Detective series are an ever popular genre on TV, with a constant supply of sleuths who always get their man. I love them myself, although I seem to be completely incapable of spotting even the most obvious murderer. Here are my favourite TV ‘tecs.
1. Inspector Morse
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I so enjoyed the permanently grumpy, beer-swilling Morse that to this day I haven’t been able to watch the final episode where he dies (sob). It’s impossible to imagine anyone other than the late John Thaw playing the Jaguar-driving detective (I loved that car too …)
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Sometimes the source books are good but the adaptation is rubbish – or vice versa. This is one case where the programme did the books justice. If you haven’t caught up with Brother Cadfael, the first of the medieval detectives, now’s your chance.
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Here’s another case where you can’t imagine another actor in the role. The joy of Columbo was watching yet another arrogant guest star thinking that he was going to get the better of the shabby detective, and then seeing Columbo go in (almost aplogetically) for the kill.
I’ve never quite been able to take Poirot seriously, but I suppose it should be seen and enoyed as a period piece. Coming from a time before the European Union and the Eurostar, Belgium probably wasn’t very well known to Christie’s readers, so a Belgian detective may have been almost exotic …
5. Cagney and Lacey
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Not one, but two female leads! The male characters were secondary in this series, and C & L were every bit as good as their male colleagues. The other good thing about the programme was that it showed the difficulty of trying to combine family life with a demanding job.
6. Hart to Hart
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This, on the other hand, was pure fantasy. A glamourous rich couple solving glamourous crimes – I was young and I loved it! A long way from other gritty, realistic shows, but there’s nothing wrong with sheer fun.
7. Starsky and Hutch
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Ah, the 70s … those Starsky jumpers, the cars, the chases … one blonde, one dark (so something for everyone). This is definitely a period piece now, but I’m thinking maybe it’s time to watch it again and see if I still enjoy it.
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Yes, the 70s were something of a heyday for detective shows. Even people who were born years after the lollypop-sucking bald detective was on TV must know who he is.
There are so many telly tecs that I’ve only been able to pick out a few. Which is your favourite – are there too many to decide? Or could you never get into the genre?
Top Photo Credit: Nathiya