There's something about detective shows that sucks its audiences in every time.
Perhaps it's because such TV allows for compelling drama, shocking crime, thrills and spills, and intriguing, complex characters.
We've taken a look back at all the best police or detective series that have come our way over the years, and picked some that are unmissable.
We've even found where you can watch them so you can dig into the series right away.
True Detective - Watch on NOW or Sky TV
This anthology series relates a different story for each of its three periods. The first season, starring Matthew McConaughey and Woody Harrelson, received the biggest acclaim and got massive ratings for HBO.
Subsequent seasons have starred the likes of Colin Farrell, Rachel McAdams, Vince Vaughn, and Oscar winner Mahershala Ali.
Season one was a gripping phenomenon, so expertly written, and really captured the frustrations and long running nature of detective work. The standard of acting that has come out of the show has been consistently impressive across its three seasons, even if the second season saw a dip in quality.
The Fall - Watch on Netflix
Many attribute it to 'Fifty Shades of Grey', but 'The Fall' was the series that truly introduced the world to Jamie Dornan. He has yet to outperform his conniving creepy serial killer role of Paul Spector.
The show also marked a career resurgence for the consistently brilliant Gillian Anderson, who plays Detective Superintendent Stella Gibson here.
The cat and mouse chase nature of the series, as one closes in on the other, makes for compelling viewing with supporting players adding further drama to the series. At three seasons long, it didn’t overstay its welcome either.
Bodyguard - Watch on Netflix
If you haven’t watched the BBC drama 'Bodyguard' starring Richard Madden ('Game of Thrones') yet, put it on your list. It’s a thrilling watch.
The show follows a police sergeant suffering from PTSD who’s assigned to be the principal protection officer for Home Secretary Julia Montague (played by Keeley Hawes, who’s also brilliant).
It had huge viewing figures when it first aired on BBC One. It’s no small wonder because it’s exquisitely and impressively performed and produced.
Line of Duty - Watch on RTÉ Player or Netflix
'Line of Duty' returned with a bang for its sixth instalment in recent weeks. Fans have been only delighted.
The show stars Martin Compston, Vicky McClure and Adrian Dunbar. For season 6, Shalom Brune-Franklin plays a new addition to the AC-12 team. Kelly Macdonald makes her debut as guest lead for the series, Detective Chief Inspector Joanne Davidson, who is keen to finally bring Gail Vella's killer to justice. However her conduct arouses suspicion.
You can watch the first five seasons of the series on RTÉ Player now. Season five is also streaming on Netflix. Season 6 is airing weekly on BBC One on Sunday nights.
Brooklyn Nine-Nine - Watch on Netflix or Channel 4 player
On a much, much lighter note than what we’ve talking about so far, 'Brooklyn Nine-Nine' is a laugh out loud police comedy series that will leave you with a big smile on your face.
It’s hardly accurate, as the team manages to get through cases at a breath-taking pace. But its silliness is part of the charm and it recalls such old school procedurals as 'Starsky and Hutch'.
The characters, between Jake Peralta, Captain Holt, Terry, Gina and more, will quickly make their way into your hearts.
Mindhunter - Watch on Netflix
Another detective series viewers at home won’t want to miss is 'Mindhunter'.
Comprising of two seasons, it follows agents Holden Ford (Jonathan Groff) and Bill Tench (Holt McCallany), along with psychologist Wendy Carr (Anna Torv), as they attempt to develop a Behavioural Science Unit within the FBI.
While season one takes place from 1977 to 1980, season two is set between 1980 and 1981. Such notorious criminals as Edmund Kemper, David Berkowitz and Charles Manson are profiled. Everything in this series between the acting, the cinematography, the writing, the drama, and the ambience is crafted so excellently. The fact that you have David Fincher ('Seven', 'Zodiac') as one of its directors and exec producers is a testament to that.
Delhi Crime - Watch on Netflix
'Delhi Crime' is something of a hidden gem on Netflix that didn’t get the attention it deserved when it came out in 2019.
Based on the infamous Nirbhaya case in India, it is a dramatised version of the Delhi Police investigation into finding the men who perpetrated the horrific crime. The 2012 case reverberated throughout India and the wider world. It was an atrocious and disturbing crime and the seven-part series provides a powerful recounting of the incident and its aftermath.
By no means a pleasant watch, and oftentimes upsetting as well as unsettling, it’s intense and immersive.
White House Farm - Watch on Netflix
This series dropped on Netflix earlier this year, having debuted on ITV last year, and proved hugely popular, trending on Netflix UK & Ireland’s Top 10 most watched list for a number of weeks.
The detective show is based on the real-life events that took place in August 1985 when five members of the Bamber-Caffell family were shot to death at White House Farm, Essex. The crime was blamed on the Bambers’ daughter, Sheila, who suffered from schizophrenia. But the truth eventually came out.
The sense of mystery to it all and tense ambience established made for an easily watchable show. With only 6 parts, viewers can binge it in no time. There’s a great cast too between Freddie Fox, Stephen Graham, Mark Addy, Gemma Whelan, Alfie Allen and more.
Top of the Lake - Watch on Netflix
Fans of Elisabeth Moss, known for 'Mad Men' and 'The Handmaid’s Tale', should definitely check out 'Top of the Lake'.
It is a fascinating, dark thriller set in Sydney following a detective who specialises in sexual assault. Robin Griffin (Moss) was the victim of gang rape as a teenager. Thus she struggles to detach personally from the cases she investigates.
Both seasons one and two of the critically acclaimed series are on Netflix now; in the latter, 'Game of Thrones' star Gwendoline Christie and Nicole Kidman join as supports.
The Wire - Watch on NOW or Sky TV
Former President Barrack Obama has named this one of his favourite shows, never mind detective shows, of all time. If that’s not a great sign, we don’t know what is.
Set in Baltimore, Maryland, 'The Wire' introduces a different institution of the city and its relationship to law enforcement in each season. It looks at the drug scene through the eyes of both the drug dealers and those trying to bring them to justice.
Led by Dominic West, it was the series that really brought Idris Elba to the attention of the world. He'd turn to the side of the law as the titular detective in the show 'Luther' (another one worth watching).
Fargo - Watch on Netflix or Channel 4 player
Inspired by the 1996 Coen brothers movie of the same name, the 'Fargo' TV series takes place in the same universe. It follows an anthology format; each season is set in a different era and location (the first three take place in Minnesota, North Dakota, with the fourth moving to Kansas City). Each of them has a new story and mostly new characters and cast members.
The show has received consistent critical acclaim. It has starred the likes of Billy Bob Thornton, Martin Freeman, Ewan McGregor, Kirsten Dunst, and Ted Danson over the years, with the most recent season starring our own Jessie Buckley opposite Chris Rock, Jason Schwartzman, and Ben Whishaw.
While it’s comparable to the original movie in atmosphere, style, and location, 'Fargo' presents more quirky characters and new storylines. It is infused with dark humour, cheeky cynicism, and crazy twists.