Request for recommendations: English Mystery TV series

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bertilak
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Request for recommendations: English Mystery TV series

Post by bertilak »

Over the years I have become a fan of English Murder Mystery TV series. (Or should that be "British?") Current favorites are:
  • Poirot (Oddly enough, I don't like the Miss Marple shows even though I appreciate the books.)
  • Lovejoy
  • Sherlock
  • Foyle’s War
  • Midsomer Murders
  • Inspector George Gently
  • Murdoch Mysteries (OK, it's Toronto)
Not sure what to call that category but I seem to be addicted to it, especially if there is a bit of (dry) humor involved. (A review of one such show said there are more murders in the English countryside than there are haystacks. That's the spirit!)

Now that I have Netflix and Amazon streaming working I see there are probably a dozen or more similar shows available for immediate gratification. I can easily generate a list of them but I would like some advice which ones to put at the top of the list.

P.S. It seems Anthony Horowitz is good at this sort of thing.
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fatima526
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Re: Request for recommendations: English Mystery TV series

Post by fatima526 »

'Father Brown'
'Death In Paradise'

Both the above have the dry humor.

Currently enjoying the Brit/French blend "The Tunnel" which is considerably more serious in tone. Although it is a series, each episode is an unfolding of a larger story, so nothing gets neatly wrapped up each week like the others series.
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Re: Request for recommendations: English Mystery TV series

Post by Dwayne »

Would an Australian series qualify? If so, you should check out "Miss Fisher's Murder Mysteries". Netflix currently has all three years available for streaming. I enjoyed them a great deal.

Dwayne
oxothuk
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Re: Request for recommendations: English Mystery TV series

Post by oxothuk »

Inspector Allan
Inspector Lynley
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Re: Request for recommendations: English Mystery TV series

Post by cheese_breath »

It was only 3 episodes but the Masterpiece 1998 Heat of the Sun was a classic IMO.

https://www.amazon.com/Masterpiece-Heat ... B00E6731ZY
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Re: Request for recommendations: English Mystery TV series

Post by Oicuryy »

Money is fungible | Abbreviations and Acronyms
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Watty
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Re: Request for recommendations: English Mystery TV series

Post by Watty »

I surprised that you did not already list "Inspector Morris"

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Inspector ... TV_series)

Or the spin off of from it "Lewis"

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lewis_(TV_series)

Or the current young inspector Morris bases series "Endeavour"

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Endeavour_(TV_series)

Or if "New England" would qualify the old "Murder She Wrote" US series.

http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0086765/
Last edited by Watty on Thu Aug 11, 2016 10:07 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Request for recommendations: English Mystery TV series

Post by gkaplan »

Broadchurch, Vera, Scott and Bailey, Happy Valley
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Watty
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Re: Request for recommendations: English Mystery TV series

Post by Watty »

Or "Rumpole_of_the_Bailey"

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rumpole_of_the_Bailey

I surprised that there is still anyone left alive in England. :D
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Re: Request for recommendations: English Mystery TV series

Post by DrippingSprings »

Bletchley Circle -- outstanding
The Bletchley Circle is a television mystery drama miniseries, set in 1952–53, about four women who used to work as codebreakers at Bletchley Park.
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Re: Request for recommendations: English Mystery TV series

Post by Tommy »

Hinterland, Luther
MulesFan
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Re: Request for recommendations: English Mystery TV series

Post by MulesFan »

A friend encouraged me to watch River & I enjoyed it because it is so different. It's on Netflix.

It may be a bit dark for your taste but you'll know at the end of the first episode if it's too much. At first it may seem to lean toward police procedural territory and it's not a 1 story per episode show at all.

Luther was great too!
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Re: Request for recommendations: English Mystery TV series

Post by MulesFan »

Watty's post suggested Rumpole & I went searching for it & found Acorn tv which offers a large number of British shows. First month is free & its $4.99/month afterwards. I don't know anything about it but if nothing else it will show you a bunch of different shows to look for. If you have a Roku you can add Acorn tv as a channel so it looks legit.
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Re: Request for recommendations: English Mystery TV series

Post by sbaywriter »

I second the Inspector Morris, Inspector Lewis, and Endeavor series, and also loved Bletchley Circle.

Another recent series: Granchester - it's had 2 seasons recently.
richyg12
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Re: Request for recommendations: English Mystery TV series

Post by richyg12 »

For the record I think you mean Inspector Morse (not Morris).

