17 Of The Best Crime Dramas To Watch This Autumn

If you’re one of the millions on the edge of your seat over ‘Vigil’, you may well be wondering what you’re going to watch next. Thankfully, there are plenty of recent crime hits – many of which are now available as box sets – to keep you entertained this autumn. From Mare of Easttown to the explosive Gangs of London, here are the series we loved…

Gangs of London, Series 1

When it dropped last autumn, Gangs of London became Sky’s most successful launch since Chernobyl. The series opens with the death of Finn Wallace (Colm Meaney), patriarch of the family that appears to run London’s criminal underworld. Having found a lucrative way to transform ill-gotten gains into respectable investments, the Wallaces are also players in the Square Mile. Finn’s killing by a no-mark traveller creates a major power vacuum. Flying in the face of friendly advice about maintaining business as usual, Finn’s son Sean (Peaky Blinders’ Joe Cole) puts the criminal network on lockdown until he can find out who ordered his father’s killing and avenge it. A stylish drama – with an ending that suggests a second series in on its way.

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Bloodlands, Series 1

A car is pulled from Strangford Lough, the owner kidnapped. DCI Tom Brannick (James Nesbitt) recognises the calling card of a legendary assassin known as Goliath. The legend goes he was a serving police officer who vanished without trace 20 years ago and among his original victims was Tom’s wife. Against opposition from old friend DCS Jackie Twomey, Brannick and his partner, DS Niamh McGovern, break open the Goliath case in the hope that it will help them solve the kidnapping. When a vital clue leads them out to an island on Strangford Lough, a discovery is made that changes everything.

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ZeroZeroZero, Series 1

In ZeroZeroZero, three families conspire to move five tonnes of cocaine across the Atlantic. In Mexico, the Leyra brothers are well set up to handle such a large order. In the US, the Leywood shipping family appears less at ease in a criminal environment but needs must – they’ve got a huge New Orleans townhouse to maintain. And in the deep south of Italy, the La Piana clan is getting over some recent mafia wars. To bring everyone back together, ageing leader Don Minu has decided to buy some drugs. A gripping show that fans of Narcos will love.

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Mare of Easttown, Series 1

In a rare TV appearance, Academy Award winner Kate Winslet stars as a small-town detective whose life begins to crumble around her as she investigates a local murder and how family and past tragedies can define our present and is forced to confront her family’s tragic past. A gripping watch.

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Nine Perfect Strangers, Series 1

Given Liane Moriarty’s success with Big Little Lies – the inter-family thriller set on the upper-class Californian coast – it was only a matter of time before another of her novels got the small-screen treatment. Produced by David E Kelley – the man behind the adaptation of Big Little Lies and last year’s The Undoing – and once again starring Nicole Kidman, this health-spa-gone-wrong drama is available to watch on Amazon Prime Video. Also stars Melissa McCarthy and Michael Shannon.

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Informer, Series 1

Paddy Considine (Peaky Blinders, Tyrannosaur), Bel Powley (The Diary of a Teenage Girl) and newcomer Nabhaan Rizwan star in this BBC1 drama about a young second-generation Pakistani man who goes undercover in London's Counter Terrorism Special Unit. After a night out with his girlfriend goes badly wrong, Raza Shar is arrested and identified as a potential informant. Detective Sergeant Gabe Waters is partnered with new recruit DC Holly Morten and introduces her to the world of informants. Ambitious and uninhibited, Holly pushes boundaries to get Raza on board – with devastating consequences.

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Vigil, Series 1

When a crew member is found dead onboard the Trident nuclear submarine HMS Vigil, the Scottish police are called on to investigate. The catch? The UK’s nuclear deterrent must remain effective, so the submarine stays on patrol and detective chief inspector Amy Silva must go aboard to investigate. Although the death has been written off as an accidental overdose, Amy suspects foul play. But the crew close ranks in the face of Amy’s questioning, and a new threat overshadows her inquiry.

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Time, Series 1

In hard-hitting veteran TV writer Jimmy McGovern’s newest drama, a prisoner consumed by guilt meets an officer with an impossible choice. Time – a three-part drama shown on the BBC a few months back – is a tense story of punishment and principles. The show stars acting heavyweights Sean Bean and Stephen Graham prisoner Mark Cobden and guard Eric McNally respectively and shows the pair grapple with corruption, mental strength and what it takes to do the right thing.

