On the one hand, it’s very silly and gloriously camp. This British-Austrian pairing of struggling police detective Oskar Rheinhardt (Jürgen … And in a gentle way, it’s really quite funny!” ★★★★ – Radio Times, “Even with its social commentary, the series has an easy vibe … and it’s a very digestible experience, especially when you also factor in the lush production design and costuming.” – News.com.au. A bad omission ,also Foyle,Vera ,and Perez. Agatha and the Midnight Murders premieres this October on Channel 5 in the UK. The BBC’s long-running period drama series about a group of nurse midwives working in the East End of London returns for a ninth season. Agatha Christie's Tommy & Tuppence: Partners in Crime – Francesca Annis and James Warwick star in this 1920s period mystery about the crime-solving couple of Tommy Beresford and Tuppence Crowley. Farrell’s novel is available to buy on Amazon. As befits a series set in a challenging economic time in a sometimes harsh landscape, the mysteries and crimes here are gritty in the extreme. Michael Kitchen’s performance was superb. This year’s Christmas special is set in London 1603 and finds Will (David Mitchell) and Kate (Gemma Whelan) in lockdown due to the plague. The mysteries themselves are of the cozy variety, often with a small set of suspects, most of whom live within close proximity to one another, and feature community secrets and dark histories. If you enjoyed this post, be sure to see The Period Films List, with the best British, historical and costume dramas sorted by era. What they don’t need when they are busy hosting a formal ball is Elizabeth’s vexing youngest sister Lydia coming for a visit with her scoundrel husband Wickham, and what they really don’t need is for the pair’s arrival to coincide with the murder of Wickham’s longtime friend Captain Denny. Amanda Coe (Apple Tree Yard) has written this new six-part BBC One drama, exploring the true story of the Profumo affair in the 1960s. Based on the novels by Maureen Jennings, Murdoch Mysteries is set at the turn of the 20th century and revolves around Detective William Murdoch (Yannick Bisson) of the Toronto … The books: The program, shown on PBS Masterpiece, is based on a series of short stories by James Runcie, who, in addition to being a writer and novelist, is also a playwright and television producer. is an TV show created by Grant Morrison, Darick Robertsonand is produced by Original Film. James (famous for both her mystery series featuring New Scotland Yard investigator Adam Dalgliesh, and for her dystopian novel Children of Men). Based on Brian Masters’ book Killing for Company, Des follows the arrest and trial of real-life serial killer Dennis Nilsen, known as Des, who murdered boys and young men in his flat from 1978 to 1983. “If Season 3 felt like a possible ending for The Last Kingdom, Season 4 ushers in a new era for the series that readies it for many more stories. Roald & Beatrix: The Tail of the Curious Mouse will premiere in the UK on Sky One and NOW TV this Christmas. What follows is a list from British TV writer Sarah Cords, of some of the finest period dramas based on mystery novels that Great Britain has to offer. J.G. Roald Dahl’s autobiography Boy: Tales of Childhood is available on Amazon. Mrs. Bradley is everything you want your mature 1920s Flapper to be: unflappable, daring, stylish, smart, and just the slightest bit naughty. I won’t be streaming for a few weeks and hate to miss them. Before he was Bond, Timothy Dalton did what many British actors did on the cusp of stardom - he donned a sweeping frock… 26th November 2020 Editor 170300 Views A Suitable Boy, Agatha and the Midnight Murders, All Creatures Great and Small, Belgravia, Black Narcissus, Bridgerton, Call the Midwife, Cursed, Dead Still, Des, Doctor Who, Dracula, Endeavour, Father Brown, Grantchester, In the Long Run, Little Birds, Malory Towers, … “Downton follow-up is fun, frothy and fabulous on the eye.” ★★★★ – The Telegraph, “For my money, Belgravia does the job, but not wildly well: there are absolutely zero standout performances, there is no zip to the scripted tete-a-tetes … But, you know, if you have a Downton-shaped hole in your life, Belgravia is here to fill it.” – The Guardian. “ITV’s sumptuous new six-part ITV drama … is a satire, poking fun at the leading lights of the British Empire who party on, obliviously, as danger approaches. The book: The period drama’s literary pedigree is layered; its world and characters are the ones introduced by Jane Austen in her classic novel “Pride and Prejudice,” but the movie’s plot comes from the crime novel Death Comes to Pemberley, as written by Brit novelist P.D. The Vicar of Dibley star Dawn French plays Peter Rabbit creator Beatrix Potter in this one-off TV movie from the makers of Sherlock and Dracula. Many viewers feel that the star of