The 10 Best Crime Dramas This Week (Monday 30th January – Sunday 5th February)

This week, we say goodbye to Catherine Cawood and Happy Valley for good. But we also get plenty of new stuff, headlined by Irish series North Sea Catch on BBC Four, Your Honor (starring Bryan Cranston) and Swedish series Top Dog on All4 via Walter. Enjoy!

S3 E6/6

Catherine works her final shift, when scores are settled for good, while grandson Ryan faces a moral dilemma. 
Sunday 5th February, 9pm, BBC One

S12 E2/4

Adapting to civilian life was not easy for Lance Corporal Conn Burns and after a series of bad life choices, he found himself desolate, down and out on the streets of Newcastle. Attempting to get his life back on track, Conn had recently been making moves that would see him repay old debts, rebuild relationships and get him off the streets. DCI Stanhope is called in after the body of Burns is discovered, and unearths secrets from his past and betrayal in the present.
Sunday 5th February, 8pm, ITV1

S1 E1&2/6

Connemara family the Kennys have fished off the west coast of Ireland for generations. However, skipper Ciara might very well be the last to do so after her brother Aidan puts the family’s lives in danger by facilitating a drug route for a Swedish cartel to help fund a new business venture. 
Saturday 4th February, 9pm, BBC Four

S2 E1-3/10

A judge confronts his convictions when his son is involved in a hit-and-run that embroils an organized-crime family. Facing impossible choices, he discovers how far a father will go to save his son’s life.
Friday 3rd February, Paramount+

S26 E9&10/10

Jack comes to the aid of an old friend, and is sucked into a difficult case, where he is pitted against his former mentor. As Nikki and the team start to create a picture of what happened, they learn nothing is as it seems. Dealing with a family of serving police officers, they have to tread carefully, as their relationships prove to be another obstacle for the team to overcome.
Monday 30th and Tuesday 31st January, 9pm, BBC One

S1 E1-8/8

A mysterious disappearance makes two completely separate worlds collide, creating an extremely odd couple – the lawyer Emily and recently released convict Teddy.
Friday 3rd February, All4/Walter Presents

7 The Followers (As Seguidoras) *NEW UK PREMIERE SERIES*
S1 E1-6/6

A digital influencer takes her obsession with her own image to its ultimate consequences, becoming a serial killer beyond suspicion.
Friday 3rd February, Paramount+

S1 E2/4

Still reeling from the discovery he made on the boat, Ed confides in Bob, who tells him that he has CCTV footage which suggests George could be behind the sabotage. Desperately seeking answers, Ed decides to contact his old navy comrades, and also secretly employs the services of a private investigator. Later, on a boat trip with Ryan, Ed receives a disturbing phone call from George.
Wednesday 1st February, 9pm, Channel 5

9 The Madame Blanc Mysteries *NEW UK PREMIERE EPISODE*
S2 E6/7

Jeremy’s old rock ‘n’ roll friend Dura is recording his comeback album in the Millhouse. Jeremy locks him in and leaves him to work alone – but not before insisting on taking a selfie. Outside, in the sound van Dura’s wife Manderina, and Marco, his sound engineer, have just started to record Dura’s latest track when they hear him scream. When Dura is found dead with a head injury and a strange symbol drawn on his face, Jean attempts to find the killer.
Thursday 2nd February, 9pm, Channel 5

10 Murdoch Mysteries *NEW UK PREMIERE EPISODE*
S16 E3

Murdoch suspects author Rudyard Kipling is involved in the murder of a writer at a convention.
Thursday 2nd February, 9pm, Alibi

REVIEW Happy Valley (S3 E4/6)

Happy Valley – now on the backstretch – has imported a niggling, knotty feeling into my stomach. Much was made in this fourth episode that Catherine Cawood’s retirement was imminent. In a matter of days, the high sheriff of the valley would be hanging up her badge. Her colleagues had raised £2,000 for her send-off, and they worried how they were going to give her money.

All the foreshadowing, all this set-up… we’ve seen it in the past when writers have done this – double down on emotional connections, impending retirements – it usually lead to something dreadful happening. However, this is Sally Wainwright, so I’m hoping that she gets to her retirement.

