10 binge-worthy British mysteries now on Netflix (2023)

Turn off the phone, grab a cozy blanket and stretch out on the couch.

10 binge-worthy British mysteries now on Netflix (1)

Michaela Coel em Black Earth Rising. (Foto: Sophie Mutevelian/BBC/Netflix)

From elevated procedurals to gripping mysteries and twisty thrillers with a supernatural twist, there are plenty of grisly British murders to solve on Netflix right now, so do well to make yourself comfortable.

Here are ten binge-worthy British crime dramas guaranteed to brighten up those dark winter nights.

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Die A-List

The essentials:A group of attractive teenagers, in various states of teenage temper, arrive at the picturesque summer camp on Peregrine Island. You really can't blame them as there is no wifi on the island and the camp supervisors treat them like big kids and ask them to play kid games like capture the flag. A darker game soon develops, however, as the street-smart Mia (played by Lisa Ambalavanar) and the oddly deadpan Ice Queen Amber (played by Ellie Duckles) struggle for social power. However, the odds are high, as it soon becomes clear that Amber has supernatural advantages.
Why it's worth it:The spooky scenes are twisted rather than terrifying, and you'll spend most of your time feeling pleasantly disoriented rather than veered off course. The ending will test your ability to stifle disbelief - possibly to the breaking point - but it's still an enjoyable guilty pleasure, even for those well past the age of majority. A second season is planned, so it looks like there's an opportunity for a second look.

Black Earth Ascendant

The essentials:Kate Ashby (Michaela Coel) is a 20-something legal investigator with a traumatic history. Born during the Rwandan genocide, the Rwandan refugee was adopted by human rights lawyer Eve Ashby (played by Harriet Walter) and raised in England. The past merges with the present when Kate's adoptive mother takes on the indictment of a Rwandan general at the International Criminal Court. While investigating the general and the forces that brought him to the ICC, Kate travels back to Rwanda and begins to fill in some of the gaps in her background. What she discovers is shocking.
Why it's worth it:This is no ordinary mystery, but a unique and unexpected drama that explores issues of justice and race (and how ideas about the former are often influenced by the latter) and how the stories we are told shape our identity. It's an ambitious series that doesn't always reach its goal, but is held back by a preliminary phase.I can destroy youCoel, portraying Kate with wild vulnerability.


The essentials:A picturesque Dorset town is reeling after the body of an 11-year-old boy is found at the foot of a beach cliff. Detective Inspector Alec Hardy (David Tennant) is a cantankerous parent of sorts (minus the jokes and gut) and community misfit. He teams up with local detective sergeant Ellie Miller (Olivia Colman), compassionate and deceptively maternal, to investigate the murder. The investigation gradually reveals how many mysteries can hold together a seemingly tranquil seaside village.
Why it's worth it:Two reasons: Tennant and Colman, whose brilliant chemistry adds extra drama to the already potent mix. And, like the best British crime series, it's filled with solid British actors. You simply can't go wrong here - the premise is deadly enough to grab your attention, but it's the richness of the subplots that bolster and elevate the narrative.
Emotion rating:8/10

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The essentials:A Syrian refugee working as a pizza delivery boy is shot dead after delivering a cake to a well-connected woman in a London suburb. Detective Inspector Kip Glaspie (Carey Mulligan) is the smart cop assigned to investigate the case. The newly promoted cop has something to prove, and with her 360-degree swivel antenna for solving crimes, she suspects there's more to crime than just another random act. Her intuition proves true, revealing an interconnected web of complicity and corruption at the highest institutions.
Why it's worth it:It's so well designed and executed. Written by the eminent English playwright Sir David Hare, this is a dramatic thriller that exudes contemporary relevance both politically and culturally. The women round out this series and Mulligan shines brightest. You could cut yourself at the sharp angles of her performance.
Emotion rating:8/10

criminal great britain

The essentials:Detectives interrogate a suspect and unravel his story piece by piece until the truth comes out. Each episode of this anthology series takes place in an interview room whose air is becoming increasingly thick with psychological tension. The accused is almost always portrayed by a bold name or a prominent British actor, adding to the atmosphere of This Is Acting.
Why it's worth it:criminal great britainit's an oddly satisfying one-trick pony, and that's largely due to the quality of the acting (the dramatic arc can be daunting at times). In season one, David Tennant and Hayley Atwell were detective-shy. The newly released second season pleases the actorsTo War two Thrones's Kit Harington eCatastrophe'is Sharon Horgan an opportunity to shine.

