There are few pleasures in life greater than settling down to watch a top-drawer detective series or hard-boiled cops n’ robbers effort on TV.
The best of the box’s offerings of the past few years? A lot of people would plump for Jed Mercurio’s twisting, turning BBC thriller, Line of Duty. Series 4 finished earlier this year and the next run isn’t going to appear in the corner of your living room until at least early 2019.
But don’t fret – Netflix is here to keep you occupied in the meantime. If you love Line of Duty, there are plenty of similarly tense and exciting dramas you might want to catch. Here are our top ten recommendations…
10 top Netflix UK shows like Line of Duty:
A brutal and uncompromising Turkish drama, Behzat Ç focuses on police corruption. Much like Line of Duty. But instead of a team of pretty clean-living officers, looking into the dirty deeds of bent coppers, here we’re presented with a much gruffer mob. Set in the Turkish capital of Ankara, our eponymous hero is something of an antihero, never far from a bottle of beer and a pack of cigarettes. We’re not too sure he’d passed the AC-12 interview.
A huge smash back home because of it’s realistic, slang-peppered dialogue and gritty nature, we’re pretty sure that Behzat Ç will be a hit in your living room too.
IMDb Rating: 8.8
Part of the appeal and success of Line of Duty is down to never really knowing which side of the law the main characters are on. And the same can be said of this Argentinian prison drama. Pastor Peña is an ex-cop who gets sent to prison to locate the kidnapped daughter of a judge who ripped off some inmates to the tune of some $3 million. The girl is somewhere inside and it’s Peña’s job to formulate a plan to rescue and get her out. While trying to stay alive.
El Marginal is compelling, tense and often shockingly violent. If you’re drawn to high-octane crime dramas, we can’t recommend it highly enough.
IMDb Rating: 8.5
Another series from overseas, Jack Taylor takes the short hop to UK Netflix from across the Irish Sea. Following the cases of a former Garda detective called – yep, you got it – Jack Taylor, these mystery dramas are based on the books of Ken Bruen. Taylor’s an old school type, all whisky and five o’clock shadow, the type who ‘plays by his own rules’. It may be a little clichéd, but each feature-length episode is a lot of fun regardless. There’s something of the film noir about an old gumshoe type tearing through boot leather to solve mysteries. And that’s no bad thing in our book.
IMDb Rating: 8.4
You don’t often think of tough guy police dramas packed full of head-crunching punches, car chases, gun fights and explosions when you think of French drama, do you? But Braquo seriously bucks the trend. The action never lets up in this fast-paced story of a bunch of rule-breaking cops who’ll do whatever is necessary to bring down crime kingpins and look after each other.
Betty Blue and Nikita actor Jean-Hugues Anglade stars in what is a pretty addictive series. Each episode is left on a cliffhanger and the next instalment picks right up in the middle of the action again. Which makes it a perfect pick for a serious spot of binge watching.
IMDb Rating: 8.1
No doubt you’ll be familiar with this sweeping tale of how Pablo Escobar went from poor slum kid to the world’s richest criminal. A Netflix Original drama, Narcos is now into its third season and, having dispensed with the tale of Pablo Emilio Escobar Gaviria, now focuses on the dirty dealings of the infamous Cali cartel. It’s been a smash hit since its debut and the hype is more than justified.
Equal time and attention are spent showing how the DEA and Colombian police dealt with Escobar (clue: not all that well). And that makes for a nicely balanced view of how narco-trafficking really went down in 1980s South America.
IMDb Rating: 8.9
Chris Haddock’s rich, compulsive and realistic cop drama ran on Canadian TV some ten years ago now. It’s considered by Canucks as one of their greatest ever TV shows, making CBC’s decision to can it after just two seasons all the more bizarre. Set in Vancouver, Intelligence follows a gang of drug smugglers and an equally gang-like rabble of police officers and follows how both sides clash mercilessly with each other.
Watch out for a particularly captivating performance from Ian Tracey as Jimmy Reardon, the crime kingpin. He shines in what might just be the best TV show you’ve never heard of (until now).
IMDb Rating: 8.3
Vinnie Jones’ World’s Toughest Cops
A bit of a change of pace here with this list’s only documentary series. The host – former ‘hard man’ footballer and B-movie actor Vinnie Jones – may be slightly off-putting, but he and his production team meet some seriously interesting police types here. Jones is no Louis Theroux, certainly, but think of this like an extreme version of Cops and there’s plenty to enjoy about this series that shows just how intense some cops n’ robbers battles can get on American streets. A fascinating, if slightly scary, insight.
IMDb Rating: 7.1
Another Turkish cop drama, Kaçak’s complicated and twist-filled plot centres around a cop who finds himself the target of the mob after he kills the head honcho’s son. Fleeing to a small town, his attempts to lie low are thwarted when he accidentally becomes a local hero. It’s dark, nasty and yet oddly funny in places. It’s not for everyone, but you might well find yourself drawn in by its gripping story and odd tone.
IMDb Rating: 6.6
When you’re looking for a new TV show to immerse yourself in, very few of us consider the televisual output of Finland. But with shows like Bordertown proving to be sleeper hits on Netflix, some people are starting to take note of the Finnish. Roba further proves that the land of a thousand lakes knows how to put a good drama together.
Set in the HQ of the Helsinki Police Department, each episode follows the comings and goings of the cops that make their living there. And the activities of the criminals that keep them so busy.
IMDb Rating: 7.5
Known as Mazhor in its native Russia, Netflix changed the name of this drama to Silver Spoon to reflect the show’s plot. In it, a rich and cosseted young playboy called Igor is forced to join the Russian police by his oligarch dad, who cuts up his credit cards and wangles him a job. Understandably, he struggles to adapt to his rough n’ tumble new lifestyle. It’s meant as a slight dig at the lifestyles of some of the more pampered rich kids that Russia seems to have an abundance of – and hatred for – now.
IMDb Rating: 7.8
Have we missed any excellent Netflix cop shows like Line of Duty from our list? Let us know in the comments below!