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Editor's Note: This post has been edited since it was originally submitted. As a result, the list may contain some recommendations the original author may not agree with.
Broadchurch is an emotional roller coaster with a crime that's too close to home. It's also intensely raw and full of characters with secrets. Broadchurch first aired in 2013 and is still talked about today like it's new. People keep discovering it, re-watching it, and wishing there were more seasons. Unfortunately, the show's creator and writer Chris Chibnall ended the show after three seasons and went on to become the lead writer and show runner of Doctor Who.
I still remember the first time I watched Broadchurch. Do you? (Let us know in the comments!)
I had a flight early in the morning and thought I would get at least an hour or two of sleep before I had to leave… I was wrong. I should never start a new show when I need to sleep. Broadchurch 100 percent enthralled me for all six-and-a-half-hours of season one. Since then, I've seen it enough times to tell you the exact moment I always start crying in the first episode. No shame. It's a great show worthy of at least a few re-watches.
Not familiar with Broadchurch? It stars David Tennant and Olivia Colman as two detectives investigating the death of an 11-year-old boy who is found on an idyllic Dorset beach. The scenery contrasts with the horrific crime and it's difficult to watch a normal family's innocent, bustling morning before they learn their son is missing. What follows is the twisting, complex story of a town full of characters who could be the culprit. Season two continues to follow the events in season one, but the third season is a whole new case.
Time for a re-watch? Broadchurch is streaming on Netflix.
16 British Shows like Broadchurch Streaming Now
Although it's nearly impossible to compare anything to Broadchurch, here is a list of shows Broadchurch fans may enjoy (if you haven't seen them all already, that is)…
The Missing stars James Nesbitt and Frances O'Connor in season one as parents on holiday in the north of France with their five-year-old son. In a split second, their little boy goes missing. It's a parent's worst nightmare and both parents handle the tragedy in different ways.
The Missing an anthology series and season two stars David Morrissey, Keeley Hawes, Roger Allam, and Laura Fraser. At a British army garrison in Germany, parents (played by Morrissey and Hawes) learn that their daughter, who went missing eleven years ago, has reappeared.
Although it only lasted two seasons, the spin-off series Baptiste came out in 2019 and a second season is in the works. It stars Tchéky Karyo who plays retired detective Julien Baptiste in The Missing.
How does The Missing compare to Broadchurch?
Emotional. Missing child. Brooding atmosphere.
Happy Valley is anything but happy. It primarily follows the story of Catherine Cawood (Sarah Lancashire) and her family. She is a police officer with a complicated family life, made more complicated by convict Tommy Lee Royce (James Norton) who is the father of her grandson. If you love complex characters and nail-biting drama, check out Happy Valley.
It also stars Siobhan Finneran, Karl Davies, Joe Armstrong, Shane Zaza, and Charlie Murphy, among many other familiar faces.
How does Happy Valley compare to Broadchurch?
Complex characters. Emotional. Gritty.
Tom (David Tennant) is the only survivor of a brutal crime. Family friends dedicate themselves to uncovering the truth. With chilling, dramatic twists, Deadwater Fell reflects on female friendships, the danger of gender stereotypes, and secrecy. You’ll also love the gorgeous Scottish scenery.
Also starring Cush Jumbo, Matthew McNulty, and Anna Madeley.
It's a four-episode mini-series available on Acorn.
How does Deadwater Fell compare to Broadchurch?
David Tennant. Emotional. Mysterious.
The Vera series is based on novels by Ann Cleeves. It has a moody atmosphere and gorgeous, windswept landscapes. Vera Stanhope is a lonely character but full of spunk and determination. Deep down, she cares and always does whatever it takes to catch the criminal. Fans of Broadchurch will fall in love with Vera and the Northumberland setting. Brenda Blethyn stars.
Ten seasons are streaming between BritBox and Acorn.
How does Vera compare to Broadchurch?
Brooding. Mystery. Gorgeous scenery. Moody detective.
Shetland stars Douglas Henshall as DI Jimmy Perez, a widower detective and step-father of Cassie Perez (Erin Armstrong). He works with DS Alison “Tosh” McIntosh (Alison O'Donnell) and DC Sandy Wilson (Stephen Robertson). Mark Bonnar plays Cassie's real father, Duncan Hunter, who stepped up when her mother died.
Shetland is the perfect balance of all the best elements: bleak atmosphere, breathtaking windswept landscapes, a determined detective, and grisly crimes. Like Vera, Shetland is also based on books by Ann Cleeves.
How does Shetland compare to Broadchurch?
Brooding. Mystery. Gorgeous scenery.
Anna Friel plays Marcella Backland, an investigator in the Metropolitan Police who quits her job to spend more time with her family. But it doesn't matter – her husband leaves anyway. So, she returns to the murder squad where she must investigate a crime that feels close-to-home.
In tone, Marcella is a blend between Broadchuch and Nordic noir genre. It also stars Ray Panthaki as DI Rav Sangha, Jack Doolan as DC Mark Travis, and Jamie Bamber as DCI Tim Williamson.
Marcella is streaming on Netflix.
How does Marcella compare to Broadchurch?
Emotional. Mystery. Crime. Dramatic.
