BBC Mystery TV Series ~ My Top 5 List

Are you into murder mysteries?  I am.  I especially enjoy British murder mysteries.  Thanks to the marvels of online streaming and sites like Netflix, I can binge-watch (devote an entire day to view the complete series) or just set aside a few hours of “me time” to watch two to four episodes in one sitting.  Here are some of the mystery TV series I’ve watched and wouldn’t mind watching again.  These either are or were available on Netflix.  Many of them also aired on our public television network.  All of them are binge-worthy!

This list is not in alpha order.  It’s listed by the “hook”; i.e. in the order of which TV series got me “hooked” first.

  1. Midsommer Murders
  2. Inspector Morse
  3. Inspector Lewis
  4. George Gently
  5. Broadchurch

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#1 Midsomer Murders

This was one of the first BBC mystery TV shows that instantly hooked me. The beauty of this show is that it lasted for 14 Seasons! Actually, it has more seasons. But I only watched the ones available via our streaming service. This show even changed their cast and still kept the momentum up. When the first Detective Barnaby (played by John Nettles) retired from duty, he was replaced by his cousin, the other Detective Barnaby (played by Neil Dudgeon). The younger Barnaby easily stepped into the old man's shoes. This TV series is based on the Chief Inspector Barnaby book series written by Caroline Graham. ♦

#2 Inspector Morse

The cool thing about Detective Chief Inspector Endeavour Morse GM (played by John Thaw) is he wasn't really working for the money. He didn't need the money. You know that as soon as you see the car he drives to work! No, he didn't do it for the money. He did it for the love. He loved solving murder mysteries and he was good at it! I wished the series could have lasted longer. Unfortunately … SPOILER ALERT! … Morse died. 

This series was so good, they followed it with a sequel ~ "Inspector Lewis"; and a prequel ~ "Endeavour". NOTE: The prequel, Endeavour, was about Inspector Morse during his younger days. It's not included in my Top 5 List because I have only had an opportunity to watch a few episodes. But based on what I have seen, it's totally binge-worthy!  ♦

#3 Inspector Lewis

Inspector Lewis (actor, Kevin Whatley) used to work with Inspector Morse as his assistant. After Morse's death, Lewis was promoted to the job of being the lead investigator. Fans of Inspector Morse had already fallen in love with the investigative duo of Morse and Lewis. To carry on, all that was needed was to pair Lewis with a really good partner. They did!! Enter DS James Hathaway (played by Laurence Fox). How on earth does the British police force manage to recruit such highly educated people to work for them? Hathaway was training to become a priest but he changed his mind and became a detective instead. ♦ 

#4 George Gently

What can I tell about Inspector George Gently (portrayed by Martin Shaw). You mean besides the obvious, that he's an excellent detective? Well! He would have made a “really good dad”. That's what he told his young partner, DS John Bacchus (played by Lee Ingleby). Sadly, even though they tried and tried and tried, he and his wife never had any children. If they had, he would have been World's Greatest Dad and World's Greatest Detective. This series immediately drew me in because it was set in the 1960s. It had a throwback vibe I could really relate to. ♦ 

#5 Broadchurch

The last series on my list would have been the first if I had listed the shows in alphabetical order. Let me give the background for how I got “hooked”. First of all, it stars David Tennant. He's my favorite Dr. Who! That's how I got to know this fine actor and since then whenever I see a movie or a TV show and he's in it, I have to watch it. 

So one night I couldn't get to sleep. I decided to watch a few episodes, get tired, fall asleep and finish watching the rest of the episodes later. I watched the 1st episode. A child had been murdered. Then I watched the 2nd episode, then the 3rd, then the … I never went to sleep! I stayed up the whole night! I had to finish watching all of the episodes! I couldn't go to sleep! I HAD TO KNOW WHO DID IT!! ♦ 


Have you watched any of the British murder mysteries on my Top 5 List?


What do you think?


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