For a bit of humour thrown in - Jonathan Creek.

Very new, again with a bit of humour - Agatha Raisin.

Probably the gold standard 1.5 hours hours each time - 110 episodes I think - Midsummer Murders.

Police drama that has changed as the series moved on so you might want to try both early and late episodes - modern made but set in the 1960's - Heartbeat 370 episodes
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Re: Request for recommendations: English Mystery TV series

Post by richyg12 »

For classic as opposed to modern Sherlock try the series starring Jeremy Brett done by Granada Television in the 1980's (41 individual stories)

Apparently released as a series of Region 1 DVD's Sherlock Holmes: The Complete Granada Television Series
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Re: Request for recommendations: English Mystery TV series

Post by richyg12 »


And there more


SIlent Witness for forensic pathology and solving of crimes - again has been filmed for so long that there have been multiple star pathologists so you may want to try a few early / later ones as the style changes a little. 170 episodes

New Tricks 3 retired policemen brought out of retirement and led by a woman who do cold case reviews to solve old murders. Humourous also. 120 episodes

Dalziel and Pascoe 2 yorkshire detective thrown together who have different styles and done like each other. One old style , traditional police and one a younger university graduate police more used to modern politically correct workings.

Life On Mars/Ashes To Ashes - too hard to explain. Music / humour / someone in a coma / time travel. Juxtaposes modern with the 1970s/1980s perceived non politically correct policing.
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bertilak
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Re: Request for recommendations: English Mystery TV series

Post by bertilak »

Wow! So many replies.
Dwayne wrote:Would an Australian series qualify? If so, you should check out "Miss Fisher's Murder Mysteries". Netflix currently has all three years available for streaming. I enjoyed them a great deal.
Well, if Murdoch qualifies, so can this!
oxothuk wrote:Inspector Lynley
We watched much of that a few years back. We enjoyed it at first, but it started to annoy me as I felt Inspector Linley was not fit for his job. He did many things I thought foolish, even self-destructive. We started calling him Defective Chief Inspector Linley! We gave up on the series, a soap opera disguised as a police procedural?
DrippingSprings wrote:Bletchley Circle -- outstanding
The Bletchley Circle is a television mystery drama miniseries, set in 1952–53, about four women who used to work as codebreakers at Bletchley Park.
I should have put that in my list. We enjoyed it. Good acting, Good plots. Unique and interesting premise. To bad it was short-lived.
Watty wrote:Or the current young inspector Morris bases series "Endeavour"
One of the reasons I like George Gently is the time period, so that intrigues me.

Others: I will investigate! All look promising. Thanks for the pointers!
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Re: Request for recommendations: English Mystery TV series

Post by House Blend »

I don't think anyone mentioned Prime Suspect yet.

Really superb acting, but given that it stars Helen Mirren, it shouldn't be a surprise. For British mysteries, the top of my heap would be Inspector Morse, Prime Suspect, and Sherlock.

Also check out The Fall, with Gillian Anderson. Set in Northern Ireland.
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Re: Request for recommendations: English Mystery TV series

Post by earlyout »

Certainly Prime Suspect with Helen Mirren would be very close to the top of the list along with Foyle's War and Inspector Morse.
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Re: Request for recommendations: English Mystery TV series

Post by delamer »

Watty wrote:Or "Rumpole_of_the_Bailey"

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rumpole_of_the_Bailey

I surprised that there is still anyone left alive in England. :D

Hah! I've often thought that too.

Grantchester is good, as are Call The Midwife (although not a murder mystery series) and New Tricks.

I like the Inspector Lynley TV series, but I love the books by Elizabeth George that the series is based on. i read them as much for the character development as the underlying plot. But start with the first book and go through them chronologically.
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Re: Request for recommendations: English Mystery TV series

Post by CAsage »

P.D. James (movies, not short episodes)
Lord Peter Wimsey (very British)
Cadfael (very British, very vintage :))
Gosford Park (one movie, fabulous if you like Foyles war, might like this)
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Salvia Clevelandii "Winifred Gilman" my favorite. YMMV; not a professional advisor.
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Re: Request for recommendations: English Mystery TV series

Post by blgaarder »

For a site that streams most of those and more: http://www.acorn.tv

Small cost per month, 30 day trial period.

RJL Entertainment runs it and has a lot of British/Australian/Canadian shows, mystery/comedy/drama/historical/travel.

I record them through the PC to a DVR, have 400+ episodes now, 100 to record, 200+ already watched.

