Here are five memorable and mind-blowing British and Polish crime dramas that will keep you hooked until the very last second.
An incredible Polish crime drama, originally titled Ślepnąc od świateł. An epic eight episode retelling of a few days in the life of a Warsaw cocaine dealer whose life progressively sinks into chaos and darkness. The beautiful and eerie visual aesthetics reminded me of a Stanley Kubric’s Eyes Wide Shut, the hot cars and electro soundtrack reminded me of the film Drive, combined with the dark humour of a Tarantino film. The acting is superb.
On the surface this seems like a bog standard British crime drama. But then a surprising and dark twist is revealed in the first episode that adds psychological depth and gravitas to the show. It stars the always great Stellan Skarsgård as River and Nicola Walker as his partner, the two characters are immensely believable and layered with a lot of complexity and pathos.
Originally called Belfer in Polish, the Teach is the story of a high school teacher who moves to a rural village and becomes involved in investigating the brutal murder of a local high school girl. As the series unfolds, he learns more about the complex relationships she has with classmates and a strange conspiracy amongst the town’s elites. A very sophisticated and complex crime drama from Poland.
Taking place on the remote Scottish isles of Shetland, we follow DI Jimmy Perez and his team as they investigate crime that rock their close-knit island community. In this windswept and haunting landscape, we get to witness old-fashioned detective work and resourcefulness. Shetland lacks the blood and gore of many other crime dramas and although a bit slow at times, (matching the pace of the islands) it has great cinematography and acting.
The title London Spy makes this series sound very generic, like a cookie-cutter double O seven story. However, London Spy is a remarkable departure from this mould. It’s the story of two men who fall into a sexual relationship but who come from completely different worlds, then one ends up dead. I won’t give away the plot too much, but this erotic spy thriller starring the always great Ben Whishaw is totally out of the box and definitely worth your time.