Season one of Unforgotten uncovers the story of a skeleton found in the cellar of a house. Nicola Walker and Sanjeev Bhaskar star as detectives using every ounce of grit they have to find the truth. It also features realistic, modern forensic science.
Watch as detectives uncover long-buried secrets. A fourth season is in the works.
Three seasons of Unforgotten are streaming on Amazon Prime.
How does Unforgotten compare to Broadchurch?
Mystery. Realistic atmosphere. High quality production.
DCI Banks follows the life of Alan Banks, played by Stephen Tompkinson. Banks is persistent and stubborn. The show has a raw, bleak atmosphere and does show some nudity and gore. DCI Banks is an intelligent and dramatic production with lots of twists. It also stars Caroline Catz and Andrea Lowe.
It ended after five seasons and is included with Amazon Prime.
How does DCI Banks compare to Broadchurch?
Moody. Emotional. Mystery.
Manhunt, starring Martin Clunes, was the highest rated new drama on ITV since Broadchurch. It is only three episodes long, but well worth the watch for fans of Broadchurch. It's based on the true story of London Metropolitan police detective Colin Sutton as he works to track down a serial killer.
Manhunt is streaming on Acorn.
How does Manhunt compare to Broadchurch?
Realistic atmosphere. Emotional. Mystery.
The Escape Artist
In 2013, Broadchurch wasn't the only exciting show airing starring David Tennant. The Escape Artist is a gripping miniseries about Will Burton (Tennant). He's never lost a case. When his talents lead to the acquittal of a serial killer, his life begins to unravel. It may start a little slow, but you’ll be sitting on the edge of your seat by the end.
Also starring Toby Kebbell, Tony Gardner, Anton Lesser, Ashley Jensen, Sophie Okonedo, Stephen Wight, and Kate Dickie.
It's streaming on Masterpiece.
How does The Escape Artist compare to Broadchurch?
David Tennant. Emotional. Dramatic.
DS Susan Reinhardt (Rosie Cavaliero), whose marriage recently ended, is fully committed to her job and she must balance two cases that may be connected. For one, DC Marcus Farrow (John Simm), who is wanted for the murder of his wife and son, has escaped custody. For the other, a prison officer's daughter is kidnapped.
Also starring Philip Glenister, Craig Parkinson, Anastasia Hille, and more. There are two seasons, only three episodes each.
How does Prey compare to Broadchurch?
Emotional. Thrilling. Mystery.
A young thirteen-year-old girl, kidnapped and held captive for thirteen years, finally returns to her family at the age of twenty-six. This miniseries focuses on the emotional fallout, how life moves on, and what she's willing to go through to help investigators save another young girl who's been taken.
This emotional drama stars Jodie Comer, Richard Rankin, Natasha Little, Stuart Graham, Valene Kane, and others.
Thirteen is streaming on Amazon Prime.
How does Thirteen compare to Broadchurch?
Emotional. Dramatic. Moody.
Keeping Faith stars Eve Myles as Faith Howells, a lawyer, mother, and wife. She has her flaws, but everything comes to the surface when her husband goes missing. Faith must balance keeping her family together while searching for her husband. During her search, she uncovers secrets, forcing her to question everything she knows about her husband. To top it all off, she's the police's main suspect. Talk about overwhelming. Keeping Faith is set against gorgeous Welsh landscapes.
How does Keeping Faith compare to Broadchurch?
Emotional. Dramatic. Mystery.
Joanna, Alistar, and their baby Noah live in Scotland but decide to travel to Alistar's home in Australia to see his mother and fight for the custody of his child from his previous marriage. In an unfortunate turn of events, their baby Noah goes missing. This is a twisting emotional drama that might get your blood pressure up. Starring Jenna Coleman and Ewen Leslie.
How is The Cry like Broadchurch?
Emotional. Drama. Mystery.
Morven Christie (Grantchester) stars in this coastal British mystery about an investigator looking into the disappearance of a pair of twins. Christie plays DS Lisa Armstrong, a Family Liaison Officer in charge of working with the family throughout the investigation.
Unfortunately, she immediately recognises the stepfather as a man she slept with on the night the twins disappeared – a matter that complicates the case and puts her professional reputation in jeopardy.
You can watch this one on BritBox – and it's already been renewed for another season (date unknown).
How is The Bay Like Broadchurch?
Coastal setting. Crime against minors. Season-long mystery.
International Honorable Mentions
Gracepoint is a near-direct remake of Broadchruch for US audiences. It aired on FOX in 2014 and was not renewed for a second season. David Tennant reprised his role as the grumpy detective but with an American accent.
POSSIBLE SPOILER: the ending is different, so hardcore fans of Broadchurch may enjoy the alternate ending.
Gracepoint is streaming on Amazon Prime.
Disparue – “The Disappearance”
When it aired in 2015, The Disappearance was called France's answer to Britain's Broadchurch and there are many similarities; though, a teenage girl goes missing rather than a young boy.
If you don't mind reading subtitles, fans of Broadchurch looking for something eerily similar will enjoy The Disappearance.
More shows with the stars of Broadchurch
What other shows would you recommend to fans of Broadchurch?
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Liberty is a writer from Ohio, but pretends she's in the English countryside sipping some Yorkshire Gold tea, dunking some Custard Creams, and wondering who stole her TARDIS.