Maigret, Endeavour and Sherlock
Bloody good viewing
Here’s a roundup of the best new crime series on TV
Cities gripped by murders, surly detectives, underappreciated sidekicks — who doesn’t love a good whodunnit? Here’s a roundup of the best new crime series on TV. It offers a glut of excellent viewing, so be prepared to settle down on the couch for hours and to speculate wildly.
This is the role we’ve been waiting for Rowan Atkinson to play, since, well, Blackadder really. He’s the restrained but kind and complex Jules Maigret (what decent fictional detective isn’t complex?) and he solves crimes in 1950s France.
Get past the "’Allo! ’Allo!" of the Brits being French without actually speaking it, and you’re in for classically good weekly capers.
Season one of Maigret is on repeat on BBC First (DStv channel 119)
Think of this as Inspector Morse: Episode 1 (the prequel). Luckily, Star Wars’ Jar Jar Binks isn’t in this one.
This intelligent British crime series, set among the spires of 1960s Oxford, tells the story of Endeavour Morse, a brilliant young detective constable starting out in the police force after dropping out of Oxford University.
We already know that he becomes the Inspector Morse of later life (and novels and TV series), the misanthropic loner who could relate only to classical music and cryptic crosswords. It’s how he gets there that keeps you watching.
Beautiful cinematography shows Oxford at its best in a time that we like to idealise as cleaner, simpler and less fraught. Unsurprisingly, nothing about Oxford, murder or Endeavour Morse is ever what it seems.
Season four of Endeavour is on ITV Choice (DStv channel 123)
Those who worship at the shrine of Benedict Cumberbatch and Martin Freeman argue that there has never been a better portrayal of Holmes and Watson than this contemporary interpretation. We agree. If you haven’t watched the series, you are missing out. It’s fast paced and clever, confusing and addictive.
Season 4 has just started and already we’re gripped by Sherlock and his "mind palace", brilliantly witty dialogue, a couple of major curveballs and, of course, Moriarty — even though he’s dead (cue for ominous music).
Season four of Sherlock is on BBC First (DStv channel 119)