This episode focused more on Tommy Lee Royce and, yes, his escape from prison. He’s been fairly smug in prison, like he knew something no one else knew, and had been talking about going bungee jumping with Ryan, and learning Spanish. There was no doubt that he had been cooking something up, and here, in this hour, those plans began to take shape. It wasn’t a surprise exactly that he escaped prison – staging a daring escape from the courtroom itself thanks to help from the Knežević gang -but ut was no less thrilling. The freshly shaven Royce left on a bike to god knows where.

Perhaps to confront Catherine. Perhaps not.

Earlier, there was more sparkling dialogue between Catherin, Neil and Clare, and also with Ann. And there were serious developments in the case of the missing Joanna Hepworth: her nasty husband found he body packed into a suitcase in the garage. But there wasn’t really a lot of Faisal, although what there was of him confirmed that he is also a nasty piece of work. He went from feckless to cocky and empowered in the space of one murder.

As good as Happy Valley has been in this final, third series, one thing that hasn’t sat well is the juxtaposition between the main storyline of Catherine and Royce, and that of Faisal. It’s pure Fargo, for sure, but whenever that second storyline has been onscreen I ‘ve found myself wishing that things went back to Catherine and Royce. It’s just a far more compelling storyline.

And with two episodes to go, there’s a lot to wrap up: Catherine’s fate, ultimate justice against Royce, as well as Faisal, Joanna and Rob, and the bringing down of the Kneževićs. There’s a lot more to come.

Paul Hirons

Rating: 4 out of 5.




Happy Valley is shown on BBC One and BBC iPlayer in the UK

BBC Four acquires North Sea Connection, confirms transmission date

Despite Viaplay initially saying it had the rights to North Sea Connection – first shown on RTE in its native Ireland – BBC Four has now announced that it has acquired the series.

Furthermore, it’s just around the corner.

Ciara Kenny (Lydia McGuinness) fishes the waters off Roskillane as her family has done for generations. But when her ambitious brother Aidan (Kerr Logan) secretly agrees to carry out a drug run at sea for a Nordic cartel that goes horribly wrong, their lives are forever changed. As pressure from an investigation builds, threatening to unearth long-held secrets, how far will they go for the sake of the family?

North Sea Connection stars Lydia McGuinness, Kerr Logan, Sinéad Cusack, Claes Ljungmark, Dónall Ó Héalai, Jeanne Nicole Ní Áinle, Alida Morberg and Natalie Simpson.

The six-part series will once again – in true BBC Four style – will be shown in double-bills.

North Sea Connection: Saturday 4th February, 9pm, BBC Four

NORDIC NOIR Walter Presents confirms transmission date for Helsinki Crimes

A new Nordic Noir is coming our way, thanks to Walter Presents, this time based in Finland.

Helsinki Crimes features Police Sergeant Timo Harjunpää from Helsinki Murder Squad, who would love to spend his summer holiday in peace and quiet with his family, but his relentless job follows him everywhere. 

With his partner Onerva Nykänen, Harjupää faces the whole spectrum of humanity, from the darkest pits of organized crime to the saddest cases of human life, including men brainwashed by incel-ideology, hackers sabotaging the society’s infrastructure, youth criminals hardened by their home lives, and sadistic prostitutes.  The beautiful, summery Helsinki looks very different in the eyes of the Crime Squad Sergeants: no one is safe, and anything can happen – anywhere and anytime. 

Look out for it on More4 from Friday 17th February.

Top Boy star Jasmine Jobson signs up for ITVX’s

Jasmine Jobson will take the lead role of Lisa in a new psychological thriller, Platform 7, which will air on ITVX.

The four-part series has been adapted by acclaimed and multi-award-winning screenwriter Paula Milne from the best-selling novel of the same title by Louise Doughty.

Jasmine, most recently known for her Bafta-nominated role as Jaq in Top Boy, will be joined by Toby Regbo as Matt, Yaamin Chowdhury as Akash and Phil Davis as Edward.

