was an argument in the hotel. But as the investigation proceeds, Murdoch suspects the intended victim was actually Mr Chaplin. Meanwhile, Brackenreid, Margaret and his daughter Nomi seem comfortable as a family. And Higgins is elated that Ruth is in a family way.
Incoming: Monday 18th January
Ian Porter, a British diplomat in Tajikistan, finds himself caught up in a web of espionage and deceit as he tries to prevent terrorists trading a nuclear bomb which previously belonged to the Soviet Union. When Scotland Yard uncover Porter’s connections with the Russian mafia, the deal is threatened, forcing the terrorists to stop at nothing to get what they want.
Traces (Series 2)
The show’s second season will continue to delve into the world of forensic science, as the women of SIFA carefully analyse traces of evidence to help get to the bottom of who’s behind a series of cruel bombings in Dundee. The city is on edge as the pressure rises to identify the mystery bomber before the next bomb goes off.
We Hunt Together (Series 2)
Eve Myles and Babou Ceesay return for the second series, which picks up 10 months after the dramatic finale, with a potential new accomplice on the scene and another game of obsession, murder and love to get underway.
My Life Murder (Series 2)
The new, 10-part series moves from Melbourne to Auckland in New Zealand and is currently in pre-production, and welcomes back Lucy Lawless alongside her series one cohort Ebony Vagulans. Lawless stars as private investigator Alexa Crowe, who brings her unique brand of investigation to an unsuspecting New Zealand. Alexa finds herself entangled in compelling new murder mysteries centred on fascinating and dangerous characters who will challenge, flirt with and frustrate Alexa… and sometimes threaten everything she cares about. There may be new friends and locations to explore, but Alexa’s life is still very much murder. Ably assisted by exuberant Madison, Alexa is ready to use her powers for good and bring her always surprising sleuthing style back at full force in this charming, humorous series.
The series stars Kjell Bergqvist as the titular alcoholic, corrupt detective who must solve a case where it appears a woman has died twice… spanning from Sweden to Thailand, with natural disasters, human violence, and everything in between on the table, will Evert Bäckström get to the truth?
Based on the much-loved novels The Whitstable Pearl Mystery and Disappearance at Oare by Julie Wassmer, this new six-part series stars Kerry Godliman (Save Me, After Life) in the lead role as Pearl Nolan. Whitstable Pearl explores the dark undercurrents of murder and debauchery swirling beneath the surface of the picturesque 16th century English seaside town of Whitstable, famous for its native oysters and buffeted by the prevailing winds and spray of the North Sea. Pearl is the chef-proprietor of the eponymous Whitstable Pearl restaurant which she runs alongside her son, Charlie, waitress Ruby, and in spite of her mother Dolly. She is also the proprietor of a newly-formed detective agency, finally putting her distant police-training to good use. When Pearl discovers the body of Vinnie, a close family friend, she takes it upon herself to investigate what she believes to be murder. Standing in the way of her detective work is DCI Mike McGuire, the new Kent police chief who has transferred from London in an attempt to escape from his past. Pearl and Mike clash at first, but then Mike becomes the only other person to share Pearl’s belief that Vinnie was murdered. When a second body shows up, Pearl finds herself pulled into the dark underbelly of this picturesque town. The British seaside holiday will never be the same again.
Thin Blue Line (Tunna Blå Linjen)
Starring Anna Sise (Blinded) and Gizem Erdogan (Caliphate) it tells the story of the everyday life, both on and off the job, of six police officers with different backgrounds and experience. The series is described as being set in a fictitious Malmö but with a high level of authenticity in the interaction of individuals and society in the multicultural and multifaceted city.
Incoming: Sunday 17th January
A spin-off of the Irene Huss series of films (2007-2011), but this time we follow the daughter Katarina Huss (Karin Franz-Körlof) over five films as she starts her career in the police force. She is ambitious but soon comes up against corruption and betrayal. At the same time she’s having a complicated relationship with her mother over her chosen career.
