Law & Order, British Style: Great Crime and Courtroom TV
Annotation:Michael Kitchen plays Detective Chief Superintendent Christopher Foyle in this World War II era series. Attention to period detail and storylines inspired by real events and situations make this crime drama stand out. Created by Anthony Horowitz, author of the Alex Rider series.
Annotation:There are seven series of Foyle's War, which begins in May 1940, before the war has officially begun, and ends in August 1945, several months after the end of the war in Europe.
Annotation:18th century barrister William Garrow is credited with introducing the concept of "innocent until proven guilty" to our legal system. This period courtroom drama is inspired by the life and career of the legal pioneer.
Annotation:The Brits borrow from American TV for a change with this UK version of everyone's favorite crime and courtroom drama combined. They've changed the music, but otherwise the format for this show is the same as for its New York counterpart. The police arrest the murder suspect and the prosecutors (robed and bewigged, of course) try to convict.
Annotation:A suspenseful cop drama with an existential sci-fi twist. In the wake of a car accident, 21st century police detective Sam Tyler, played by John Simm, wakes up in 1970s Manchester. Is he dead, crazy, in a coma? Has he really traveled back in time? Philip Glenister plays Gene Hunt, Sam's 1970s era boss, who takes a more brutal approach to police work.
Annotation:Analytical and intuitive, Detective Inspector John Luther, played by Idris Elba, is a brilliant detective who becomes obsessed by the dark crimes he investigates, often to the detriment of his personal life.
Annotation:Follow the career of Jane Tennison, played by Helen Mirren, a dedicated and ambitious police detective who rises through the ranks, solving brutal crimes while battling sexism on the force as well as her own demons.
Annotation:"The quality of mercy is not strained" is one of legendary defense counsel Horace Rumpole's favorite quotes when persuading a jury. Leo McKern plays the colorful, claret-swilling, cheroot-smoking "Old Bailey hack" in this long-running series based on the books by John Mortimer.
Annotation:Benedict Cumberbatch plays a Sherlock Holmes for the 21st century in this clever update with Martin Freeman playing Doctor John Watson. How did the original Holmes ever manage without a cellphone?
Annotation:Clinical psychologist Tony Hill, played by Robson Green, is brilliant when it comes to insights into the criminal mind but less adept at interpersonal communications in the wider world. He uses his expertise to assist the police in the fictional northern town of Bradfield in catching serial killers. These often gruesome mysteries are based on the books by Val MCDermid.
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A selection of British crime and courtroom dramas featuring memorable characters and performances as well as clever and suspenseful plots. The many wonderful adaptations of the works of Agatha Christie, Arthur Conan Doyle, Dorothy Sayers and other classic crime writers are not included on this list, but you will find lots of them in the NYPL catalog.