The Lost Honour of Christopher Jefferies took home the BAFTA but if it’s heart pounding, pulse-racing, okay-maybe-just-one-more-episode drama you’re after, you’ve come to the right place. We've rounded up the best dramatic competitors…

From detectives to dragons, politicians to policemen you won’t be short of epic car chases and dark family secrets with these 13 unmissable television shows.

 

Cilla

If you think a biopic of stalwart of British showbiz Cilla Black isn’t the most gripping premise for an ITV serial, think again - you’re in for a lorra lorra drama. Sheridan Smith gives the performance of a lifetime as the show follows Black’s rise to fame and her relationships with Bobby Willis and Brian Epstein through to the latter’s death.

The real Cilla Black was honoured with the Special Award at 2014’s BAFTA ceremony in recognition of her outstanding to contribution to television over her 50 year career.
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The Missing

The thriller that gripped the nation. A dream family holiday becomes a nightmare when Tony (James Nesbitt) and Emily (Frances O’Connor) realize their son has been abducted.

Frantically losing patience with the police and their seeming lack of motivation, Tony takes matters into his own hands and begins a private investigation.
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The Honourable Woman

When Anglo-Israeli woman Nessa Stein (played by the unbelievably talented Maggie Gyllenhaal) inherits her father’s arms company, she struggles to come to terms with his dodgy business practices.

Gyllenhaal won a Golden Globe for her role, and used her acceptance speech to celebrate the wealth of “actual women” being portrayed on screen, her own feisty character included.

“When I think about the performances that I’ve watched this year, what I see are women who are sometimes powerful, and sometimes not; sometimes sexy, sometimes not; sometimes honourable and sometimes not.” Amen to that!
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Check out the speech here:

 

 

 

Sherlock

Sherlock presented Benedict Cumberbatch the role that would transform him from talented character actor to global heartthrob, as the modern adaptation of Arthur Conan Doyle’s sleuthing stories became a global sensation.

Martin Freeman costars as John Watson, an army doctor sent home from the battlefields of Afghanistan. He is a brilliantly pragmatic detective in his own right who perfectly compliments Sherlock’s more abstract style.  
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Oh, and the show can boast a fandom like no other, check out these bizarre works of fan art: 

 

 

Line of Duty

This British police drama was BBC Two’s best performing drama series in a decade, with over 4.1million viewers – that’s no mean feat!

As punishment for a previous professional failure, Detective Sergeant Steve Arnott (Martin Compston) is transferred to AC-12, a unit established to investigate corruption within the police force. Vicky McLure, Lennie James and Keely Hawes also star.
Buy Series 1 
Buy Series 2 

 

 

Marvellous

Toby Jones stars in this biopic of Neil Baldwin, who despite being born with a learning disability became an honourary graduate of Keele University, worked for Stoke City Football Club, became friends with Gary Lineker and the Archbishop of Canterbury.

With a cameo from Lineker and a “lovely, very human performance” (Guardian) from Jones, this feel good film was a triumph for BBC dramas and offered a fantastic alternative to narratives about people with learning disabilities, showing just what a vibrant life they can have.
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Our World War

Inspired by the BAFTA winning Our War, this miniseries is based on the real eyewitness accounts of the soldiers who served in WWI and follows how the events of the battlefield affected everyday people.

Using a modern soundtrack from artists such as P J Harvey, the series follows the Fourth Batallion, Royal Fusiliers as they engage against the German Army.  
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Peaky Blinders

Named for their penchant for sewing razor blades into the peak of their caps, this gangland family living in Birmingham in 1919, and brought to life in this BBC series, were one of the city’s most feared – and for good reason!

Making their money through betting, illegal protection and the black market, Tommy Shelby (Cillian Murphy) is a former war hero and now criminal mastermind eager to protect his family by making the business legit.

When he’s offered a consignment of stolen arms however, his desire to extend the family’s influence over the city brings him into contact with the brutal chief inspector (Sam Neil). The show also stars Helen McCroy and Tom Hardy.
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Prey

John Simm plays troubled police detective Marcus Farrow whose life is turned upside down when his entire family is found murdered and he is wrongly accused of committing the crime himself.

Having escaped custody and gone on the run, can Marcus manage to prove his innocence before he’s caught again? The Guardian called the show “a gripping, breathless, buttock-clenching chase…I’m there, to the end.”
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Game of Thrones

Dun dun, dun dun dun dun, dun nun nuuuun

The soundtrack alone is introduction enough for this epic medieval fantasy drama that has the world obsessed. Based on the best selling novels in the A Song of Ice and Fire series by George RR Martin, the programme follows the battle between the Starks and other noble families to gain control of the iron throne, and thus the seven kingdoms of Westeros.
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True Detective

The trend of Hollywood stars turning to the small screen continues as Oscar winner Matthew McConaughey and Woody Harrelson play Rust and Marty, a detective partnership haunted by the case they couldn’t solve.

The second series is set to be just as star-studded with Taylor Kitsch, Rachel McAdams, Colin Farrell and Vince Vaughn topping the billing.
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Utopia

“The brightest, most out-there conspiracy thriller we’ve seen on British television for a long time.” – The Guardian

When Utopia aired, it was unlike anything else on British television. Stylish and edgy with a message to boot, its two series were unblinkably gripping and with news that the show is about to be remade by David Fincher (Gone Girl, House of Cards) for HBO what better time to tune in?

Nathan Stewart-Jarrett, Alexandra Roach, Fiona O’Shaughnessy and Adeel Akhtar star.
Buy Series 1 and 2
Buy Series 2

 

 

House of Cards

Based on the novel by Michael Dobbs and subsequent original BBC adaptation, this Kevin Spacey led political drama follows Francis Underwood, a US House Majority Whip who is gravely dissatisfied despite his position of power. Fuelled by his wife’s ambition he hatches a scheme to claw his way to the oval office.

Armed with a weaponry of political dirt that could out gossip anyone in Washington, he soon sets out to blackmail his way to the top. This Netflix smash hit brought Kevin Spacey back to the small screen with a bang.
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