The series is described a haunting thriller that follows Lisa who, after witnessing a cataclysmic event on platform 7 of a railway station, finds her own fragmented memory jogged to reveal a connection between her own life and that of the event she has just witnessed. Supernatural elements combine with contemporary realism in this chilling drama.

Filming has wrapped and it will premiere on ITVX first, and is expected to follow on ITV1.

Channel 5 announces new thriller Blindspot with Ross Kemp

Former EastEnders star Ross Kemp – recently more known for gritty documentaries – has been tapped up by Channel 5 to star in a new crime series, Blindspot.

The four-part series tells the story of Hannah Quinn, a disabled woman with a wry sense of humour, who works monitoring the CCTV on a rough estate. One day she sees a man she knows is a violent criminal lead a young woman into a blind spot in the camera coverage. He emerges alone but when the police arrive there is no sign of the woman, who appears to have vanished into thin air.

Hannah is convinced that she has been murdered, but her fears are dismissed by the apathetic, and possibly corrupt, policeman Tony in charge of the case. Hannah remains undeterred and will soon find her own life in danger as she fights to discover what really happened in the blind spot.

Crystal Clarke, Sue Vincent, Kiran Landa and Michelle Bonnard will star as Amber, Dolly, Geri and Louisa respectively. Kemp stars as Police Detective Tony Warden.

Channel 5 announces cast for The Inheritance

Channel 5 has announced the cast for its four-part thriller, The Inheritance.

The series follows the story of three siblings, Daniel, Sian and Chloe, who are left reeling after the unexpected death of their Father, Dennis. When it turns out they have not left anything in the will, they embark on a dangerous journey to figure out whether his death was truly a tragic accident, or whether it was in fact murder.

So, a family who look harmonious and loving start to show the cracks borne of years of secrets and jealousy. Secrets are exploded, relationships ripped apart, and lives lost as the siblings try desperately to claw back their inheritance and make sense of what is happening around them…asking the question, is blood really thicker than water?

Casting for lead roles in the series has also been revealed with Robert James-Collier, Gaynor Faye and Jemima Rooper playing siblings Daniel, Sian and Chloe.

Larry Lamb will play their Father, Dennis with Samantha Bond as Susan and Kevin Whately will star as Michael.

Adil Ray, Moe Dunford, Kevin Harvey, and Pauline McLynn will also feature.

The 10 Best Crime Dramas This Week (Monday 23rd – Sunday 29th January)

We’re pretty much as you are but with a few interesting new additions. We get the Spanish series The Snow Girl on Netflix, Channel 5’s late thriller, The Catch, a new French series on Acorn TV… AND series three of Polish legal series, The Defence. Enjoy!

S3 E5/6

Catherine races to protect her family, and a murder investigation begins.
Sunday 29th January, 9pm, BBC One

S12 E1/4

DCI Stanhope is called to a lighthouse where a body has been discovered lashed to a sailing boat. Immediately setting about her investigation, Vera soon discovers that the body is a local council enforcement officer and experienced amateur sailor Frank Channing, a family man with strong friendships who was well respected at work. However, it’s not long before Vera discovers evidence suggesting foul play.
Sunday 29th January, 8pm, ITV

3 The Snow Girl *NEW UK TV PREMIERE*
During the Cavalcade of the Magi parade, the Martín family’s daughter Amaya disappears. Journalist Miren takes on the case, determined to find her.
From Friday 27th January, Netflix

S26 E7&8/10

The team are called to a devastating train crash and works with the police and counter-terrorism to piece together what happened. As they try to find the motive for killing the local mayor, it appears the family who owns the land might very well hold the key. Meanwhile, Jack’s family life gets more complicated.
Monday 23rd and Tuesday 24th January, 9pm, BBC One

S2 E6/6

The family and community congregate at Heddwyn’s funeral, where Della delivers a heartfelt, yet guilt-ridden eulogy.
Sunday 29th January, 9pm, S4C

S1 E1/4

Ed Collier, a proud husband, father and local fisherman, finds his life spiralling out of control when a rich and handsome man enters his daughter Abbie’s life and threatens to take him away from her. 
Wednesday 25th January, 9pm, Channel 5

