Happy Valley similar shows: 6 crime dramas to watch after season 3 final episode - from Luther to Sherwood

Now that BBC series Happy Valley has come to an end with a dramatic finale, here are 6 British crime dramas to watch next

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BBC crime drama Happy Valley has finally come to an end with that dramatic season 3 finale. More than 11 million people have now watched the first episode of the season which landed on New Year’s Day, making the show one of the BBC’s most popular.

The Yorkshire-based series focused on Police Sergeant Catherine Cawood and her personal and professional battles. As she struggled to come to terms with her daughter’s suicide, she was thrown back into the intense world of crime fighting and came up against her daughter’s rapist, Tommy Lee Royce (James Norton).

The finale saw the inevitable showdown between Cawood and Royce and left some fans screaming at their TV. But now that season three has come to a close, and producers have confirmed that there will not be a season 4, fans of the drama will likely feel a telly-shaped void in their lives.

In order to stave off the post-series blues, here are six other excellent British crime dramas that you can watch now:

Happy Valley came to an end on Sunday nightHappy Valley came to an end on Sunday night
Happy Valley came to an end on Sunday night


Set in the fictional sleepy Dorset town of the show’s title, Broadchurch follows detective duo Alec Hardy (David Tennant) and Olivia Colman (Ellie Miller) who investigate the disturbing murder of a young boy.

The victim’s parents, who are friends of Miller, come under suspicion for the crime, but when the media get hold of the story, the circus that ensues threatens to derail the investigation and tear the quiet community apart.

The second season focuses on the fallout from the murder investigation, with the person arrested for the crime in the dock and putting up a robust defence. The third and final series follows the investigation into a brutal sexual assault. Broadchurch is available to watch on BritBox and ITVX now.

David Tennant and Olivia Colman in BroadchurchDavid Tennant and Olivia Colman in Broadchurch
David Tennant and Olivia Colman in Broadchurch


This gritty Scottish crime drama, discussed on episode three of Screen Babble, is adapted from the Irvine Welsh novel of the same name. It follows Edinburgh detective Ray Lennox who investigates the abduction and possible murder of a local schoolgirl.

As Lennox digs deeper into the case, he is confronted by his own past trauma, substance abuse and troubles with his personal relationships. Driven by a deep-rooted desire to find justice, he becomes obsessed with the investigation, at a great personal cost.

A second season of Crime has been commissioned and is due for release on ITVX later this year - season two will see Lennox pulled into a new case after a fellow officer is attacked. You can watch all of season one on ITVX and BritBox now.

Dougray Scott as Ray Lennox in CrimeDougray Scott as Ray Lennox in Crime
Dougray Scott as Ray Lennox in Crime

Criminal: UK

This stripped back series set in a Met police interrogation room explores the cat-and-mouse game between detectives and the suspects in gruesome crimes. Each episode follows a different interview, and becomes an intense psychological drama, with their freedom hanging on every word.

Guest stars include David Tennant, Kit Harrington, and Irish actress Sharon Horgan - the series was featured in the Back to the Future segment of Screen Babble episode 11.

There are two seasons of Criminal: UK and they are available to watch on Netflix now. International versions of the show, France, Germany, and Spain, each of which contain oen season, are also on Netflix.

Sharon Horgan in CriminalSharon Horgan in Criminal
Sharon Horgan in Criminal


London-set drama Luther stars Idris Elba as the genius titular detective in the vein of Sherlock Holmes. As he hunts down killers, Luther must resist his own darker impulses to meet out a more physical kind of justice.

The disturbing cases include the search for a killer who steals his victims shoes, a cannibalistic menace, and a serial killer on the loose in the capital. The show ran for five seasons from 2010-2019 and a movie spin-off is coming out this month.

The full series is available on BBC iPlayer now - the film, Luther: The Fallen Sun which will see Elba reprise his role, will land on Netflix on Friday 24 February. The movie will see Luther take drastic action to track down a serial killer who has evaded him for years.

Idris Elba in LutherIdris Elba in Luther
Idris Elba in Luther


Sherwood, loosely based on true events, sees two shocking murders committed in a Nottinghamshire former mining village. The killings, which are suspected to be connected, leads to one of the largest manhunts in British policing history.

The series is set in the modern day but inspired by two killings from 2004, and explores the historic divisions of the community which began with the miners’ strikes of the 1980s. David Morrissey stars as Ian St Clair, a local officer who is joined by DI Kevin Salisbury (Robert Glenister) a London copper who finds himself an unpopular addition to the investigation.

Each episode of the six-part series attracted viewership of more than six million, and a second series has been given the greenlight - it is expected to land late this year. All of season one is available on BBC iPlayer now.

Lorraine Ashbourne in SherwoodLorraine Ashbourne in Sherwood
Lorraine Ashbourne in Sherwood


This adaptation of J.K. Rowling’s crime novels sees war veteran turned private investigator Cormoran Strike (Tom Burke) joined by his apprentice Robin Ellacott (Holliday Grainger) as the take on murder cases that are shrouded in mystery.

The first series follows the investigation the reported suicide of a model - though her brother believes there were signs of foul play. Later seasons see the PIs hunt for a missing author, and when Strike is sent a dismembered limb, an investigation into sexual abuse ensues.

Five seasons of the show have been released so far - Rowling has released five novels in the series to date, the latest being The Ink Black Heart, and has previously said that she will write at least 10. The TV series is available on BBC iPlayer now.