Snow Angels (Snöänglar)
As a disruptive snowstorm hits Stockholm the day before Christmas an infant boy inexplicably disappears from his home. Experienced police officer Alice senses that something is wrong in the young parents’ story and finds that a nurse has also expressed concern about the baby’s wellbeing. Alice becomes obsessed with the case and suspicions mount against the boy’s mother. In the cast we find Eva Melander (Border), Josefin Asplund (Top Dog) and Ardalan Esmaili (Grey Zone).
Easy Money (Snabba cash)
The series was created by scriptwriter Oskar Söderlund and Jens Lapidus, author of the novels the Easy Money film trilogy was based on. The series is set 10 years after the events of the films and continues the clash of the entrepreneurial elite and the criminal underworld. This time the story has a female perspective with Evin Ahmad (Quicksand) playing the lead role as single mother Leya who is constantly under pressure and ready to do anything to succeed with her start-up venture.
When Crying Wolf
The Bridge creator Hans Rosenfeldt is to get his first solo novel – after six crime novels penned with Michael Hjorth – When Crying Wolf is set in Haparanda, Sweden’s nearly subarctic border region with Finland, where human remains are found inside a wolf. Police officer Hannah Wester traces them to a drug deal that went wrong in Finland.
Agatha Christie’s Sven Hjerson
Johan Rheborg will play Sven Hjerson and Hanna Alström will play his ‘sidekick’ Klara Sandberg, a former trash TV producer who successfully pitches a true-life crime show starring Hjerson, who will solve a real crime each week.
White Sands (Hvide Sande)
White Sands is a light crime about a female, Danish undercover expert and a male, German homicide detective who are secretly sent to a small seaside town to solve the killing of a young German man while pretending to be married.
The Unlikely Murderer
The Unlikely Murderer is a fictional dramatisation of how Stig Engström, a graphic designer presumed to be the murderer of Swedish prime minister Olof Palme, managed to elude justice right up to his death by virtue of a combination of audacity, luck and a perplexed police force.
Deadwind/Karppi (Series 3)
Not much is known about the plot of Deadwind (Karppi), but we’re expecting it on YLE in Finland and then Netflix everywhere else.
Furia is a political thriller by Gjermund Stenberg Eriksen (Mammon) that takes a look at the violent and disturbing world of right-wing extremism in Norway and Europe. Police officer Asgeir (Pål Sverre Hagen) has moved to a small town in beautiful western Norway to get away from his dark past, but a shocking murder means he is confronted with it again as the investigation leads him to chef Ragna (Ine Marie Willmann), an undercover cop who has infiltrated a nationalistic subculture filled with hatred and spanning borders.
Wisting (Series 2)
Sven Nordin will reprise his lead role and the second season, which is set to air in the Nordic region on Viaplay in spring 2021. The second season sees Larvik detective William Wisting (Sven Nordin) taking on two of the most challenging cases of his career. He first faces a race against time to hunt down an escaped killer before the latter can strike again, and then has to solve the macabre mystery behind an unknown woman’s head placed on a spike in the centre of Larvik.
Stella Blómkvist (Series 2)
Iceland, Síminn TV
Set two years after the events in the Ministry that changed the political landscape of Iceland, Season Two of Stella Blómkvist finds our eponymous character back to her old tricks – defending criminals and hustling her way through the court system. Meanwhile, Stella’s ex-lover/current Prime Minister Dagbjört is causing massive social upheaval with her war chest full of money from China. This is a changed world, and not to everyone’s liking. But when a series of new cases demand Stella’s attention, she will have her wits, her sense of justice, and even her belief in herself, truly tested. And of course – there will be diabolical murders to solve.
Iceland, Síminn TV
It follows three women who are forced to face the horrors of their past after the remains of a 13-year-old girl are discovered 25 years after her mysterious disappearance. Sisterhood also centres on Vera, a newly-promoted investigator who is assigned the case, and explores how the three women have gone through their lives carrying the heavy burden of guilt which has marked them all in different ways since their teenage years. Lilja Nótt Þórarinsdóttir, Jóhanna Friðrika Sæmundsdóttir and Ilmur Kristjánsdóttir have been named as the three leads.
