The Best Murder Mystery Television Series and Miniseries

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The Best Murder Mystery Television Series and Miniseries

I find very little television as delicious as a well-done murder mystery so, as a change of pace, here, in my current order of preference, is a list of the best murder mystery television shows I’ve seen. They range from police procedurals to creepy; some are both. I’m not going to spend any time on providing synopses of them. Just go watch them, they are all worth seeing. Most, if not all, can be found at 1channel. There is another Swedish/Danish co-production, The Bridge, that I have yet to see. I may have to update this post once I get to watch it.

As you go down the list you’ll notice that the British are masters of this genre.

  1. The Killing (Series 1 of the Danish Original), DR1 2007. 20 episodes, subtitled.
  2. Broadchurch, ITV 2013. 8 episode miniseries.
  3. Twin Peaks, ABC 1990-1991. Pilot, plus 29 episodes.
  4. Prime Suspect, ITV 1991-2006. 7 seasons ranging from 1-3 episodes each. Helen Mirren is amazing in these. You may have to rent or download some of these as 1channel only has some of them.
  5. Cracker, ITV 1993-2006. 3 seasons of 3 1-3 part each, with two later special episodes.
  6. Edge of Darkness, BBC 1985. 6 episode miniseries. Willie Nelson’s Red Headed Stranger Album features as a plot device in this.
  7. Wallander, BBC One 2008-?. 3 seasons of 3 episodes each (with apparently a fourth three episode season in production). I haven’t yet gotten a chance to watch the Swedish original Wallander, subtitled, which began in 2005—there are two seasons of 13 episodes so far, with a third six episode season to air in 2013.
  8. Red Riding Trilogy, Channel 4 2009. 3 interconnected made-for-tv movies: 1. Red Riding In the Year of Our Lord 1974; 2. Red Riding In the Year of Our Lord 1980; 3. Red Riding In the Year of Our Lord 1983.
  9. Wire in the Blood, ITV 2002-2008. 6 seasons of 4-9 episodes each.

About John MacKenzie

I'll mumble for ya. Poetry, plus most things quantifiable: science, neuroscience, memory, epistemology, baseball. And so on.
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7 Responses to The Best Murder Mystery Television Series and Miniseries

  1. sbmacinnis says:

    There’s a Danish show called the Bridge that I’ve yet to see but is supposed to be good, and The Hour is great too.


  2. John MacKenzie says:

    I started watching The Bridge last night after I posted this. It’s damn good. Haven’t heard of The Hour, but I’ll check it out.


  3. Pingback: A Night of Murder…and Mystery | Delaware Nerd

  4. I recently downloaded the complete Wire in the Blood series. Top drawer, with the exception of the American series…too bad that Touching Evil was such a hash of a show. Good potential spoiled by embarrassing melodrama and stories dragged past their expiry date…(he said, mixing his metaphors…)


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