Former detective breaks down your favourite crime dramas – from The Bay to The Fall

A FORMER police detective has broken down our favourite crime dramas – from The Bay to The Fall.

As a nation, we love nothing more than a good crime drama, getting under the skin of our favourite detectives while also trying to figure out whodunnit.

Former Met police detective Malcolm Davies – who now works as a police advisor on top crime series – has revealed how even some of the best crime dramas out there sometimes get the little details of a real life police investigation wrong.

The Fall

This BBC drama stars Gillian Anderson as a police detective trying to track down a serial killer, played by Jamie Dornan.

Discussing a clip from series two, Malcolm said: "[This] shows officers coming in and going out of a house, it also shows the media outside ringing a police officer.

"Now the thing with this is, nine out of 10 times, the custody officer would be too busy to answer the phone.

"The other thing about the media is, depending on the scene and the interest in it, the media can be on the scene within 30 minutes at the very least."


Bancroft sees Sarah Parish play Detective Superintendent Elizabeth Bancroft, who discovers her colleague has been given a cold case which ties back into her own dark past.

Looking at a scene from series one, Malcolm said: "What you see here is specialist fire arms officers raiding a barn, these flash bangs cause surprise and confusion, and thereby allowing the swift entry of these guys.

"All these people would be in plastic cuffs, they'd be on the floor and things like that where Bancroft is spat in the face, she wouldn't have even been anywhere near him."

Happy Valley

This BBC drama stars Sarah Lancashire and is set in West Yorkshire.

Despite winning the BAFTA for Best Drama Series, Malcolm still noticed one small fault from a series one episode.

He said: "Two detectives have turned up and they are going to arrest this man for blackmail and abduction.

"These are serious offences so you need to give as much detail as possible when you're arresting someone, otherwise all sorts of issues arise."

Midsomer Murders

The classic ITV drama has been airing since 1997 and currently has Neil Dudgeon as the lead detective.

Discussing one crime scene, Malcolm said: "A firm favourite on BritBox, there's a uniformed officer on the door and basically he should be taking details of anybody entering that crime scene and at the moment he's about as much use as a chocolate teapot.

"Now these two officers have walked into a murder scene wearing no protective clothing so they could be treading in contamination."

Prime Suspect

Prime Suspect was devised by acclaimed author Lynda Le Plante and starred Helen Mirren.

Watching a scene from series one, Malcolm noted: "So what you're dealing with here is an ID parade in the 1990s, you wouldn't have the luxury of glass.

"You'd also be running around the streets trying to find people to stand on the ID parade."

The Bay

The ITV drama's second series has just concluded, with Morven Christie playing family liaison officer Lisa Armstrong.

Malcolm highlighted a key detail the show had got right in series two second episode.

He said: "An area has been sealed off because intelligence shows that a piece of evidence may have been disposed of.

"This officer here has found a plastic bag containing a hand gun.

"DI Manning now has his briefing where he talks about the striations on the bullet, that means that as the bullet revolves down the chamber, it creates almost like a fingerprint. Well done the police advisors on that one."

These shows and more are available on BritBox as part of their ‘Crime Scene’ collection this February.

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