Viewers were gripped by the formula; that of each episode reflecting 24 hours in the same murder case, and by the cold-fish female detective protagonist Sarah Lund, while developing an almost fetishist fascination with her knitwear. Luther (2010-2016) Like many of his ilk, dedicated near-genius DCI John Luther (a brilliant Idris Elba) is a tormented soul, struggling with his own inner demons, hugely affected by the stomach churning crimes he investigates. Two actors have played Rebus on screen, John Hannah and Ken Stott. (Jerry Orbach). 1. Follows District 21 of the Chicago Police Department, which is made up of two distinctly different groups: the uniformed cops and the Intelligence Unit. Launched to much fanfare as a television movie and boasting a killer theme tune from Quincy Jones, Ironside starred Raymond Burr, who was still hot after his stint as television’s Perry Mason, as San Francisco Chief of Police Robert T Ironside, who is confined to a wheelchair after an attempted assassination. Set in the fictional northern town of Newtown, Z Cars broke new ground in police drama shows, challenging the homely predictability of the likes of Dixon of Dock Green. The Fall survived accusations of misogyny and voyeurism to lift a Bafta for best television drama and keep viewers hooked for three series, but remains a troubling, unsettling experience for many. If Cagney and Lacey blazed the trail for female cops, then the first series of Prime Suspect in particular indicated a seismic shift in the perception of, and the attitudes towards, the female police officer. Monk 32. The Fall (2012-16) Gillian Anderson is the deliberate, dedicated senior detective on the trail of an equally meticulous serial killer in this controversial drama filmed and set in Northern Ireland. The Wire (2002-08) It has been compared to the works of Dickens and Dostoevsky and lauded as the greatest television programme ever. Aficionados rate this show even better than The Wire. It has become so caricatured and parodied in recent years that it’s easy to overlook the fact that The Sweeney made Z Cars look as antiquated as the former did Dixon of Dock Green a decade earlier. Channel 4 comedy drama about a group of police. Aping its antecedent Hill Street Blues’ cinema verite style, multi award winning NYPD Blue was a natural progression for co-creator Steven Bochno, who along with David Milsch came up with even grittier storylines, atmospheric New York locations and warts ’n all characters to create a hugely compelling and influential cop show. The Wire may not be the greatest television programme ever, but its realism and authenticity can never be in doubt. Stars: ... A novice sleuth is hired by the Police after he cons them into thinking he has psychic powers which help solve crimes. The actors became household names with the iconic theme tune whistled on everyone’s lips, and of course there were the “Z” cars themselves, the American-style Ford Zephyr and Zodiac patrol cars. Rogue cop Vic Mackey leads the elite “strike force” of LA detectives who routinely break the law to keep the streets safe, but also to feather their own nest. Columbo (1971- 2003) After Bing Crosby turned the role down, Peter Falk became synonymous with the cigar smoking, dishevelled police lieutenant in a shabby raincoat, winning four Emmys and a Golden Globe. The police officers themselves were portrayed warts and all, with gritty subject matter, including domestic abuse at the hands of a police officer, at the heart of the storylines. 8. Stars Joanna Scanlan, Alexandra Roach, Elaine Cassidy, Paul Ritter and others. The show’s boast was that many of its subject matters were “ripped from the headlines” and it was this approach that gave it a compelling topical feel and made it the longest-running American crime series and the benchmark for police procedurals. Rankin’s central theme of the Jekyll and Hyde dichotomy of Scotland’s capital city remains intact, and as in the novels, the real star of the show is of course, Edinburgh itself in all its historic beauty, showing the dark underbelly of the city behind the chintz curtains. The cop show that more than any other blew the stereotypical image of female police officers out of the water, and challenged the sexist attitudes of many executives in the television industry. Devised by Allan Prior and Troy Kennedy Martin, the series centred on not just one central protagonist, but rather several police officers both uniformed and plain clothed. Are you sure you want to mark this comment as inappropriate? Due to the sheer scale of this comment community, we are not able to give each post the same level of attention, but we have preserved this area in the interests of open debate. Half the fun of the show was watching the murderer (frequently an A- or B-list guest star) underestimate the seemingly bumbling, absent-minded detective while he baited the trap to snare them. 9. 1. Want an ad-free experience?Subscribe to Independent Premium. Hannah gives the role his best but was probably too young and lacked the cynical gravitas that Stott gave to Rebus. But the triumph of The Wire is how it tells the story of the decaying city of Baltimore through the lives of the police, drug dealers, politicians, children and the dispossessed, making no moral judgements between good and bad in a predominately grey world. 21 episodes (3 series), 2015 - 2018. Idris Elba is nominated in the Best Supporting Actor supporting category for Luther. This Danish police procedural and prime example of Scandinavian noir attracted criticism for its violence against women. Series 5 View episodes. Writing women that men would choose as leaders has been particularly satisfying.". It has been compared to the works of Dickens and Dostoevsky and lauded as the greatest television programme ever. Now it’s our turn. Series 2 View episodes. Helen Mirren is outstanding as DCI Jane Tennison who heads a murder squad hunting a sadistic serial killer, but has to overcome opposition and resentment from her team as well as the institutionalised sexism of the police department itself. From Poirot to Peaky Blinders, Britain's crime dramas are some of our finest national exports. 5. With similar roles in The Vice and Messiah giving Stott an identifiable acting persona, he perhaps has the same problem as Humphrey Bogart being too much like Bogart to play the definitive Philip Marlowe, but in the absence of any other candidates, Stott is just fine. The Fun Police. ... Law & Order: UK 29. From the very first episode Life on the Street succeeded in dispelling the myths and stereotypes about the television cop, showing that murder and violence were just a routine parts of the job. Some have called Homicide: Life on the Street the missing link between Hill Street Blues and The Wire. From Mike Post’s iconic theme and the innovative cinema vèritè-evoking handheld camera, to the brilliant ensemble cast creating beloved characters and dramatic storylines in the urban sprawl of an unnamed US city, Hill Street Blues pioneered a new wave of cop shows. The bond between the two characters was unbreakable despite leading entirely different lives (Lacey was married with a family and supportive husband, Cagney drifted from relationship to relationship). You’ve had your say in our Fall TV Survey, crowning Seinfeld your favorite comedy of all time. But when a particularly twisted serial killer emerges it leaves even the most hardened of these seasoned coppers reeling. Sight gags and non-sequiturs dominate this spoof of police dramas. Prime Suspect (1991- 2006) If Cagney and Lacey blazed the trail for female cops, then the first series of Prime Suspect in particular indicated a seismic shift in the perception of, and the attitudes towards, the female police officer. 11. 16. This page lists in alphabetical order the top 50 British TV sitcoms, as determined by a combination of the results of previous polls, award wins, and BCG's visitor data. Nostalgia might not be what it used to be, but the biggest mystery with Life on Mars is why it took someone so long to come up with this inspired paean to the pop culture and TV cop shows of the 1970s. A list of the best British comedy Sitcoms on TV. Menu. Spoof comedy following the first Unified Scottish Police Force. 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