Some of them were made in the 80's, many are up to date. Some can be fairly grim.
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Re: Request for recommendations: English Mystery TV series

Post by Doom&Gloom »

+1 on Hinterland, Luther, and Death in Paradise
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Re: Request for recommendations: English Mystery TV series

Post by FactualFran »

bertilak wrote:Over the years I have become a fan of English Murder Mystery TV series. (Or should that be "British?") Current favorites are:
  • Poirot (Oddly enough, I don't like the Miss Marple shows even though I appreciate the books.)
Have you seen any of the 1984 to 1992 BBC series with Joan Hickson as Miss Marple? The more recent ITV series with Geraldine McEwan (initially) and Julia McKenzie (later) as Miss Marple are freer adaptations.
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Re: Request for recommendations: English Mystery TV series

Post by bertilak »

FactualFran wrote:
bertilak wrote:Over the years I have become a fan of English Murder Mystery TV series. (Or should that be "British?") Current favorites are:
  • Poirot (Oddly enough, I don't like the Miss Marple shows even though I appreciate the books.)
Have you seen any of the 1984 to 1992 BBC series with Joan Hickson as Miss Marple? The more recent ITV series with Geraldine McEwan (initially) and Julia McKenzie (later) as Miss Marple are freer adaptations.
I saw, I think, only one episode: The Body in the Library. This was with McEwan. They actually added lesbian lovers and changed the guilty party! It certainly clashed with my expectations. McEwan at least looked the part but I peeked ahead to a Hickson episode and she just looked strange. Looked like a miscasting.
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Re: Request for recommendations: English Mystery TV series

Post by Bylo Selhi »

In no particular order...

Wallander is set in Sweden but produced in English by the Beeb. Stars Sir Kenneth Branagh which alone makes it worth watching.

More from down-under, where it's claimed they also speak English: The Doctor Blake Mysteries.

Also from down-under but this time NZ: Harry starring Sam Neill.

Back to the UK. Something harder-edged: Murphy's Law starring James Nesbitt of Hobbit fame. If you like Nesbitt consider The Secret.

Then there's Vincent.

If you like the new US series The Night Of, the series on which it's based is Criminal Justice.
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Re: Request for recommendations: English Mystery TV series

Post by trystero »

+1 for "Broadchurch" (both seasons are excellent) and "Happy Valley" (S1 in particular is excellent and I watched S2 because I liked S1 so much, but can't recommend it too much on its own). Both shows are more modern and darker than the ones you mentioned.

"Death Comes To Pemberly" a murder mystery sequel to Austen's "Pride & Prejudice" is diverting for the few episodes it lasts.

-T
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Re: Request for recommendations: English Mystery TV series

Post by blixet »

Whitechapel
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Re: Request for recommendations: English Mystery TV series

Post by jeff1949 »

"The Tunnel" just because I have not seen it mentioned yet.
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Re: Request for recommendations: English Mystery TV series

Post by Abe »

Father Brown and I really liked Sherlock Holmes with Jeremy Brett as Holmes. My wife liked Lovejoy, but I didn't care for it.
Slow and steady wins the race.
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Re: Request for recommendations: English Mystery TV series

Post by dbr »

Thanks for the great thread. I don't think we have missed but one or two in the entire set of suggestions so far, including all of Midsomer and the two Australian series. Somewhat related is the American "Elementary" with Holmes, Watson, Gregson, and even Mycroft -- in New York.

Further afield and somewhat recherche is "Person of Interest."
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Re: Request for recommendations: English Mystery TV series

Post by rob65 »

Inspector Lewis.
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Re: Request for recommendations: English Mystery TV series

Post by bertilak »

dbr wrote:Thanks for the great thread. I don't think we have missed but one or two in the entire set of suggestions so far, including all of Midsomer and the two Australian series. Somewhat related is the American "Elementary" with Holmes, Watson, Gregson, and even Mycroft -- in New York.

Further afield and somewhat recherche is "Person of Interest."
We watch Person of Interest and have enjoyed it. Lately I think they are running out of ideas and have a habit of painting themselves into corners and relying on some deus ex machina to save them. (Well most of them. They are not above killing of a continuing character if needed.) We will continue to watch. I have a sneaking suspicion they're going to take the show into a whole new direction. That should free up their creativity.

