Crime TV shows you shouldn’t miss in autumn 2018
We’re currently living in a golden age of TV. With the big-spending streaming services pushing boundaries and forcing traditional television types to really up their game, us viewers are really enjoying the spoils.
In years past a new TV season would hit us and we’d have our eyes on one or two choice looking dramas. But now? With so many competing parties, so much talent and the standard set so ridiculously high, to say us crime drama fans are spoiled for choice is like saying Jessica Fletcher was ‘a little bit nosy’.
As such, autumn 2018 is all set to be a complete bumper season of excellent crime drama. Do yourselves a favour, eh? Cancel your plans for the next three months. Here’s our pick of the best new crime TV shows coming our way this season.
New crime TV shows you shouldn’t miss this autumn:
Bodyguard (BBC One)
When the creators of Line of Duty make a new crime drama, you make time to watch it. And everyone seems to have done just that with Bodyguard. Thankfully for the 15% of everyone in the UK who’s tuned in so far, it’s twisting, turning, tight and taut – and offers near-perfect Sunday night thrills. This story of a protection officer (played by Game of Thrones’ Richard Madden) that gets too close to his client, the Home Secretary (Keeley Hawes), might not be overly realistic, but it’s more fun than you can shake a remote control at.
Strangers (ITV 1)
This upcoming eight-parter has the ever-busy and always engaging John Simm (Life on Mars) in the lead as Professor Jonah Mulray, a chap whose life is thrown into disarray when his wife is killed in a car accident over in Hong Kong. Flying over to identify her body, he quickly finds – wouldn’t you know…? – that something is amiss and nothing is quite what it seems. Coming from the keyboards of the writers behind Rellik, The Missing and Liar, we’ve got high hopes for this new drama that starts Monday 10 September.
Luther series 5 (BBC One)
The Beeb’s heavy-hitter Luther returns this year for its fifth run. With four episodes heading our way, can Idris Elba’s idiosyncratic DCI John Luther and his new recruit DS Catherine Halliday (played by Kiri and Damilola actress Wunmi Mosaku) work together to catch the person responsible for a series of monstrous killings – a serial murderer that makes the pair ‘confront the depths of human depravity’? Well, if past form is anything to go by, we’re going to bet that Luther gets the job done. One way or another.
Killing Eve (BBC One)
This is one we’re really looking forward to. We do love a traditional cops n’ killers crime drama – but we also like a crime series that subverts the genre and does something totally new with the tropes of the thing. One – admittedly rather trite – way of describing this intriguing new series from award-winning writer Phoebe Waller-Bridge (Fleabag) is to say it smacks of an offbeat, all-female version of Heat. With MI5 desk jobber Sandra Oh (Grey’s Anatomy) taking on Al Pacino’s role and Jodie Comer (Doctor Foster, Rillington Place) taking on Robert De Niro’s arch-criminal role as an eccentric Russian assassin. A new spin on the ol’ cat and mouse dynamic, Killing Eve looks seriously good.
Dark Heart (ITV 1)
Adam Creed’s Will Wagstaffe novels finally get a full adaptation after ITV Encore’s November 2016 pilot. Kill Your Friends and The Collection‘s Tom Riley returns in the central role, with Unforgotten‘s Chris Lang on writing duties. Haunted by the murder of his parents as a child, Wagstaffe is a troubled detective (aren’t they all?) that has to solve a series of horrific crimes while fighting his own inner demons. The series will comprise of six hour-long episodes and with Lang at the controls and a decent opener behind them, we’re expecting big things from Dark Heart.
Little Drummer Girl (BBC One)
What do The Night Manager and Oldboy have in common? Well, very little. One’s a classy spy thriller starring Tom Hiddleston and the other’s an ultraviolent South Korean revenge flick where, at one point, a man eats an entire live octopus. But bear with us here… Hot on the heels of The Night Manager’s success, Auntie commissioned another John le Carré adaptation, to be directed by Park Chan-wook, the auteur behind Oldboy. Don’t worry about Little Drummer Girl straying too far from the source material here. Park is a quite brilliant and versatile director. Starring Florence Pugh in the lead and with a jaw-dropping ensemble cast including the likes of Alexander Skarsgård, Michael Shannon and Charles Dance, this spy drama looks set to be a classy affair, as well as a huge hit.
Escape at Dannemora (Sky Atlantic)
Based on the 2015 Clinton Correctional Facility escape, comic actor Ben Stiller directs all eight episodes of this exciting-looking new drama series. With serious actors like There Will Be Blood‘s Paul Dano and the untouchable Benicio del Toro (Sicario 2) joining Boardwalk Empire actress Patricia Arquette for the ride, the talent here is heavy to say the least. Bonnie Hunt, David Morse and Christopher from The Sopranos (Michael Imperioli) round out the cast of this tale of two cons who break free with the help of a married female prison employee who’s conducting illicit affairs with both men.
Trust (BBC Two)
January saw the release of the Ridley Scott film All the Money in the World. It told the frankly ludicrous but nevertheless entirely true story behind the kidnapping of John Paul Getty III, grandson of the richest man in the world, and how the tight-fisted JP Getty refused to pay the ransom. By chance, at the same time, FX were developing their own version of the story with Donald Sutherland in Christopher Plummer’s JP Getty role, Hilary Swank playing Michelle Williams’ part and Brendan Fraser taking on Mark Wahlberg’s Fletcher Chace character. US reviews of the Danny Boyle-directed series were positive and we can enjoy the action from Wednesday 12 September.