Giri/Haji (duty/shame)

The essentials:Kenzo Mori (played by Takehiro Hira) is a Tokyo police officer who is sent to London to find his brother Yuto (Yōsuke Kubozuka), a former member of the Yakuza gang presumed dead. (The very much alive Yuto killed the nephew of a rival boss in the English capital and started a gang war back home.) In London, Kenzo meets a delightfully weird English detective (played by Kelly McDonald) and a wicked English/Japanese boy named Jiro (played by a scene robbing Yoshiki Minato).
Why it's worth it:The BBC production, which alternates between English and Japanese, looks a little more prestigious on TV than it does on the network. An emotional slow burn with a noirical edge, its nuanced performances of Mori with a stoic world-weariness, as well as memorable portrayals of Minato and McDonald only serve to heighten the enjoyment of watching this series, which is also sadly funny, with an unexpectedly dry sense of humor.

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exercise of duty

The essentials:Police procedure with a contemporary twist - the cops are the criminals -exercise of duty,Spanning five popular seasons, with a sixth in the works, it chronicles the activities of AC-12, a task force assembled to root out corruption. The unholy trinity of DS Steve Arnott (Martin Compson), DI Kate Fleming (Vicky McClure) and Superintendent Ted Hastings (Adrian Dunbar) are intensely focused on exposing bad apples, even as they deal with their own bruises and sometimes conceal procedures.
Why it's worth it:A complex narrative that keeps us engaged, combined with an interesting cast - fabulous guest stars up the fun quotient - create a solid foundation that is both entertaining and educational. Law and order with nuances and moral ambiguity, who would have thought?


the essentials: Matilda "Tilly" Gray (Lydia Wilson) is a London cellist whose mother inexplicably commits suicide before her eyes. Later, when Tilly is going through her mother's belongings, she discovers a cache of photos and newspaper clippings belonging to the abduction of a four-year-old Welsh girl decades earlier. To unravel the mystery of these relics and their strange power over the mother, Tilly and her best friend Hal (Joel Fry) go to the Welsh village where the little girl was taken. Strange events multiply upon your arrival in Penllynith, Wales. Get ready to be scared unexpectedly, there are lots of great sounds and scary pictures.
Why it's worth it:Wilson has an otherworldly quality that befits the far-fetched, almost mythical plot given to make it dramatic. She's so determined to delve deeper into the darkness that you can't help but follow her (if you occasionally stop and wonder where she got some of her awesome sweaters).


The essentials:A modern reinterpretation of the legendary detective story, starring Benedict Cumberbatch as the title character and Martin Freeman as his sassy Watson.
Why it's worth it:It's fast and fast (though a little too fast at times) and filled with eccentric performances from solid British actors. Sherlock's evil antagonist, Moriarty, played by Andrew Scott, aka,flea bag''s Hot Priest, is a series highlight. (That's right, he was a hot bad guy before he put a collar on Phoebe Waller-Bridge.)
Emotion rating:7,5/10

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young wallander

The essentials:Ever wonder how the brooding legendary Swedish detective got his start? No, neither do I, but that's not the point. This ingenious origin story is an opportunity to revive the character with a young and attractive protagonist (no disrespectWallanderStar Kenneth Branagh). The show delivers on that brief with flying colors, with Swedish actor Adam Pålsson as a young newcomer. But don't expect time travel to 1970s Sweden. The series begins in contemporary Sweden, where the gruesome murder of a teenager in a housing project has deepened anti-immigrant sentiment.
Why it's worth it:Kurt is still finding his leading man legs - as is the series, which feels more English than Swedish (it's being produced by the same British company responsible forWallanderand it's packed with English actors) – but there's something endearing and undramatic about watching him do it. The show might scratch the surface of its big ideas, but for viewers who've had a long day tackling contemporary real-world challenges, it might feel good to skate.

FILED AT: favorite editors Netflix

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What is the best British crime drama on Netflix? ›

Binge-worthy British Crime TV Shows
  • Top Boy.
  • Bodyguard.
  • Marcella.
  • Safe.
  • Inside Man.
  • Anatomy of a Scandal.
  • Stay Close.
  • Don't Pick Up the Phone.