I still see Ben from Lost every time I see Michael Emerson. I think of Harold Finch as Ben Linus' new identity after he left the "Others" and was no longer "Lost." For me, it does not destroy the integrity of Person of Interest's premise. It's just another secret about Harold. I know it but the characters in the show don't. Just part of the recherche-ness!

re "deus ex machina" I'm not sure that's the right phrase, but lots of long-running shows with continuing, overall, plots seem to do this. They paint the characters into a corner (cliff hanger) and then introduce us to some arbitrary new information, or "law of the universe," that the characters use to get out of whatever jam they are in. Princess Bride made fun of this when, after a main character (Westley) is killed, we suddenly learn that a previously un-encountered character (Miracle Max) can revive dead people if the are only "mostly" dead.
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Re: Request for recommendations: English Mystery TV series

Post by Zott »

bertilak wrote:
FactualFran wrote:
bertilak wrote:Over the years I have become a fan of English Murder Mystery TV series. (Or should that be "British?") Current favorites are:
  • Poirot (Oddly enough, I don't like the Miss Marple shows even though I appreciate the books.)
Have you seen any of the 1984 to 1992 BBC series with Joan Hickson as Miss Marple? The more recent ITV series with Geraldine McEwan (initially) and Julia McKenzie (later) as Miss Marple are freer adaptations.
I saw, I think, only one episode: The Body in the Library. This was with McEwan. They actually added lesbian lovers and changed the guilty party! It certainly clashed with my expectations. McEwan at least looked the part but I peeked ahead to a Hickson episode and she just looked strange. Looked like a miscasting.
I've read most of the Miss Marple mysteries, and seen most of the Hickson episodes, and I think she does a fantastic portrayal, very true to the books. So if you liked the books, give her a try. I used to watch a lot of these British mysteries years ago, not much recently, but my favorite is the Peter Wimsey stories (especially the ones with Ian Carmichael), written by Dorothy L. Sayers. The books make a great read, I've read each many times.
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Re: Request for recommendations: English Mystery TV series

Post by sleepwell »

I would also like to recommend Acorn TV for viewing British television shows. I have been a subscriber for 3 years and feel that my money has been well-spent. Subscribers have access to mysteries, older as well as newer, as well as a variety of other shows. Shows/ series are rotated periodically so over time you will have quite a variety of things to watch.

Sleepwell
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Re: Request for recommendations: English Mystery TV series

Post by nannid »

Wire in the Blood
DCI Banks.
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Re: Request for recommendations: English Mystery TV series

Post by Valuethinker »

bertilak wrote:Over the years I have become a fan of English Murder Mystery TV series. (Or should that be "British?") Current favorites are:
  • Poirot (Oddly enough, I don't like the Miss Marple shows even though I appreciate the books.)
  • Lovejoy
  • Sherlock
  • Foyle’s War
  • Midsomer Murders
  • Inspector George Gently
  • Murdoch Mysteries (OK, it's Toronto)
Not sure what to call that category but I seem to be addicted to it, especially if there is a bit of (dry) humor involved. (A review of one such show said there are more murders in the English countryside than there are haystacks. That's the spirit!)

Now that I have Netflix and Amazon streaming working I see there are probably a dozen or more similar shows available for immediate gratification. I can easily generate a list of them but I would like some advice which ones to put at the top of the list.

P.S. It seems Anthony Horowitz is good at this sort of thing.
One presumes you saw the John Thaw "Inspector Morse" series? Morse is one of the classics of English detective fiction. And before that in "the Sweeney" (crime, rather than country mysteries).

The original Sherlock Holmes (of the many) with Jeremy Brett, is thought to be the definitive one (Benedict Cumberbatch and Martin Freeman are superb, but the stories are just playing with your head).

I think we discussed Ian Carmichael in Dorothy Sayers Lord Peter Wimsey series?

Any of the Inspector Adam Dalgleish (Roy Marsden). True Roy Marsden fans will of course have seen "Sandbaggers" (spies, rather than mystery-- but a very British spy series, with a real touch of Le Carre).

Fans of Edward Woodward will have seen "Callan" (again, spies not mystery).

Murder in Paradise (British cop on Carribean dependency) has changed lead actors, but both are good.
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Re: Request for recommendations: English Mystery TV series

Post by Valuethinker »

Bylo Selhi wrote:In no particular order...