Get Shorty series 2 (Sky Atlantic)
So far this little gem has slipped under the collective radar of most TV fans and that’s a real shame, given its quality. It is, in essence, a television version of Elmore Leonard’s 1990 novel and John Travolta’s 1995 movie, both of the same name. Chris O’Dowd plays a Nevada mobster who convinces his boss to ship him out to LA to produce a Hollywood movie in order to launder some of the outfit’s dirty money. It’s crass, it’s violent, it’s funny and it’s well worth your attention. Catch up on series one and then dive into the follow up when it drops over here. You won’t regret it.
The ABC Murders (BBC One)
Another Poirot story gets the TV treatment as Sarah Phelps tackles Agatha Christie’s classic 1936 story, The ABC Murders. Waxing a moustache for the show is legendary American thesp John Malkovich, a fairly off-the-wall pick for the Belgian sleuth. Rupert Grint co-stars alongside Andrew Buchan (Broadchurch), Eamon Farren (Twin Peaks) and Tara Fitzgerald (Requiem). Poirot’s only real clue while trying to track down a dastardly serial killer? Copies of The ABC Railway Guide being left at each of the crime scenes…
Ray Donovan season 6 (Sky Atlantic)
Hollywood fixer and all-round tough guy Ray Donovan and his clan of Irish-American misfits return to the east coast after Ray decides to leave LA, following the tragic death of his wife Abby. Some fans criticised the previous series for ‘going soft’, but that’s unfair. Usually a whip-smart and violent thriller, Ray Donovan spent its last run delicately exploring the huge hit a sudden death can have and did so with real patience and maturity. That said, we can’t pretend we’re not pretty stoked to see how Ray, his brothers and his trusty baseball bat deal head-on with all the seediness of The Big Apple.
The Cry (BBC One)
Victoria’s Jenna Coleman heads up the cast of this Scottish drama set in Australia. Coleman plays a young mother who travels Down Under with her husband to fight for custody of her other half’s other child. Based on the book by Helen FitzGerald, The Cry should really quickly get going when the proverbial hits the upside down fan and tragedy strikes. Big things are expected of this four-part psychological thriller that explores the emotional toll and turmoil of motherhood.
New crime shows to stream this autumn:
Ozark series 2 (Netflix)
If the first run of this Missouri-set money laundering masterpiece was all about how great Jason Bateman is as an actor, its follow-up is a showcase for the man’s co-star Laura Linney. Initially likened to Breaking Bad, Ozark has more than proved it’s its own show over these two runs and Linney’s Helen Byrde breaks bad herself across series two in variously entertaining and shocking ways.
Everything that was so perfect about the show remains for its sophomore effort (including Julia Garner’s deviously brilliant Ruth Langmore). The only changes are the extra characters that do nothing but add even more quality to proceedings. Janet McTeer’s cold-as-ice cartel lawyer-cum-enforcer Helen Pierce is a particular highlight.
The Sinner series 2 (Netflix)
Based on the novel of the same name by German crime novelist Petra Hammesfahr, series one of The Sinner debuted on Netflix alongside a noise not unlike that of a whimper. It didn’t take long before word of mouth turned the Jessica Biel-starring drama into the must watch of 2017, though. After a glut of award nominations and wins, a second series of the whydunit was ordered, this time with Biel serving as an executive producer. The show is set to be an ongoing anthology, with this second run following just why a young kid decided to poison his parents. Bill Pullman returns as the permanently hungover-looking Detective Harry Ambrose, with Gone Girl‘s Carrie Coon stepping into a more central role. It’d be a sin to miss it.
Narcos: Mexico (Netflix)
The Pablo Escobar narrative now fully dealt with, the new series of Narcos starts again, only this time out it charts the rise of the infamous Mexican Guadalajara Cartel back in the eighties. Félix Gallardo (The Terminal‘s Diego Luna) is the new Escobar, building his very own criminal empire. The good guy comes in the shape of DEA agent Kiki Camarena (End of Watch star Michael Peña). Look out for Alejandro Edda as Joaquín ‘El Chapo’ Guzmán and a cameo from the ever electric Jackie Earle Haley (Preacher, Watchmen).
Ordeal by Innocence (Amazon Prime)
Based on Agatha Christie’s 1958 mystery novel, this three-parter starring Bill Nighy, Matthew Goode and Anna Chancellor was shown to little fanfare in the spring on BBC One. It’s a classy affair that deserves more attention and those with Amazon Prime can catch it again now – though it will need to be purchased as it isn’t part of Amazon’s free offering.
Better Call Saul series 4 (Netflix)
We’re getting ever closer to Jimmy McGill becoming Saul Goodman and catching up to the timeline of Breaking Bad’s first season. Speaking of the meth-cooking TV behemoth, fans of Los Pollos Hermanos will be pleased to hear that Better Call Saul’s fourth run features the story of Gus Fring (Giancarlo Esposito) quite prominently indeed.
And those are just the highlights of the fictional TV drama heading our way. What a time to be alive and in front of a TV.
Which of these new crime TV shows are you excited to binge this autumn? Let us know in the comments below!