Are there British mysteries on Netflix? ›

From Broadchurch to Luther to Happy Valley, their shows expertly thread dark storylines with engaging characters and outstanding production values. Now, with an abundance of streaming sites including Netflix, it's easier than ever for fans to watch crime shows from across the pond.

Are there any good mystery series on Netflix? ›

Crime TV Shows
  • Clickbait.
  • Light the Night.
  • The Woman in the House Across the Street from the Girl in the Window.
  • The Woods.
  • Entrapped.
  • Gone for Good.
  • Sacred Games.
  • Get Even.

What is the best thriller on Netflix UK? ›

Thriller Movies
  • Disappearance at Clifton Hill.
  • Get In.
  • 1922.
  • Secret Obsession.
  • Spiderhead.
  • The Paramedic.
  • Under Her Control.
  • The Lost Patient.

What is the Welsh mystery on Netflix? ›

Netflix is to broadcast its first Welsh language drama.

It has bought the licence for S4C's Dal y Mellt, a gritty crime thriller which will air from April 2023. Set in Cardiff, Soho, Porthmadog and Holyhead, it follows a group of misfits as they come together to pull off a heist.

What is the new BBC detective drama? ›

The five-part thriller has landed on BBC One. Following hot on the heels of police drama Happy Valley, which came to a dramatic end earlier in February, BBC is airing another cop series titled Better.

What is the most popular BBC drama? ›

1. Line of Duty (2012–2021) Drama series following the investigations of AC-12, a controversial police anti-corruption unit.

What series is as good as Broadchurch? ›

More Shows Like Broadchurch
  • Unforgotten (2015- )
  • Happy Valley (2014-2022)
  • The Missing (2014-2016)
  • Vera (2011- )
  • Deadwater Fell (2020)
  • Hinterland (2013-2016)
  • Marcella (2016- )
  • The Bay (2019- )
Jan 24, 2022

Are there any new British crime dramas? ›

More New British Mysteries to Come…
  • Acorn TV Original Mystery The Chelsea Detective to Premiere in March (+Trailer) January 19, 2022 Stefanie Hutson British TV Premieres, British Mysteries 2.
  • David Tennant in Deadwater Fell: Trailer & US Premiere Details. ...
  • US Air Date Announced for JK Rowling's Cormoran Strike Series.

Who is Britain's most loved detective? ›


Elementary, my dear Watson! Sherlock Holmes has not only been named the UK's number one big screen detective, but also the UK's favourite mystery thriller movie, according to new national research published today1.

Who is the most famous British detective? ›

Sherlock Holmes

Quite possibly the most famous detective of all, Holmes has been a household name since publication — indeed, he was such a popular figure that when Conan Doyle killed him off in the story The Final Problem, Victorian London was said to have gone into mourning until Conan Doyle revived him!

What is the most watched series in the UK? ›

1. Game of Thrones (2011–2019)

What is the #1 movie on Netflix right now? ›

The 10 most popular movies on Netflix right now
  • The Hangover Part II (2011) 44 % 6.5/10. ...
  • The Hunger Games: Catching Fire (2013) 76 % ...
  • The Strays (2023) 4.7/10. ...
  • Minions: The Rise of Gru (2022) 56 % ...
  • Magic Mike XXL (2015) 60 % ...
  • The Hunger Games (2012) 68 % ...
  • The Hangover Part III (2013) 30 % ...
  • This Is Where I Leave You (2014) 44 %
7 days ago

What is number 1 on Netflix now? ›

Netflix Top 10 in the United States
1(1)The Lincoln Lawyer
2(4)Wrong Side of the Tracks
3(5)Jackass 4.5
6 more rows

What is the best crime thriller on Netflix? ›

Thriller MoviesExplore more
  • Unsane.
  • Disappearance at Clifton Hill.
  • The Woman in the Window.
  • Selfless.
  • Intrusion.
  • Get In.
  • Perfect Stranger.
  • Don't Say a Word.

What is the number 1 series on Netflix? ›

Global Top 10
#TV (English)Weeks in Top 10
1Outer Banks: Season 32
2Sex/Life: Season 21
3Perfect Match: Season 13
4Outer Banks: Season 17
6 more rows


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