this series, Joan Hickson, inhabited the role of Miss Marple as thoroughly as David Suchet did Poirot. These are wonderful movies, featuring a prim but still sharp-minded Marple and a wide variety of guest stars playing a wide variety of characters, from police officers and detectives (often frustrated by the “dithery” Miss Marple, until they realize she can solve their cases for them), the local vicar and his wife, and household help and aristocratic friends alike. In this most recent incarnation, Christie’s elderly spinster sleuth has been played by two well-respected Brit actors: Geraldine McEwan and Julia McKenzie. Upstart Crow is available to watch on Amazon Prime Video. Reply. Fans obsessed with British series will tell you there are at least two things the Brits do spectacularly well on television: period crime dramas, and literary adaptations. The Pale Horse is available to watch on Amazon Prime Video. “Yes, there is a shaky start and the odd historical inaccuracy, but it is in my view [writer Petrer] Morgan’s best series yet and, overall, five-star television.” – The Times, “As sumptuous and well-acted as ever, creator Peter Morgan continues to offer one of the most stunning and riveting dramas on television but this time with even more of a dramatic sense of momentum … Season 4 is the best season yet of the Netflix royal drama and boasts added momentum and marvellous performances…” – The Mirror. Throughout the television series, each episode featured a few small character and plot changes from their source novels, but overall the series is quite faithful to Pargeter’s original novels. Downton Abbey creator Julian Fellowes has adapted his 2016 book as a new six-part mini-series for ITV. The Crown is available to buy on DVD on Amazon. Set in post-war Britain on the sun-drenched cliffs of the Cornish coast, the 13-part children’s series explores a nostalgic world of midnight feasts, lacrosse, pranks, a mystery ghost and lasting friendships. Establishing a home in the New World is by no means an easy task – and protecting it proves even more difficult – particularly in the wild backcountry of North Carolina during a period of dramatic sociopolitical upheaval. BBC One’s new adaptation of Rumer Godden’s 1939 novel Black Narcissus follows Sister Clodagh and the nuns of St Faiths, who travel to Nepal to set up a branch of their order in the remote palace of Mopu. Based on the classic novels by English author Enid Blyton, Malory Towers follows the adventures of Darrell Rivers as she leaves home for the first time to attend an all girls’ boarding school. Cadfael (1994 – 1998) ITV Cadfael, courtesy Central Television Sent to Northumberland after the death of his wife (and his career-killing tendency to try to bring crime kingpins to justice), Inspector George Gently very shortly discovers that sloppy police work and corruption is present in his new region as well, a fact that he tries very hard to correct, particularly by taking his young sergeant, John Bacchus, under his tough-love wing. When a mysterious list of names is found in the shoe of a dead woman, one of those named, Mark Easterbrook, begins an investigation into how and why his name came to be there. This program was filmed on location in and around Cornwall, and the exteriors are gorgeous, but the adaptation is fairly grisly at times. Featuring all new characters, Showtime’s Penny Dreadful spin-off moves the action on from Victorian London to Los Angeles in the 1930s. In this adaptation, the setting adheres more closely to that given in the books, with the episodes playing out over a generalized 1940s to 1950s era. Disclosure Statement: To keep this site running, Willow and Thatch may receive compensation through affiliate links. Set in London in 1940, the fictionalised story sees the author make the decision to kill off her most famous creation – Herucle Poirot – as the Blitz rages and her future is threatened by fallout from the war. Not period, I know, but classics that influenced “Crime” and “Mystery” for all time. Actors who have appeared in guest roles have included but are not limited to Joanna Lumley, Timothy Dalton, Dan Stevens, and Shirley Henderson. Tonight's TV-October 7, 2020 0. Set during the 1950s, this is another recent series that is lovely to look at, and is filmed in the scenic Cotswolds, where it is also set. ** Please note that this page has not been updated since 2017. The cast of Belgravia is led by Tamsin Greig (Episodes), Philip Glenister (Life on Mars) and Harriet Walter (Downton Abbey). The book: One of Christie’s more compelling mysteries, the story has a sense of doom pervading it from the very start. Hoping to escape the horrors of his past, he finds himself on an ill-fated journey with a murderous psychopath. Belgravia is available to watch on Amazon Prime Video. We are also sneaking this Canadian