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Olivia Colman and David Tennant | Source: YouTube/ITV
Olivia Colman and David Tennant | Source: YouTube/ITV

Shows Like 'Broadchurch': Other Crime Dramas Worth Checking Out

Gaone Pule
Sep 03, 2023
05:15 P.M.

"Broadchurch" is a popular television show known for its gripping, suspenseful, and mysterious storyline. Many other crime drama shows like it have been lauded for their storytelling and are worth checking out.

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"Broadchurch" is a British crime drama series starring David Tennant as Detective Inspector Alec Hardy and Olivia Colman as Detective Sergeant Ellie Miller. They are assigned to solve the murder of a young boy in a small English town called Broadchurch.

This leads to a manhunt as each resident almost passes as a potential culprit. It is one of the reasons why the show is considered good because it keeps one intrigued as to who might have committed the crime throughout the entire series.

Season one had a dramatic plot twist as the killer was revealed. "Broadchurch," which premiered in 2013 and ran for three seasons before ending in 2017, also starred Jonathan Bailey. It can be streamed on Netflix, where it has garnered more fans worldwide because of its cohesive writing and stellar performances from the lead characters.

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There are many other shows like "Broadchurch," which have similar storylines that get straight to the point and can be watched on streaming platforms such as Hulu and Amazon Prime. Here are crime drama series to binge-watch.

The Fall

"The Fall" is a drama series that follows a man named Paul Spector who leads a double life. He is a father, a husband, and a serial killer. Spector, played by Jamie Dornan, preys on victims in Belfast, Northern Island.

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However, a detective drafted from the London Metropolitan Police named Stella Gibson (Gillian Anderson) makes it her mission to catch him and put him behind bars. She tries, by all means, to get into his head to figure out how his mind works because he leaves a pattern after killing his victims.

Gibson, an expert in criminal psychology, gets brought into the Belfast task force after the murder of Alice Monroe to help crack the case following a string of other murder cases in the city. Spector kills women in their own homes and hides in plain sight.

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What sets "The Fall" apart is the intense focus on the character, which is different from other shows that portray serial killer storylines. The show aired from 2013 – 2016 and is well thought out and precise.

The Killing

"The Killing" is an American crime drama series about a police investigation of the murder of a 17-year-old girl named Rosie Larsen, played by Canadian actress Katie Findlay – whose body was found in the trunk of a submerged vehicle.

However, as the story unfolds, it becomes apparent that there is more than meets the eye when two other circumstances in connection with the case are unraveled.

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The murder case, led by homicide detectives Sarah Linden (Mireille Enos) and Stephen Holder (Joel Kinnaman), turns out to be connected to a saga of a grieving family and a Seattle mayoral campaign.

Seasons one and two of the show followed the murder of Larsen, and it picked up from one year later in season three, where Linden and Holder are searching for a runaway girl, leading to some discoveries from her previous case.

Strike

"C.B. Strike" is a British crime drama series that follows a retired soldier-turned-private detective, Cormoran (Tom Burke), who solves brutal murders with the help of his trusted assistant Robin Ellacott (Holliday Grainger)

Upon meeting for the first time, Ellacott admits to Cormoran that it has always been her dream to pursue a career like this, and so they partner up to solve a murder case that was initially ruled as suicide. The victim is a model named Lula Landry (Elarica Johnson), who supposedly jumped out of her window after returning from a party. She is discovered face down on the snowy street.

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"Strike," which aired on Cinemax from 2017 – 2018, also stars Kerr Logan. The show has done well in highlighting the characters' backstories while keeping the balance with the mysteries.

Shetland

"Shetland" is a Scottish crime drama series that follows a local police team comprising Detective Inspector Jimmy Perez (Douglas Henshall), Detective Sergeant Alison "Tosh" McIntosh (Alison O'Donnell), and Detective Sandy Wilson (Steven Robertson).

Together, they work side-by-side investigating crimes within the close-knit island community of Shetland. In season six, the team investigates the murder of a prominent local figure, which turns into a shocking plot twist.

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"Shetland," which premiered in 2013 and is currently in its seventh season, is a very successful television show that airs in the U.S., Australia, Canada, and across Europe.

It is well put together and features some dark elements where necessary, not forgetting peculiar situations in between. Overall, its crime scenes have picturesque scenery.

Deadwater Fell

"Deadwater Fell" is a 2020 British miniseries that follows a seemingly happy and perfect family that gets murdered by someone they know and love, Tom Kendrick, played by David Tennant.

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Kendrick, a local doctor, is a respected family man living in an idyllic neighborhood with his wife, Kate Kendrick, a schoolteacher (Anna Madeley), and their three children.

However, he becomes the prime suspect for setting his own home on fire while his spouse and kids are inside, having been the only one who survived the ordeal.

This tragedy turns the small Scottish community upside down. Several people in the area also become agitated because of the heinous crime amid growing suspicions of who might have done it. It turns out the Kendrick family was not as perfect as they seemed.

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The Tunnel

"The Tunnel" is a British drama series starring Clémence Poésey as Elise Wassermann and Stephen Dillane as Karl Roebuck, British and French detectives forced to work together to solve the murder of a French politician.

The victim's body was found between the border of the U.K. and France, called the Channel Tunnel. It led to a complex cross-channel investigation as the two agents took it upon themselves to solve the case on behalf of their respective countries.

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In the show, Roebuck introduces himself as a senior British officer, and Wassermann introduces herself as the lead investigator, adding the deceased was a French national. Hence, the case remains a French investigation.

What sells the show is its lead characters, who are recognized for their previous work projects, including "The Games of Thrones" and the "Harry Potter" series of films. Wassermann and Roebuck's acting in the series was rock solid, and it became apparent in the last two episodes of its final third season. The show is a remake of the Nordic noir crime series "The Bridge."

River

"River" is a six-part British police drama series that follows John River (Stellan Skarsgård), an intelligent police inspector whose brilliance works hand-in-hand with his unstable mind.

He is haunted by ghosts of the murder victims whose cases he must tend to. However, when asked whether he sees ghosts in the show, he states they are "manifests."

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River witnesses the murder of his partner Stevie, played by Nicola Walker, and gets constant flashbacks of them together. He refuses to let her go. They shared a special connection, and Walker's character made her more likable.

"River" focuses more on the main lead's declining mental state, unlike other police procedurals – which makes it different. The writing was on par, and it featured unusual elements in the series.

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Unforgotten

"Unforgotten" is a 2015 drama series following London detectives Cassie Stuart (Nicola Walker) and Sunil Khan (Sanjeev Bhaskar), who investigate cold cases and end up discovering secrets that were buried for years.

As the show plays out, it is revealed that people from the past pretended to be something they were not. Stuart can be seen working on a 39-year-old case and hinting at catching the culprit for a murder.

She also questions whether a crime becomes less than just because time has passed while investigating the murder of a young boy, and one person, Martin Hughes, played by Peter Egan, answers, "Feels like history to me."

"Unforgotten" is said to be full of surprises. The show does not give away clues of guessing who might have committed the crime in the first few minutes because it has many complications. The lead actors also make the series appealing to watch.

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