‘Possibly the greatest sexual tension ever!’ TV’s Best Crime-Fighting Duos: Ranked

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The sad death of David Soul sparked a wave of nostalgia for the retro TV crime classic Starsky & Hutch. But nearly half a century since the California police stormed ABC in their trademark striped sports car, crime-fighting TV duos have never gone out of style.

Cozy clergyman-detective drama Grantchester is back on ITV1 and True Detective returns tonight, recapturing the incredibly brilliant form of its debut. On the small screen, it seems, two detectives are still better than one. So where do all of these figure in TV’s all-time crime canon? Find out as we rank the top 25 research couples…

25. Dempsey and Makepeace (Dempsey and Makepeace)

A sassy American and an English noblewoman? Watch those culture shock sparks fly. This mid-80s ITV game brought together Lieutenant James Dempsey (Michael Brandon) and Sergeant Harriet Makepeace (Glynis Barber) when the former was seconded from the NYPD to the Met. The couple’s chemistry was so intense that they later got married in real life.

24. Ponch and Jon (CHiP)

Who cares if their bikes often overtook them? Teatime favorite CHiPs followed the bromance between California Highway Patrol officers Frank Poncherello (Erik Estrada) and Jon Baker (Larry Wilcox). In late 70s Britain, everything seemed incredibly sun-kissed and glamorous. Engine roar.

23. Jake and Amy (Brooklyn Nine-Nine)

The only entries on our list are a sitcom. Over the course of eight seasons, NYPD man-child Jake Peralta (Andy Samberg) and faithful Amy Santiago (Melissa Fumero) went from archrivals to married parents. He even became a father and housewife in the end. Heartwarming, hilarious and happily ever after.

22. Bodie and Doyle (The Professionals)

Ford Capris! Fights! Firearms! Former Met detective Ray Doyle (a bubble-permed Martin Shaw) and former SAS beater William Bodie (Lewis Collins) made a dynamic duo in this macho ’80s drama, even if the comic later mocked them. them as Bonehead and Foyle, also known as “the Shits.”

21. Laure and Gilou (spiral)

The incomparable Parisian procedure (known as Engrenages in its native France) was a brave and gripping ensemble piece, but the fiery bond between Captain Laure Berthaud (Caroline Proust) and her lieutenant and lover Gilles Escoffier (Thierry Godard) provided its emotional heart. .

20. Hardy and Miller (Broadchurch)

These colleagues from the Dorset coast had a rocky start, not least because DS Ellie Miller (Olivia Colman) assumed she would be promoted, until DI Alec Hardy (David Tennant) got the job. After three series of fierce disputes and tense close calls, they almost liked each other.

19. Crockett and Tubbs (Miami Vice)

There’s nothing more ’80s than the Ferrari driving duo in Ray-Bans and pastel jackets with shoulder pads and rolled-up sleeves. Sonny Crockett (Don Johnson) and Rico Tubbs (Philip Michael Thomas) were neon new wave detectives. The original introductory memo simply said “MTV cops.”

18. Dalziel and Pascoe (Dalziel and Pascoe)

For more than a decade, no Yorkshire murderer was safe from the BBC duo of DSI Andy Dalziel (Warren Clarke) and his polite protégé, DI Peter Pascoe (Colin Buchanan). By the way, he’s pronounced “Dee-el.”

17. Fleming and Arnott (Line of Duty)

Be careful with bent coppers. Across six hit BBC series, anti-corruption police unit AC-12’s dream team consisted of undercover specialist Kate Fleming (Vicky McClure) and vest-wearing Steve Arnott (Martin Compston). Will they call each other “companion” again one day? Mother of God, I hope so.

16. Saga and Martin (The Bridge)

Previous Scandinavian crime dramas had starred lonely mavericks like Kurt Wallander and Sarah Lund. The Bridge broke the mold by pairing Swedish detective Saga Norén (Sofia Helen) with her softer Danish counterpart (Kim Brodnia). Opposite fleeces that fit like a flat Ikea backpack.

15. Tyler and Hunt (Life on Mars)

Not just different personalities, these two were from different eras. When 2000s cop Sam Tyler (John Simm) mysteriously traveled back in time to 1973, he found himself partnered with DCI Gene Hunt (Philip Glenister), a heavy drinker. He followed a love-hate relationship. He starts the Ford Cortina.

14. Scott and Bailey (Scott and Bailey)

Writer Sally Wainwright would later create a lone wolf in Happy Valley’s indelible Sergeant Catherine Cawood, but first came DC Janet Scott (Lesley Sharp) and DC Rachel Bailey (Suranne Jones). As if Cagney and Lacey had moved to Manchester and been assigned gruesome murder cases.