Faroe Islands, KVF/Viaplay
The first crime series from the Faroe Islands to enter into the Noir game. It’s an adaptation by Torfinnur Jákupsson of Jógvan Isaksen’s Walpurgis Tide. When the body of an animal rights activist is discovered amongst the dead whales after a traditional hunt, a representative of Guardians of the Sea, the organisation the victim worked for, asks journalist Hannis Martinsson investigate the grizzly murder that shocks the small nation where old friends suddenly become possible suspects. With filming planned for March to June, the previously announced autumn release should be manageable.
KVF and Viaplay, autumn
Beau Séjour (Series 2)
Former commander of the Navy Maurice (Gene Bervoets) sees his own body hanging from the mast of the sailing boat Beau Séjour. When he wakes up soaking wet on the beach, he notices that no one can hear or see him. Moments later he learns that he is dead – suicide. Maurice cannot believe this. What is going on? That his family would rather lose him than get rich, is evident from the careless, sometimes downright cold reactions of his three daughters (Greet Verstraete, Emilie De Roo, Lize Feryn) and ex-wife (Katelijne Verbeke) to his death. Maurice begins to investigate his own death. And then he discovers that there are some ‘seers’, people who can still see him and who he can talk to… but why these people?
Incoming: Sunday 31st January
New Gold Mountain
New Gold Mountain tells the untold story of the Australian gold rush from the perspective of Chinese miners who risked everything for a chance at unlikely fortune in a new land. Inspired by real life, the series follows a group of compelling characters brought together by a mysterious murder and takes an unprecedented look into the wild west era of the Australian gold rush.
Copping It Black
The beauty of Indigenous art and the sometimes-devious practices in the global art market take Detective Toni Alma on an epic hunt for a killer. Spanning her small Northern Territory community and art galleries across the globe, this is a murder mystery like no other, exploring culture, community and the very human pursuit of identity and belonging.
Incoming: Late 2021
The Tailings is a murder mystery set against one of the most fragile, beautiful landscapes in Australia, the west coast of Tasmania, and celebrates the tenacity and pride of regional communities rarely seen on screen.
Incoming: Late 2021
After 32 years of working as a border patrol agent, Ben Clemens is forced to work for the people he spent his career trying to keep out of America. Starring Michael Chiklis.
Incoming: Thursday 7th January
Set in 1993, a year after the events of The Silence of the Lambs, the series serves as a deep dive into the untold personal story of Clarice Starling (Rebecca Breeds), as she returns to the field to pursue serial murderers and sexual predators while navigating the high-stakes political world of Washington, D.C.
Incoming: Thursday 11th February
Based on Patricia Highsmith’s bestselling quintet of Tom Ripley novels, Andrew Scott will star in the title role of Tom Ripley. In the series, Tom Ripley, a grifter scraping by in early 1960s New York, is hired by a wealthy man to travel to Italy to try to convince his vagabond son to return home. Tom’s acceptance of the job is the first step into a complex life of deceit, fraud and murder.
Perry Mason (Series 2)
HBO renewed this origin series more or less the same time as the first season premiered. Matthew Rhys returns as the titular lawyer.
Mare Of Easttown
Kate Winslet makes a rare TV appearance in this seven-part crime drama. A detective in a small Pennsylvania town investigates a local murder while trying to keep her life from falling apart. Production was put on hold in March 2020, but reports suggest things will be up and running again in the New Year, which means we may get to see it at the back end of 2021.
Dexter (Series 9)
Showtime caused a ripple of excitement earlier on in the year when it revealed that everyone’s favourite vigilante serial killer, Dexter Morgan, would be making a surprise return. A Showtime spokesperson said back in October: “I am happy to report that Clyde Phillips and Michael C. Hall have found [a creative take that was truly worthy of the brilliant, original series], and we can’t wait to shoot it and show it to the world.”
Additional reporting: Charlotte Carling