Created on: January 13, 2013 Last Updated: April 22, 2013
One of the most popular types of TV show is the detective drama, simply because it looks into the vagaries of human existence and enables viewers to see a sordid side of life that they may not otherwise see. Many detective series run for several seasons, before eventually being replaced by a newer, more up-to-date series. Although the storylines are of great importance, it is often the main character who keeps viewers coming back to watch week after week. Five of the best include the following:
Inspector Morse (John Thaw)
The late great John Thaw brought Colin Dexter’s excellent books to life in the TV series that ran between 1987 and 2000. Inspector Morse was a grumpy detective who was a little too fond of beer and whisky and hardly ever seemed to have a successful relationship with a woman. He had a great relationship with his sidekick, Detective Sergeant Lewis, played by Kevin Whately, who put up with many of Morse’s whims and tantrums simply because he realised what a great man his boss was. In return, Morse came to look upon Lewis as his closest friend. "Inspector Morse" is no more, but fortunately, there is an excellent follow-up show called "Lewis", starring Kevin Whately.
Hercule Poirot (David Suchet)
Other actors, including Albert Finney and Peter Ustinov, have tried to bring Agatha Christie’s Belgian detective to life, but none have been as successful as David Suchet, who managed to portray all Poirot’s little foibles perfectly. Fortunately, although the series began as early as 1989, it is still running, because Suchet doesn’t want to rest until all of the Poirot stories have been televised. That isn’t far off now, but there is little doubt that the series will continue to be re-run for many years, because nobody is capable of replacing David Suchet in the role.
Hamish Macbeth (Robert Carlyle)
Hamish Macbeth was created by author M C Beaton, but the detective on the television show, played by Robert Carlyle, was not quite the same as the book version. In the book, Macbeth is portrayed as being a bit of an idiot who somehow manages to solve crimes without trying very hard. The detective on the TV show has a lot more about him and, although there are still some comic moments, on the whole, the show is a relatively serious one. M C Beaton may not have been very happy with the way her main character was rewritten, but the show, set in the beautiful Scottish Highlands, was nevertheless very popular.
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