program into the list: the author of the books the series is based on was born in England. That same rule does not stop him from acting, in his own way, on the information he hears and ferrets out himself. Chambers was played by versatile actor James Norton, until his character left the show and was replaced by a new vicar, played by Tom Austen. First shame! The television adaptation differs from the books in one important respect: the books were set in East Anglia, while the TV series is mostly set in and around the more northern region of Newcastle upon Tyne. • Agatha Raisin - Lately I have been binge-watching Ashley Jensen as Agatha Raisin in Acorn TV's murder mysteries, based on the bestselling books by M.C. They are all worth watching, in their own ways. Although played in the show pilot by Simon Williams, the role was filled in subsequent episodes by Patrick Malahide, who truly inhabited the role and imbued it with the above twinkle. Outlander actor Tom Brittney is back as DI Geordie Keating’s new crime-solving partner in a fifth season of ITV’s crime drama based on James Runcie’s novels. What truly set this adaptation apart was actor Peter Davison in the role of Albert Campion, gentleman sleuth, whose calling cards announce “Coups neatly executed. Although everyone’s heads have been turned by “Sherlock,” the latest reboot of the Arthur Conan Doyle mysteries starring Benedict Cumberbatch and Martin Freeman, many viewers still swear by the charms of “The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes” starring Jeremy Brett as Holmes. From series nine onward, the series took on a darker tone and look. The series nine opener about the nuns and midwives of Nonnatus House was no exception.” – iNews, “Call the Midwife phoned in a lacklustre effort for Christmas Day (not a single tear from me; unusual), but then kicked off its new year series with a five-tissue job. Its humour, rooted in period detail, class-consciousness, and juxtaposition, is an endless pleasure…” ★★★★ – Ready Steady Cut, “For any with a soft spot for British drama, who are open to throwing in a bit of “ghost story creepiness” that can’t manage a PG rating, this is curious, but brilliant entertainment. ‘The Durrells’ star joins new ‘All Creatures Great and Small’ cast, ‘Endeavour’ star Shaun Evans reveals if Season 8 is still happening. Father Brown, in this adaptation, is played with great skill and charisma by Mark Williams (who also played patriarch Arthur Weasley in all the Harry Potter movies). The series stars Craig McLachlan in the lead role of Dr. Lucien Blake, who returns home to Ballarat, northwest of Melbourne, in the late 1950s to take over his late father's general medical practice and role as police surgeon after an absence of 30 years. When I ran out of Christie mysteries to read in high school, a friend recommended Ngaio Marsh, whose series I also devoured quite happily (although I never did quite grow to love her as I love Christie). It wasn’t for lack of source material that only a few television movies were made; Mitchell wrote sixty-six of these novels between the years of 1929 and 1984! I’ve seen most, and enjoyed them, but there are a couple I would like to stream. On the other, there are serious themes of coercion, enforced medication and psychological manipulation, as well as a subplot about colonialism in Fifties Morocco.” ★★★ – The Independent, “Little Birds is an unusual, ambitious and visually striking series about power and freedom. MURDOCH MYSTERIES – This period drama has been a success for eight seasons now and follows investigator William Murdoch as he uses radical forensic techniques for the time, including fingerprinting and trace evidence, to solve some of the city’s most gruesome murders, in the 1890s. The toughest part of doing research for the article was when I was done…and I wanted to go back and re-watch them all again right away! AVAILABLE ON: Acorn TV / Amazon. The thoroughly Victorian, late 1800s-set series puts its emphasis on the importance of deductions based on observations and logic-based methods of crime investigation. Murdoch Mysteries TV series inspired by real Toronto detective. The Trial of Christine Keeler is available on DVD on Amazon. However, it might be that some fans don’t stay long enough to find that out. British period drama fans have another marvellous year of television ahead for them. “Call the Midwife has long found entertaining ways of mixing soap with science, human interest with a political message. The story takes place in the modern fictitious county of Midsomer where Chief Detective Tom Barnaby and his young disciple work tirelessly to solve the local murders. An earlier adaptation of his works, starring Kenneth More as Father Brown, aired in 1974. In addition to introducing historical methods of crime fighting, the series also weaves in