Wallander is set in Sweden but produced in English by the Beeb. Stars Sir Kenneth Branagh which alone makes it worth watching.
Many afficianados prefer the Swedish TV version of same. That said, the Branagh one was popular in Sweden.
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Re: Request for recommendations: English Mystery TV series

Post by jcar »

A timely topic for me. I enjoyed a show on Fox called Houdini and Doyle. Someone just mentioned it is still in production in Europe? Is it possible to access it via cable or some other method. Thanks.
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Re: Request for recommendations: English Mystery TV series

Post by Valuethinker »

jcar wrote:A timely topic for me. I enjoyed a show on Fox called Houdini and Doyle. Someone just mentioned it is still in production in Europe? Is it possible to access it via cable or some other method. Thanks.
It's based on the (apparently true?) friendship between Dr. Arthur Conan Doyle and the escape artist (and debunker of the supernatural) Harry Houdini.
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Re: Request for recommendations: English Mystery TV series

Post by Valuethinker »

https://acorn.tv/browse/

Being sent to this (Thank you!) made me find the original Taggert, about a Scottish detective.

Actor Mark McManus died, but they carried the series on. The originals were very good.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rebus_(TV_series)

Looks like they made a series of Ian Rankin's Rebus.

Those devoted to the 1920s & 30s murder mystery format (Dorothy L Sayers, Agatha Christie) must see the Robert Altman film "Gosford Park" which sends it up, brilliantly.
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Re: Request for recommendations: English Mystery TV series

Post by BrooklynInvest »

A great and important thread!

Prime Suspect. Best. Ever.

Inspector Morse is a genre-defining classic
Inspector Lewis a worthy sequel
Endeavor - the prequel that has a lot of charm

I loved Gently. The passage of time was artfully part of the show

Happy Valley. Two series. Both rank high on the list. Start at the beginning
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Re: Request for recommendations: English Mystery TV series

Post by Feb29 »

I've watched a lot of British detective series. I thought these were the best:
- DCI Banks
- Prime Suspect
- Murder in Suburbia
- The Last Detective
- Inspector Lynley
- Endeavour

Also, if you're into British spy series: Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy and Smiley's People are excellent.
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Re: Request for recommendations: English Mystery TV series

Post by Earl Lemongrab »

I like such things rather light. I enjoy one that runs on PBS, Death in Paradise. It's set on the fictional Caribbean island of Ste. Marie, formerly French then taken over by the UK. Originally it was a fish-out-of-water series as a grumpy London-based Detective Inspector is sent to investigate the murder of a fellow who serves as the local police chief. Lots of local color and oddball characters, inside and outside of the police force.

Earl
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Re: Request for recommendations: English Mystery TV series

Post by Earl Lemongrab »

Valuethinker wrote:
jcar wrote:A timely topic for me. I enjoyed a show on Fox called Houdini and Doyle. Someone just mentioned it is still in production in Europe? Is it possible to access it via cable or some other method. Thanks.
It's based on the (apparently true?) friendship between Dr. Arthur Conan Doyle and the escape artist (and debunker of the supernatural) Harry Houdini.
Yes, although with great liberties even in the character's background. In particular, Houdini's wife Bess was eliminated as to provide romantic tension with the "first female constable".

I had heard that Fox in the US declined to renew any more shows, so it's not clear what the future is.

Earl
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Re: Request for recommendations: English Mystery TV series

Post by bertilak »

BrooklynInvest wrote:I loved Gently. The passage of time was artfully part of the show
"was?" Past tense? I am eagerly awaiting a new season! Tell me it isn't so!

Did a little sleuthing. I found only ONE place mentioning a new season (8): http://tellyspotting.kera.org/2015/03/1 ... ge-gently/.

Every other reference I found stops with season 7.
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Re: Request for recommendations: English Mystery TV series

Post by oxothuk »

Valuethinker wrote:
Bylo Selhi wrote:In no particular order...

Wallander is set in Sweden but produced in English by the Beeb. Stars Sir Kenneth Branagh which alone makes it worth watching.
Many afficianados prefer the Swedish TV version of same. That said, the Branagh one was popular in Sweden.
I think there were a couple of different Swedish adaptations, both of which I liked better than the BBC one. I found it hard to put up with the moodiness of Kenneth Branagh's interpretation of Wallander.
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Re: Request for recommendations: English Mystery TV series

Post by Munir »

Scott & Bailey

Vera

Wallander (the Swedish versions)
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Re: Request for recommendations: English Mystery TV series

Post by burt »

I really enjoyed "Happy Valley" and "Last Tango in Halifax" with Sarah Lancashire.

burt
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