French drama that follows brilliant attorney Sophie Cross, whose five-year-old son, Arthur, vanishes into thin air on a summer’s day in the North Sea dunes.  It’s the beginning of an unimaginable nightmare for her and her husband Thomas Leclercq, a razor-sharp police commissioner who’s crushed by his son’s disappearance… Years later, Sophie refuses to give up hope and joins the police force to help find Arthur. She’ll have to work hard to carve out a niche for herself in the crime squad led by her husband Thomas, whose team isn’t exactly delighted about the new recruit.
From Monday 23rd January, Acorn TV

Chylka is back in this Polish legal thriller and works with new clients who may or may not have kidnapped their own baby.
From Friday 27th January, All4/Walter Presents

9 The Madame Blanc Mysteries *NEW UK PREMIERE EPISODES*
S2 E5/7

For the first time, Jean has friends from England visiting Sainte Victoire. Fellow antique dealer David and his new husband George are on their honeymoon, but all is not going well for the happy couple. Before they left England a mirror fell from the wall, narrowly missing David, and when they arrive in Sainte Victoire one of their bags has been cut. What is going on? And who could be behind it?
Thursday 26th January, 9pm, Channel 5

10 Death In Paradise *NEW UK PREMIERE EPISODE*
S12 E4/8

In Saint Barnabas, Naomi attends the wedding of her best friend Monique. However, the jollity of the day comes to an abrupt halt when Rex, the estranged husband of Monique’s mother Odette, is fatally stabbed. Knowing the case requires full investigation, Naomi calls the team for help. Meanwhile, Marlon tries to prepare for his sergeant exams but is easily distracted.
Friday 27th January, 9pm, BBC One

BBC reveals first-look images for The Gold

The BBC has revealed first-look images for The Gold, its upcoming heist drama based on the true story of the infamous Brink’s Mat robbery.

On the 26th November 1983, six armed men broke into the Brink’s-Mat security depot near London’s Heathrow Airport, and inadvertently stumbled across gold bullion worth £26m. What started as ‘a typical Old Kent Road armed robbery’ according to detectives at the time, became a seminal event in British criminal history, remarkable not only for the scale of the theft – at the time the biggest in global history – but for its wider legacy.

The disposal of the bullion caused the birth of large-scale international money laundering, provided the dirty money that helped fuel the London Docklands property boom, united blue and white collar criminals and left controversy and murder in its wake.

Inspired by extensive research and interviews with some of those involved in the events, The Gold is a pulsating dramatization which takes a journey into a 1980s world awash with cheap money and loosened morals to tell this extraordinary and epic story for the first time in its entirety.

The Gold stars Hugh Bonneville alongside Jack Lowden, Dominic Cooper, Charlotte Spencer, Tom Cullen, Emun Elliott, Sean Harris, Ellora Torchia and Stefanie Martini.

Look out for this very soon.

BBC to show Magpie Murders and follow-up

The BBC has acquired the terrestrial rights to Magpie Murders, which was shown on BritBox last year. Furthermore, the network has entered into a co-production with PBS Masterpiece to make its follow-up.

Magpie Murders -based on the book series by Anthony Horowitz – is a six-part murder mystery within a murder mystery, starring Academy Award-nominee Lesley Manville as editor turned sleuth Susan Ryeland, and Timothy McMullan as famous literary detective Atticus Pünd. The cast also includes Daniel Mays, Michael Maloney, Conleth Hill, Alexandros Logothetis, Claire Rushbrook, Pippa Haywood, Matthew Beard and Harry Lawtey. It will air this spring on BBC One and iPlayer.

The follow-up – Moonflower Murders – will film later this year, and will see Manville and McMullan reprise the roles they originated in Magpie Murders. Further information about the series, which will receive its UK premiere on the BBC next year.

Horowitz says: “I’m very happy that Magpie Murders is going to be shown on BBC – its natural home. I had such fun writing the scripts and they’ve been brought to life by a brilliant director and cast.”