Desert Island Crime Drama Boxsets

I’ve done a few posts with a ‘Desert Island’ theme and thought I would move onto Crime Drama Boxsets for my latest blog. Most of these are British and European crime dramas, which is the bulk of what I watch. I find many American series tend to go on too long and lose their impact. It’s a debate that I may have started, but apologies to any American readers and feel free to let me know if there are any exceptions that I need to check out.

As usual, this list is in no particular order.

1 – Agatha Christie’s Poirot

Agatha Christies Poirot - Series 1-13: The Definitive Collection DVD: David Suchet, Joely Richardson, Anthony Bate, Peter Capaldi,  Christopher Eccleston, Hermione Norris, Damian Lewis, Helen Grace, Michael  Higgs, Rachael Stirling, Elliott

This is one of the few DVD collections that I still own and watch regularly. David Suchet is outstanding in the lead role and the series really developed over the years. The support cast is also exceptional and I could go on forever naming the great performances. Changes were made from time to time with the stories, but I believe that this is the closest we may ever get to witnessing a perfect Poirot portrayal.

2 – Wallander

Wallander- Collected Films 8-13 [DVD] [2008]: Krister  Henrikkson, Fredrik Gunnarson, Mats Bergman, Johanna Sallstrom, Stephen  Apelgren, Krister Henrikkson, Fredrik Gunnarson: DVD & Blu-ray

I was torn between the Swedish and the British versions of this as the latter is based on the novels whereas the former deals with new stories. In the end I chose the Swedish version mainly due to the performances and the native language.

3 – Vera

Vera Series 1-8 [DVD]: Brenda Blethyn, David Leon, Paul  Ritter, Jon Morrison, Wunmi Mosaku, Tom Hutch, Sonya Cassidy, Mia Wyles,  Cush Jumbo, Riley Jones, Clare Calbraith, Kingsley Ben-Adir, Helen  Coverdale, Olivia

If there is a theme about lead character performances, then Brenda Blethyn’s turn as Vera had to be included. With a strong support cast, great guest performances and the rugged North East England landscape, this is a series that is right up there with the best.

4 – Line of Duty

Line of Duty: Complete Series One to Five | DVD Box Set | Free shipping  over £20 | HMV Store

Although the strong performance theme can continue with my next choice, the main reason for the inclusion of this one is down to the mind-blowing writing of the series. Each season has you gripped from the first episode and involuntary shouting at the screen is common place when watching the seasons unfold.

5 – The Bridge

The Bridge - Series 1 [DVD] [2011]: Sofia Helin, Kim Bodnia,  Dag Malmberg, Magnus Krepper, Iggy Malmborg, Julie Carlsen, Puk Scharbau,  Kenneth Carmohn, Ellen Hillingsø, Morten Hauch-Fausbøll, Miodrag  Stojanovic, Majbritt Matthiesen,

I have watched many, many Scandinavian crime dramas, but this one is head and shoulders above the rest. The portrayal of Saga is stunning and her interaction with Martin is a joy to watch, whilst the writing of each season is of the highest quality. The series that cemented my love affair with Denmark, Sweden and the bridge that joins them.

6 – Rebus

Rebus: The Definitive Collection (DVD) – SimplyHE

There are many a debate over the actors chosen to play Rebus, with many thinking that Ken Stott is very close to the written character. Being a big fan of the novels, I loved witnessing some of them come to life on the small screen. The only criticism may be that they didn’t make enough of them.

7 – Midsomer Murders

Midsomer Murders: The Complete Series Eleven [DVD]: John  Nettles, Daniel Casey, Barry Jackson, Jane Wymark, Laura Howard, Kirsty  Dillon, Pater Smith, John Nettles, Daniel Casey, Caroline Graham: DVD &  Blu-ray

I’ve been watching Midsomer Murders from the beginning and it may be classed as a bit of a guilty pleasure for a serious crime drama lover as myself. Yes, there are more than a realistic number of murders in each episode and some of the methods are silly, but this just adds to the charm.

8 – Foyle’s War

If there was ever a lesson required for excellence in crime drama writing, then Foyle’s War is it. Superb characters, brilliant plots and a real lesson on the devastation caused by the war. Add to that the outstanding performance by Michael Kitchen and you have everything you need for near perfection. I do wonder, however, how many facial expressions made by Foyle were written by Anthony…

This was a real difficult list to choose, and some of my favourites were left off the list – Miss Marple, Shetland and Jonathan Creek to name just three. I know as soon as I publish this, I will remember one that I have missed out or someone will suggest something that should have made the final cut.

Suggestions and recommendations very welcome…

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