The Crime Drama Series Guide – Crimescene UK

Crime Drama remains one of the most popular categories of TV Drama with new content being produced all the time both here in the UK and abroad. Our guide is an attempt to bring together as many crime drama series and films as possible, starting with pioneering early shows such as Dixon of Dock Green and Z Cars through to the present day with such favourites as Shetland and Line of Duty.

This guide is primarily for content that is produced in the UK. In the main that will include material written by UK writers and produced by UK production companies but we will also include material by non-UK sources if it is set in the UK and/or uses UK actors.

Where there have been many versions of an original work, e.g. Sherlock Holmes or the work of Agatha Christie we will deal with each one separately.

Find out more about crime drama authors in our Crime Drama Authors Guide.

The 1950’s

No Hiding Place

Created by Glynn Davies (1959 – 1967) –  10 Series
236 Episodes most of which are “lost” – 26 are said to have survived.

Dixon of Dock Green

Created by Ted Willis

(1955 – 1976) – 432 Episodes

The 1960’s

Softly Softly

Created by Troy Kennedy Martin (the creator of Z Cars from which Softly softly was a spin-off)

First episode aired 1966.  5 Series 120 Episodes. Series concluded 1969 followed by a spin-off entitled Softly Softly Task Force which ran from 1969 to 1976 with some of the characters from the original series.

The 1970’s

The Sweeney

Created by Ian Kennedy Martin

First episode aired 1975. 4 Series 53 Episodes. Series concluded December 1978


Created by Robert Banks Stewart.

First episode aired September 1979. 2 Series 21 Episodes. Series concluded December 1980.

The 1980’s

The Bill

Created by First episode aired 1983.  26 Series 2425 Episodes. Series concluded August 2010.


Created by Robert Banks Stewart

First episode aired 1981.  9 Series 87 Episodes. Series concluded 1991

The 1990’s


Created by Ellis Peters ( a pseudonym of Edith Pargeter)

First episode aired 1994. 4 Series 13 Episodes. Series concluded 1998

Midsomer Murders

Created by Caroline Graham

First episode aired 1997. 22 Series 132 Episodes. Series ongoing.

Jonathan Creek

Created by David Renwick

First episode aired 1997. 5 Series 32 Episodes. Most recent episode 2016

Prime Suspect

Created by Linda La Plante

First episode aired 1991. 7 Series   15 Episodes. Series concluded 2006. A prequel series entitled “Prime Suspect 1973” with 6 episodes was aired in 2017.

The 2000’s

Waking the Dead

Created by Barbara Machin

First episode aired September 2000.  9 Series 92 Episodes. Series concluded April 2011.

New Tricks

Created by: Nigel McCreryRoy Mitchell

First episode aired January 2003.  12 Series 107 Episodes. Series concluded October 2015.

Foyles War

Created by Anthony Horowitz

First episode aired October 2002.  8 Series, 28 Episodes. Series concluded February 2015.

The 2010’s


Created by Steven Moffat and Mark Gatiss, with Benedict Cumberbatch in the title role and Martin Freeman as Doctor John Watson. Thirteen episodes have been produced, with four three-part series airing from 2010 to 2017

First episode aired 2010.  4 Series 13 Episodes. Series concluded 2017.


Created by Russell Lewis based on characters created by Colin Dexter.

First episode aired 2012.  8 Series 33 Episodes. Series ongoing.

Prequel to Inspector Morse.

The Bletchley Circle

Created by Guy Burt,

First episode aired 2012.  2 Series 7 Episodes. Series concluded 2014 however there was a spin off series The Bletchley Circle San Francisco which aired in the UK during 2018 1 Series, 8 Episodes..


Created by Anne Cleeves

First episode aired 2011.  11 Series 44 Episodes. Series ongoing.


Created by Abi Morgan

First episode aired 2015.  1 Series 6 Episodes. Series concluded November 2015.