characters and events based on real historical people and happenings. This, and Uhtred’s feelings for Aethelflaed, drive him back into the politics that threaten to break out into war. Murdock Mysteries. It ultimately owes as much to production design as the wildly engaging cast, because the time and culture become a character…” – Are You Screening. Another thing I’ve noticed about British television (as compared to American) is the prevalence of vicars, priests, nuns (I still mourn Sister Wendy), and all manner of religious lay people in their programs. The series is beautiful to look at, in its own singularly bleak way. This sensitive, finely worked drama shows us the unrelentingly bleak reality of the monstrous narcissist Dennis Nilsen’s macabre murders.” ★★★★ – The Guardian, “Mesmerising David Tennant has killer down to a tee.” ★★★★★ – The Times. The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes, courtesy ITV, The Inspector Alleyn Mysteries, courtesy BBC, And Then There Were None, Courtesy of Acorn, Miss Fisher's Murder Mysteries, courtesy ABC, Murdoch Mysteries, courtesy Shaftesbury Films, Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window), Click to share on Tumblr (Opens in new window), Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window), Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window), Click to share on Pinterest (Opens in new window), Click to share on Pocket (Opens in new window), Click to email this to a friend (Opens in new window), Willow and Thatch may receive a small commission when you shop on Amazon via. Inspector George Gently is AVAILABLE to STREAM, Miss Fisher’s Murder Mysteries (2012 – 2015) ABC. Well, for one thing, Inspector Alleyn is generally your buttoned-down, coolly calculating British inspector, but when dealing with suspects and friends alike (and particularly when with his love interest Agatha Troy) he betrays a bit more of a twinkle than one might have expected. With Australia as part of the British Commonwealth, we’d be remiss if we didn’t also mention the mystery series “Miss Fisher’s Murder Mysteries,” as it features one of the most unstoppable heroines in all of period mystery series-dom. From the makers of The ABC Murders, And Then There Were None and Ordeal By Innocence, the BBC’s latest Agatha Christie adaptation is based on 1961’s The Pale Horse. Helen Baxendale (Friends) stars as Agatha Christie in the third of Channel 5’s Agatha and the… TV movies. Happy! I’m completely biased, because Martin Shaw and Lee Ingleby (who play Gently and Bacchus, respectively) are two of my favorite British actors, but any viewer can see that the pair’s on-screen mutual respect is a wonderful thing to behold. Inspector George Gently (2007 – 2017) BBC. “Outlander season five has all the elements fans love—romance, drama, insane circumstances that keep Jamie and Claire apart—while presenting them in new, refreshing ways.” – Glamour, “…the time travel period romance has truly found its footing. “It bowls along so smoothly and sweetly that you would be hard pressed not to love it.” ★★★★ – The Guardian, “A thoroughly modern take on a classic Enid Blyton series.” ★★★★ – iNews. If you love Merlin, medieval period dramas, and Richard Armitage (he plays the villainous but slightly redeemable Guy), then you will enjoy this adorable and swashbuckling fun British TV Show. Rooted in the conflict between characters connected to the deity Santa Muerte and others allied with the Devil, Penny Dreadful: City of Angels explores an exciting mix of the supernatural and the combustible reality of that period, creating new occult myths and moral dilemmas within a genuine historical backdrop. The books: The period mystery is based on the Maigret series of books by French author Georges Simenon. Viewers from the US watch the long-running period series on Acorn TV, and in July, Acorn debuted the DVD/Blu-ray of Season 13. Oscar winning screenwriter and playwright Christopher Hampton (Atonement, Dangerous Liaisons) has adapted Booker Prize winner J.G. “[John] Boyega takes his career to the next level with a heroic and even tragic portrayal of Logan.” ★★★★★ – The Guardian, “McQueen’s gripping true-life drama compensates for some of its more heavy-handed beats thanks to Boyega’s staggering, career-best performance and the fiery tone that surrounds it at every turn.” – IndieWire. Duke follows the first ever-female detective in fiction rivals Sherlock Holmes ( 1984 – 1994 ITV. The Trial of Christine Keeler is available to watch on Amazon Prime.. Motives are, and smoke-filled Please note that this page has not been updated since 2017 this site,. 2013 ) ITV best known for his portrayal as Mr. Bean in the nest from the Georgian/Regency, and... Walter ’ s the Luminaries novel is available to watch on Amazon Christine is! 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