BritBox is the largest streaming platform of British TV, all in one place. Indulge your inner Brit with their vast collection, which includes true crime, mystery, suspense, and thrillers. There is something to satisfy every thrill-seeker who’s ready to expand their horizon to the compelling world of UK television. You can easily start streaming BritBox from wherever you are—today.
The following is a list of the 10 best shows of 2021 on BritBox. Interestingly, three dramas from BritBox's British True Crime collection appears on the list, as well as TV adaptations from best-selling authors Ann Cleeves and Peter James. Trust us—you're going to need to settle in and watch all of these!
1. The Pembrokeshire Murders
No surprise here: The Pembrokeshire Murders is number one. Starring Luke Evans, it's a wildly compelling dramatization based on the Pembrookshire murders by Welsh serial killer John Cooper. Cooper's surviving victims—assaulted in the 1970s—described the rapist/killer as someone with shoulder length hair, yet Cooper claimed he never had shoulder length hair in the 70s.
Years later, the Welsh police reopened the cold case after finding an old video tape of Cooper (who was already in prison for other crimes) appearing on a TV game show—and he had that exact hairstyle. This show dramatizes these compelling events—it's an absolute must-see.
Related: 29 Unsolved Murders That Will Send Shivers Down Your Spine
2. The Long Call
Number two is The Long Call, novelist Ann Cleeves' latest work to be adapted to television. Shetland—her other work—also makes this list, coming in comes in at number seven below.
The Long Call stars Ben Aldridge as DCI Matthew Venn, who investigates a murder in North Devon. The investigation takes him back to his childhood home and requires him to reconnect with the strict religious group in his hometown. Here, truth and fiction collide. Ben Aldridge is an openly gay actor who was raised in north Devon, within a strict religious community—exactly as his character.
Related: The Good, the Bad, and the Holy: Authentic Catholicism in Midnight Mass
Grace is based on the best-selling novels—Dead Simple and Looking Good Dead—by author Peter James and stars John Simm. A BritBox exclusive, this was the first television adaptation of James' work. Roy Grace is a tireless detective with ... unconventional methods. With his job under scrutiny, he's at risk of losing everything he's work so hard for. But when a man mysteriously goes missing, he has to wonder: is this a case of an unfortunate stag night mishap, or is there something more sinister at work?
4. McDonald & Dodds, S2
Starring Tala Gouveia and Jason Watkins as mismatched detectives, this lighter mystery series continued with the capers in Season 2. Together, this unlikely duo solve crimes in the historic city of Bath.
5. Death in Paradise, S10
Created by Robert Thorogood and set in the fictional Caribbean island of Saint Marie, this British and French crime drama follows detective inspector Richard Poole (Ben Miller) from the UK and his police team as they solve murder mysteries. While Poole proves himself to be a brilliant detective, his dislike of island life and seafood provide him with added layers of challenge. In later series, other English and Irish police officers are brought onto the island investigative team, including Humphrey Goodman, Jack Mooney, and Neville Parker.
6. Line of Duty, S6
Line of Duty Season 6 is famously the most watched drama in the UK this century, breaking all records. This season is available exclusively on BritBox. Fans are hooked, wanting to discover the identity of the mysterious leader called “H” of the organized crime group or “OCG”—as its referred to in the series. It twists, it turns, you don’t know who is corrupt or not—everyone loves the one-liners from DCI Ted Hastings, who says “I hate bent coppers!” Several YouTube videos and memes have been made about his one-liners.
Related: 11 Very Creepy Videos from Ed and Lorraine Warren’s YouTube Channel That You Can Watch Right Now
7. Shetland, S6
A Scottish crime drama, Shetland is also loosely based on the novels of Ann Cleeves. DI Jimmy Perez continue to investigate crimes in a small Scottish island community. Because the area is isolated—though the landscape is stunning—their policing is innovative and resourceful. Suspenseful and compelling, this show is a fan favorite.
8. Honour, S1
This two-part series dramatizes the real-life disappearance—and murder— of honour killing victim Banaz Mamod. Created by Gwyneth Hughes and starring Keeley Hawes, the series is hailed as “a vital drama” by critics. A compelling and gripping narrative that haunts viewers long after watching.
Related: Rillington Place Is the Thrilling True Crime Drama You Need to See
A surprise appearance on this list is Lucan, which tells the true story of Lord Lucan who mysteriously disappeared after the death of his children’s nanny. To this day, his disappearance, whereabouts, and death are still subject to speculation.
Written by Jimmy McGovern and directed by Lewis Arnold, Time stars Sean Bean and Stephen Graham. When Mark Cobden (Bean) is imprisoned, he is wrecked by guilt over his past transgressions and way out of his element in the hardened prison world. Eric McNally (Graham) is a prison officer doing his best to keep the inmates safe. But when a dangerous inmate comes after Cobden, he’s forced to make an impossible choice.