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Giri/Haji, Series 1

Set in both Tokyo and London, Giri/Haji is a thriller about a Tokyo detective named Kenzo Mori, who scours the London underworld to find his allegedly deceased brother, Yuto. Yuto was accused of brutally murdering the nephew of a yakuza member, which could lead to the onset of a gang war. Kenzo's investigation into the disappearance lures him into dangerous elements of the corrupt underworld of London's criminal circuit. Stars Line of Duty’s Kelly McDonald.

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Criminal, Series 1-2

Within the walls of an interrogation room, investigators across four different countries go up against the clock to charge 12 suspects, each one accused of a grievous crime. Created by George Kay (Killing Eve) and Jim Field Smith (The Wrong Mans), Criminal is split into four mini-series set across UK, France, Spain and Germany, each filmed in the location’s native language. These tense episodes are all set in an interrogation suite centred around a sparse room where detectives stare down suspects and spar with legal counsels. Starring the likes of Kit Harrington, Hayley Atwell, Sharon Horgan and David Tennant, this is a nail-biting drama.

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Bloodline, Series 1-3

From the creators of Damages, Emmy award-winning Bloodline is a dramatic thriller that explores the demons lurking beneath the surface of a contemporary American family. The Rayburns are hard-working pillars of their Florida Keys community, but their past contains dark secrets that they hope remain buried. Paranoia and mistrust build as lies pile up, alliances are shattered, and an unthinkable crime takes place. The tight-knit family's formerly harmonious relationship deteriorates, and good people are forced to consider doing very bad things. Absolutely gripping.

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Lupin, Series 1-2

This French drama was an absolute hit when it landed on Netflix last December – and following a real cliff-hanger ending, fans were eagerly awaiting the arrival of part two, which became available to stream this summer. As a teenager, Assane Diop's life was turned upside down when his father died after being accused of a crime he didn’t commit. Twenty-five years later, Assane (played by Omar Sy) uses the book Arsène Lupin, Gentleman Burglar as his inspiration to avenge his father. 

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The Hunt For A Killer, Series 1

In this new Swedish thriller, 10-year-old Helén Nilsson disappears at Easter 1989 from the small community of Hörby. Her body is found six days later. Detective Pelle Åkesson is disappointed when the case is given to an inexperienced colleague and accurately predicts that they will be swamped by trivial details when tips start pouring into the police station. Five months later, the naked body of a 26-year-old woman is found in a lay-by. Can both crimes have been committed be the same person?

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The Pact, Series 1

BBC drama The Pact follows five friends in the aftermath of an unexplained death caused by a drunk prank on their boss. Anna and her friends are forced into a pact of silence, bound by a secret that will change their lives forever.

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The North Water, Series 1

Starring Colin Farrell, Stephen Graham and Jack O’Connell, this new series follows a disgraced ex-army surgeon who signs up as a ship's doctor on a whaling expedition to the Arctic. On board he meets a harpooner, a brutish killer whose immorality has been shaped to fit the harshness of his world. Hoping to escape the horrors of his past, he finds himself on an ill-fated journey with a murderous psychopath. One for fans of The Terror.

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Deceit, Series 1

This fact-based drama revisits the investigation into the tragic death of 23-year-old Rachel Nickell, who was stabbed 49 times in front of her son on Wimbledon Common. Examining the complicated and toxic sexual politics of the early 90s and the police’s obsession with the wrong man, Deceit enters a dysfunctional world, where a female undercover officer is asked to become sexual bait for a suspected killer. Meanwhile, the media feed a national obsession, covering every detail of the case and demanding justice. And the police are determined to catch the man who, in their eyes, is guilty before he kills again.

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Stephen, Series 1

In this recent three-part series – the sequel to Paul Greengrass' 1999 film The Murder of Stephen Lawrence – Sharlene Whyte (Small Axe) brings Stephen's mother Doreen to life, while Hugh Quarshie (Holby City) reprises the role of his father, Neville. More than a decade after their son's racist murder, Stephen's parents continue their fight for justice. Meanwhile, DCI Clive Driscoll (Steve Coogan) finds Stephen's cold case files.

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