• (L - R) 'The Head', 'Spiral', 'Savages' & 'Wallander' (SBS)Source: SBS
Pit yourself against some of the best minds in the business, and see whether you can solve the crime before the big reveal.
SBS Guide

18 Sep 2020 - 10:47 AM  UPDATED 18 Sep 2020 - 10:47 AM

Why are crime series so popular? Law & Order SVU on its own is up to season 22! That’s almost 500 episodes. Is it the grizzly crimes, the plot twists, red herrings, shocking revelations or just that feeling of satisfaction when justice has been served by our flawed but charismatic lead? Or all of the above? The best combination of all of these elements are being explored in world drama, and we just can’t get enough of these international crime series at SBS On Demand.  


Starting in 2005 Spiral is the award-winning series that follows a team of flawed but driven police officers and prosecutors as they contend with the most heinous crimes in modern-day France. Spiral covers both the investigative and legal elements of any given case, moving from catching the culprit to bringing them to justice in the courtroom. Think Law & Order, but darker, grittier and in Paris. The show has also been compared to The Wire, as it delves into the impact the work has on our heroes’ personal lives and the systematic corruption they have to face. Spiral is one of the best cop shows around and with season 8 hopefully coming later this year, there is no better time to start watching than now.

Hit the mean streets of Paris with ‘Spiral’
Now in its seventh season, the most compelling crime series going around takes an unblinking look at the coalface of French law enforcement.

Spiral seasons 1–7 are now streaming at SBS On Demand.



Wallander is back at SBS On Demand, and this is not the Kenneth Branagh version, it’s the original and, if we may say so, the best. This Swedish television series is adapted from Henning Mankell’s Kurt Wallander novels, with each movie-length episode (it’s like 2 for the price of 1) presenting a new crime to be solved. One of the first in the Nordic Noir phenomenon, the series’ success is down to the title character himself (played incredibly by Krister Henriksson). A driven cop with a vulnerable side, a man committed to doing what’s right, even as he knows the damage it’s doing to his life. Hes flawed but charming and has a relentless desire for justice.

‘Wallander’: why we can’t get enough of the best Nordic crime series of all time
As all three seasons of ‘Wallander’ return to SBS On Demand, we ask: What makes it the best Nordic Noir of all time?

Wallander is now streaming at SBS On Demand.



On the day the results of the French presidential elections are in, President-elect Idder Chaouch is the victim of an assassination attempt. The suspect turns out to be a cousin of Fouad, Chaouch’s future son-in-law. Fouad, a highly sought-after actor, sees his world crumble. Urged by Marion, the Head of Security for the President, he agrees to investigate his own family in order to understand his cousins motives, convinced that his own brother, Nazir, is behind the attempt on the Presidents life. Over six days and six nights, the two tribes will fight their battles while France is racked with doubt and under threat, as the countrys identity issues play out. Is it revenge? The symptom of a fratricidal struggle? Manipulation? A political family saga, Savages is a reflection of Frances contemporary identity that will have you questioning who shot the President?

A botched assassination attempt throws France into turmoil in ‘Savages’
A political thriller crossed with a Shakespearean family drama that lifts the lid on the cultural divide tearing France apart? Strap yourself in for ‘Savages’.

Savages season 1 is now streaming at SBS On Demand.



There’s no denying the Danes know how to do a good crime drama, and they hit it out of the park again with DNA. The co-creator of The Killing was inspired by a real event in Denmark for his latest crime thriller – an error in the National Polices DNA records central registry. This glitch in the system meant that piles of cases were never recorded, something that seems unfathomable – and perfect for a crime thriller. The series follows detective Rolf Larsen, whose life falls apart after his baby daughter goes missing without a trace. Five years later a case he happens upon in a small town uncovers a flaw in the DNA database, a discovery which might finally help him find his daughter.

Danish thriller 'DNA' is addictive television
What if there was a glitch in the national DNA database? That's what happened in Denmark, and this new Nordic noir uses that event as the basis of its mystery.

DNA is now streaming at SBS On Demand.


The Head

When you read the synopsis for The Head, you just know you are going to be marathoning this new series to find out what happened.

After a summer of hard scientific work at Polaris VI International Research Station, most of the crew head home. Only a few chosen ones stay behind to endure the Antarctic winter. Inexplicably, in the middle of the long polar night, communications with the base are lost. Weeks later, a team led by Johan, the summer commander, comes to the rescue… only to find the most terrifying scene: a bunch of brutally murdered bodies, two survivors and one missing person: Johans wife. Arthur, the veteran in charge of the scientific team, and Maggie, the young and inexperienced doctor, are the only survivors that can shed some light on the crimes. But they are also the main suspects. Both tell completely different stories. Who’s lying? Who’s telling the truth? And will Johan be able to find his wife before it’s too late?

The Head season 1 premieres at SBS On Demand from Friday 25 September.


Darkness: Those Who Kill

Darkness: Those Who Kill is a reboot of a 2011 Danish series, but this time they made it darker and more Nordic Noir. 17-year-old Julie is kidnapped on the streets of Copenhagen suburb Greve late one night. Six months later, investigator Jan Michelsen is the only one who believes Julie is still alive. Jan brings in an expert on serial killers: Louise Bergstein. Having left the world of criminal profiling she now works as a therapist for rape victims. That same night, the perpetrator kidnaps yet another young woman, Emma. When Emma comes to 12 hours later, she is locked up in a basement, with Julie. Jan and Louise constantly move around in the thrilling periphery of a murderers view as they link a series of killings. Will they be able to find him and stop him before another girl dies? 

There’s a killer on the loose in Copenhagen in 'Darkness: Those Who Kill'
When a young woman goes missing, only one cop believes she’s still alive – and when another girl disappears, it’s a race against the clock to find either of them.

