When it comes to foreign thrills, step outside of your comfort zone of British mystery shows. From Irish procedurals to New Zealand legal dramas, there's a whole world's worth of wonderful content. But if you're looking for a fresh place to start, why not try Scottish crime dramas?
Gritty, nuanced, and endlessly entertaining, these series are set against breathtaking landscapes and feature colorful characters. From the court to the lab to the pulse-pounding newsroom, you'll be on the edge of your seat. Here are seven of the best crime dramas from Scotland, streaming now on Britbox and Acorn TV.
Airing from 1983 until 2010, Taggart is the longest running police detective drama on British television. Until his death in 1994, Mark McManus played the lead role of Detective Chief Inspector Jim Taggart, a salty officer who earned his way up the ladder in Glasgow's Maryhill Police Department. Following McManus's passing, the gritty, complex show kept its name but split off in a different direction.
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15 years ago, Anna Dean's (Kelly McDonald) son was murdered. When the killer, Eddie J. Turner, is released from prison, an online post claims his new identity is Craig Myers (James Harkness). When the man is brutally attacked, Anna is accused of conspiring to kill him. The emotional court case begs the question: was Myers really a child killer, or was this a tragic case of mistaken identity?
Young lab assistant Emma Hedges (Molly Windsor) is taking an online forensic course when the fake case study begins to feel all too familiar. Tracing the similarities back to her mother's unsolved murder, Emma follows the evidence to the truth with the help of two professors, Sarah Gordon (Laura Fraser) and Kathy Torrance (Jennifer Spence).
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Based on the best-selling books by Ann Cleeves, this series follows DI Jimmy Perez (Douglas Henshall) and his team as they crackdown on crime in the close-knit community on the island of Shetland. In an environment that can be commonly inhospitable, the investigators must find ways to be creative and resourceful officers of the law.
Set in Scotland's most iconic loch, Detective Annie Redford (Laura Fraser) is struggling to cope with her first murder case. A local man is found dead at the base of Carn Mohr Mountain—and on the shore of the loch is a human heart. As the town's tenuous normalcy is shattered, Annie and fellow detective Lauren Quigley (Siobhan Finneran) are faced with a serial killer.
Dan (Martin Compston) and Emily (Sophie Rundle) are a wealthy couple desperate to have a baby. When they accidentally hit 18-year-old Kaya (Mirren Mack) with their car, she offers to be a surrogate for them. But as things progress, shocking secrets about the young woman's past turn their miracle deal sour.
The Field of Blood
Glasgow, 1982. The journalistic field is a cutthroat industry full of men. But one woman in the male-dominated newsroom of the Daily News is dedicated to solving murders, even if it puts her in the heart of danger. Starring Jayd Johnson, Peter Capaldi, and David Morrissey.
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