British constable TV shows

I’d like to watch some TV shows/mysteries about the English constabulary, available here in the USA on DVD. Any suggestions?

Inspector Lewis - watch online for free here

If you love B/C/Z list British actors, you’ll love The Bill. Russell Brand was in one episode. You can get it on youtube and other streaming services.

The Thin Blue Line

I really liked the first three seasons of A Touch of Frost. Frost is the detective’s name.

I also like Scott & Bailey. It’s running on PBS now, at least in my area. Two female detectives and their female supervisor, nice blend of stuff from their personal lives and casework.

The Bill which is somewhere between in between a procedural drama and a soap opera and ran from 1984-2010

Thin Blue Line which is a mid-nineties Rowan Atkinson-vehicle sitcom

Dixon of Dock Green of which ran from the mid-fifties to mid-seventies and was a long-running drama synonymous with a rosey nostalgic view of the police. It’s probably to the police what Rumpole of the Bailey is to lawyers

Heartbeat which ran from 1992-2010 is a drama in a similar vein to Dixon of Dock Green portraying police offices in rural 1950s England.

Hamish MacBeth is a drama which ran in the mid-nineties and launched the career of Robert Carlyle who played the title portrays a police officer in the highlands of Scotland. Whilst hardly gritty, it is less sentimental than the previous two.

Cops, which ran from 1998-2000 I don’t know, but is meant to be an ultrarealstic and fairly gritty portrayal of modern policing in the UK

That tbh is probably almost a complete list, generally most UK police dramas tend to be detective dramas rather than about the constabulary. Out of all of those I think Hamish MacBeth may be the one most worth a look at (though I can barely remember it myself).

Definitely the Inspector Morse/Inspector Lewis series.

Midsommer Murders is good.

Prime Suspect is really good with Helen Mirren.

I quite liked Blue Murder with Caroline Quentin.

Detectives are constables too, so on that basis I recommend Prime Suspect, which was truly excellent at the time.

Cracker also comes highly recommended, albeit the constabulary are but very, very strong supporting characters.

That’s true, but I tend to think of the constabulary being colloquially used to refer to Uniformed officers.

Yes, I meant the entire range of British Police, including Scotland yard, Inspectors, etc.


There’s also The Sweeney, also with John Thaw. And Ashes to Ashes and Life on Mars.

For Scottish based crime drama, there’s the already mentioned fairly cozy Hamish McBeth, set in a small village on the west of Scotland and based on books by M. C. Beaton. Edinburgh has Rebus, based on the Ian Rankin detective novels and Glasgow has the long-running Taggart, created for tv. It started in 1983 and the actor playing DCI Taggart died in 1994, although this didn’t stop the series continuing until 2010!

There are dvds of all of these available in the US.

Americans wishing to watch Taggart should ensure that subtitles are available.

Midsomer murders wonderful series I own and have watched them at least 4 times through, but stop at movie 81 the main character leaves and it goes down hill fast after.

I just recently discovered the Inspector George Gently series on Netflix. Its set in the Newcastle area during the 1960’s. It’s very good, and just listening to the accents are a treat. (I have no idea how accurate they are.)

Is that all.

Foyle’s War

Above Suspicion with Ciaran Hines. Didn’t much like the last series, but the first three were great.

Broadchurch with the Tenth Doctor…superb.

Luther with Idris Elba. I love love love this show.

Endeavour is about a young Inspector Morse. I feel it’s actually superior to Morse in every way.

Mid 90’s Bill is the best Bill, e.g., this arc.

Totally agree. Although I’m sure everyone can work out what he’s on about when he says “There’s bin a mudder!”