Darkness: Those Who Kill is now streaming at SBS On Demand.



Starring Olivia Colman and David Tennant as our lead investigators, Broadchurch is set in a small beachside town with wind and cliffs aplenty and a crime that will have you trying to guess who in the town is guilty. In season 1 when the body of 11-year-old Danny Latimer is found on the sand in Broadchurch, DI Alec Hardy and DS Ellie Miller are called to investigate a case that will change the small Dorset community forever. This slow-burn murder mystery will hook you in and the performances from the incredible cast will make you want to watch just one more episode (and then surprise, you’ve watched them all).

All hail the queen, Olivia Colman
A national living treasure in Britain, Colman hadn’t quite hit the Helen Mirren level of international stardom until now. Well, about bloody time.

Broadchurch seasons 1–3 are now streaming at SBS On Demand.



DCI John Luther (played by Idris Elba) is back for a fifth season. This dark psychological crime drama focuses on Luther, a man struggling with his own terrible demons, all while hunting dangerous criminals on the streets of London. Luther is consumed by his work, the darkness of the crimes can consume him, and to get the job done he might break the rules a little bit.

In season 5 a series of seemingly indiscriminate killings become ever more audacious. Luther and new recruit DS Catherine Halliday (Wunmi Mosaku) are confounded by a tangle of leads and misdirections that appear designed to protect untouchable corruption. To make matters more complex, the son of Luther’s old adversary George Cornelius has gone missing and he believes the detective has something to do with it. And it wouldn’t be Luther without the return of everyone’s favourite psychopath and murderer Alice Morgan (Ruth Wilson).

Luther season 5 is now streaming at SBS On Demand.



This gripping espionage and political thriller follows Mari, an Intelligence Agency officer who goes undercover to befriend an asylum seeker who has arrived in Finland. Why? Because the refugee in question is Madina Taburova, one of the most wanted terrorists in the world, now presumed dead. Mari sets out to win Madinas trust in a mission to uncover what her intentions are in Helsinki. 

Produced by the team behind The BridgeThe Killing and the hugely successful Millennium trilogy of films, Bullets is a hard-edged thriller where the focus is a game of cat and mouse between two women – both driven, both at the top of their game, both willing to put their life on the line to get the job done. For one of them, that job is all about protecting lives. For the other, murder is simply a means to an end. 

‘Bullets’ shows why women make the best cops – and the best criminals
When a terrorist everyone thought was dead turns up in Helsinki, an undercover cop is sent to get close to her. But how close is too close?

Bullets is now streaming at SBS On Demand.


Baghdad Central

Baghdad 2003, Saddam Hussein has been thrown out of power and the US-led Coalition forces now occupy Iraq. Muhsin Al-Khafaji (Waleed Zuaiter), a care-worn but resilient ex-Iraqi Police Inspector no longer recognises the country that surrounds him. When his eldest and recently estranged daughter Sawsan (Leem Lubany) goes missing, he makes it his sole aim to track her down and bring her home. Al-Khafaji like so many on this list is a perfect detective/inspector – he has a dark past, a small drinking problem, top-notch detective skills and he is also extremely charismatic. Will he be able to toe the line between the new local Iraqi-led police and the US military police while searching for his missing daughter?

'Baghdad Central' is noir in the desert
Searching for your missing daughter is a tough job anywhere, but on the streets of Baghdad after the US invasion? It’s enough to get you killed.

Baghdad Central season 1 is now streaming at SBS On Demand.


Mary and Mike

Mary and Mike sheds light on a horrendous time in Chilean history. It focuses on two special agents Mariana Loyola and Andres Rillon, who are assigned to take out those who are in opposition to dictator Augusto Pinochet. To do this undetected they adopt the guise of an everyday couple with two children. Based on a real-life pair, they were dubbed the most dangerous couple in Latin America. If this wasnt based on real events, one might indeed find this double life implausible. 

Mary and Mike are suburban parents – they’re also hired killers
Set in 1970s Chile, new drama series ‘Mary and Mike’ depicts the most dangerous couple in Latin America.

Mary and Mike season 1 is now streaming at SBS On Demand.



If you speak up against power, power hits back in new Norwegian drama 'Witch Hunt'
One single action triggers a scandal of national proportions in the Norwegian whistleblower drama 'Witch Hunt', now streaming at SBS On Demand.
The timely time travel of ‘12 Monkeys’
A team of scientists struggling to prevent a lethal pandemic from wiping out humanity? TV doesn’t get more topical than ‘12 Monkeys’.
There’s a fortune to be made in fortune-telling on ‘Shut Eye’
‘Shut Eye’ is a look into the world of storefront psychics – and you won’t be able to predict where this is heading.
A 90-second guide to everything you need to know for ‘The Good Fight’ Season 4
Get set for the season return of one of the smartest shows on TV.
‘Trigonometry’ is not your average love triangle
Refreshingly original, this brand-new show from the UK is about love, bravery and following your heart.
Calling all Arabic and Simplified Chinese speakers: There's more to watch at SBS On Demand
SBS On Demand boasts a selection of brilliant shows available in English with Arabic and Simplified Chinese subtitles. New Australian drama series ‘Hungry Ghosts’ will also be available with Vietnamese subtitles.
'Black Mirror' meets 'Succession' in your new favourite sci-fi drama, ‘The Feed’
New sci-fi drama ‘The Feed’ asks an all too real question; how safe is society from the technology we have so blindly embraced?
Supernatural dramas to get you in the mood for 'Hungry Ghosts'
Get your spooky supernatural fix at SBS On Demand.
'The Salisbury Poisonings': A timeline of the real events
An at-a-glance timeline of the real-world events that played out during the attempt to contain the outbreak of a chemical weapon in Salisbury.