British Detective TV Shows on Netflix

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Netflix has greatly reduced their total number of titles offered in recent years, but one thing they haven't cut back on is British detective series. Although the exact lineup is always changing, we've combed through their offerings as of early October 2017, and this is what we found. Happy watching!

British Detective TV Shows on Netflix: October 2017 Edition

The Five – This detective series is based on the Harlen Coben novels in which Jesse, a young boy, goes missing. 20 years later, his DNA shows up at a crime scene.

Shetland – Murder and mystery in the Shetland Islands of Scotland.

Midsomer Murders

Midsomer Murders – The classic Cotswolds murder mystery series.

Happy Valley – Catherine Cawood is a Yorkshire-based detective in pursuit of the man who assaulted her late daughter.

Broadchurch – This coastal murder mystery offers a star-studded cast with not one, but now TWO different Doctor Who leads (Jodie Whittaker and David Tennant).

Paranoid – What begins as a cozy British mystery quickly evolves into a massive European conspiracy.

River – This Netflix original gives us John River, a brilliant detective with a slightly damaged mind.

Marcella on Netflix

Marcella – After her divorce, Marcella returns to work as a detective in London. A serial killer she once pursued may have done the same.

Luther – DCI Luther is a London cop with a strong moral code and a high tolerance for breaking the rules.

Death in Paradise – A seafood and warmth-hating Scotland Yard DI is transferred to a Caribbean island.

Ripper Street – A detective series set in 1889 London in the aftermath of the Jack the Ripper killings.

The Bletchley Circle – Former Bletchley Park codebreakers return to normal life after the way, but find their unique talents useful for solving murders. Together, they work to convince local detectives to take them seriously.

Vexed – A young male and female detective team frustrate each other with their different attitudes and complicated personal lives.

Sherlock – A modern-day version of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle's Sherlock Holmes tales.

Hinterland – A dark and atmospheric crime drama set in rural Wales.

The Fall – DS Stella Gibson travels to Belfast, Northern Ireland to review a murder case and finds it similar to another recent murder case.

Wallander – Though set in Sweden, this show was produced for BBC Scotland and aired on BBC One.

The Detectives – This documentary series dives into the operations of a high-tech sex crimes unit in the UK.

Thorne: Scaredycat & Thorne Sleepyhead – These two episodes form something of a miniseries, and feature DI Tom Thorne solving tough murders around England.

City of Tiny Lights (movie) – This gritty private detective drama is set in modern day London and features Billie Piper (of Doctor Who fame).

Jack Taylor (Irish) – A tough private investigator isn't afraid to take on the toughest of cases.

Did we miss any of the British detective series currently streaming on Netflix? Let us know in the comments!


Can't get enough British television? Check out these two great British TV streaming services:

BritBox: BritBox is a joint venture between ITV and the BBC to bring the best of British television to American audiences. Click here to sign up for a free one-week trial. At last count, BritBox was offering around 230-240 British programs with next-day availability for many.

Acorn TV: Acorn has been offering great British programming to the US and Canada for several years now, with an average of around 250 programs that rotate regularly (including Doc Martin and Vera). Click here to sign up for a free one-week trial.


  1. Thank you for this programming. I very much enjoy British detective series/movies and find your lineup quite enjoyable. I can’t praise enough the one I viewed this week, Harlen Coben’s The Five. I highly recommend it. It was so well done and held one’s interest until the last moment. Well done!

  2. Father Brown??? It’s kind of a detective series.
    And thanks for this list and all the others you post!! As an American I have no idea what’s out there and I LoVe British TV so these are so helpful!!

    • I went back and forth on that one! It’s definitely more of a cozy than a detective series, but I imagine the same people would enjoy it. Thanks for the comment, and I hope you’ll come back 🙂

    • If you’re after Vera, you can find all seasons but #3 on Acorn TV (link at the bottom of post). For some odd reason (most likely a weird rights issue), Series 3 is over on BritBox.

  3. Even though most of the new seasons have been released, Netflix still has only the old seasons. No new Broadchurch. No new Death in Paradise. No new Doc Martin. I am probably going to opt out of Netflix and do Acorn.

    • Yeah, if speed is important to you, your best bet is either UKTVEverywhere (so you can get it live) or Acorn + BritBox, since they each have next-day access to a number of shows, and they tend to get things a bit quicker than Netflix. I know Acorn has exclusive streaming premiere rights for a few shows like Doc Martin, so that prevents Netflix or other services from getting them sooner. Netflix is a great place to start or catch up on classics, but a hard-core British TV fan will definitely need more than just Netflix. Happy watching! 🙂

  4. I discovered all the British Shows on Netflix and hands down your shows are leap and bounds better then what we have in the United States!! I dream of visiting your country and explore it!! Your country is beautiful so much history and culture! Thank you so much from a man that dreams of living in your country!!

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