13. Jonathan and Maddie (Jonathan Creek)

They might have both been civilians, but there was no seemingly impossible murder that couldn’t be solved by nerdy magician Jonathan Creek (Alan Davies) and loudmouth journalist Maddie Magellan (Caroline Quentin). When the latter left after three series, this BBC gem was never the same.

12. David and Maddie (Pluriereo)

Another Maddie, another couple of will they, won’t they. Former model Maddie Hayes (Cybill Shepherd) and quick-witted detective David Addison (Bruce Willis, in a star turn) were partners in Blue Moon Investigations. His sparkling eccentric dialogues set the tone for a generation of dramatic comedies.

11. Cassie and Sunny (Unforgettable)

The understated class of cold case duo DCI Cassandra Stuart (Nicola Walker) and DI Sunil Khan (Sanjeev Bhaskar) became evident when she left devastatingly after four series, leaving her loyal companion bereft of grief, just like us , the spectators.

10. Rust and Marty (True Detective)

Moody nihilist Rustin Cohle (Matthew McConaughey) and family man Martin Hart (Woody Harrelson) got into a fight in the police station parking lot. However, they were so electric together that the later duos in the HBO anthology couldn’t compare, at least until Jodie Foster and Kali Reis in the new series.

9. Starsky and Hutch (Starsky and Hutch)

The ultimate cop duo of the ’70s plied their trade undercover in Bay City, California. David Starsky (Paul Michael Glaser) and Ken Hutchinson (David Soul) cruised the streets in a red Ford Gran Torino with white trim, nicknamed “The Striped Tomato.” Their demonstrably affectionate friendship was quietly pioneering at the time.

8. Regan and Carter (The Sweeney)

“We’re the Sweeneys, son, and we haven’t had dinner.” The British equivalent of Starsky & Hutch were Flying Squad DI Jack Regan (John Thaw) and DS George Carter (Dennis Waterman), who sped through the streets of London in a bronze Ford Granada, investigating truly dirty deeds. You are trapped!

7. Benson and Stabler (Law & Order: Special Victims Unit)

For 12 seasons of difficult crime-solving, ruthless NYPD couple Olivia Benson (Mariska Hargitay) and Elliot Stabler (Christopher Meloni) were the beating heart of this long-running procedural spin-off. Fans eagerly speculated about an undercurrent of romantic tension. Wisely, this was left unexplored.

6. Sipowicz and Simone (NYPD Blue)

Battle-scarred alcoholic cop Andy Sipowicz (Dennis Franz) originally teamed with combustible detective John Kelly (David Caruso), but it was his chemistry with sensitive widower Bobby Simone (Jimmy Smits) that made for magical television. Over the course of five superlative seasons, they built a heartwarming friendship while catching bad guys.

5. Cagney and Lacey (Cagney and Lacey)

Throughout the six-year run of the ’80s classic, Sharon Gless (who played NYPD Detective Christine Cagney) and Tyne Daly (her partner Mary Beth Lacey) passed the Emmy for Best Actress. among them. Their mutually supportive friendship in a macho workplace paved the way for future female-led series.

4. Mulder and Scully (The X-Files)

Alien-obsessed FBI agent Fox Mulder (David Duchovny) and his skeptical partner Dana Scully (Gillian Anderson) investigate paranormal phenomena and dark conspiracies in a hit ’90s cult classic. The truth was out there. So was arguably the greatest sexual tension in television history.

3. Morse and Lewis (Inspector Morse)

The late John Thaw makes two appearances in our Top 10. As the opera-loving, crossword-solving, beer-drinking, Jaguar-driving DCI Morse, he formed a deep bond with his polar opposite, DS Robbie Lewis (Kevin Whately). , while the murderers were caught in the middle of the dreamy towers of Oxford. Beloved, they both got their own spin-offs.

2. Bunk and McNulty (The Wire)

David Simon’s Baltimore masterpiece was more sweeping than your average police drama, but integral to it were detective duo Jimmy McNulty (Dominic West) and William “Bunk” Moreland (Wendell Pierce). Every scene between the wisecracking womanizer and the grumpy cigar-smoking man was a joy. Watch the first episode where they examine a crime scene while speaking exclusively in profanity.

1. Holmes and Watson (Sherlock)

Jeremy Brett and Edward Harwicke are the traditionalists’ choice. Jonny Lee Miller and Lucy Liu are underrated. However, it was the BBC’s successful reboot that turned a 120-year-old creation into a 21st-century global phenomenon. This was largely due to the charismatic “high-functioning sociopath” of Benedict Cumberbatch and the humanizing influence of Martin Freeman as his loyal friend. At its core, this was a love story. The electricity between the couple inspired an entire subgenre of playful fan-fiction. Indeed, the game has begun.

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