Private Investigators on TV

Posted 10:41 22 August 2014

Back to Blog

Private Investigators on tv? We are fast approaching the end of the summer holidays and we thought we would take a lighthearted look at popular ones. It has been harder than it sounds to gather a list of fictional private investigators rather than the classic cop sleuths we are inundated with.

So here are our Top 5 private investigators on tv, do you agree?

  1. Sherlock Holmes: many actors have played he character, the most recent incarnation on TV in the UK was Benedict Cumberbatch. However, the character has been recreated and reinvented so many times that Sir Arthur Conan Doyle must have got something right, because there are aspects of the detective that have remained in each reincarnation. He used observation and attention to detail to gather clues from his surroundings without the aid of all the modern technology that’s available to the private detective of today. He also had the great sidekick of Dr Watson to help him.
  2. Jonathan Creek: Jonathan (played by Alan Davies) conforms to the TV Private Detective “type” as he works with a side kick, usually a woman in his case. As an inventor of magic tracks he devises answers to complex murders, often using home made models of the crime scenes to explain the unexplainable. He displays an enviable ability to pay attention to every single minute detail.
  3. Jim Rockford: The Rockford Files was a 70’s TV show starring James Garner as Jim Rockford. Most of his cases involved tracing missing people or cold police cases. He was a struggling Private Investigator living from job to job.
  4. Jeff Randall: The series of Randall and Hopkirk Deceased was originally broadcast in the 1970’s, but it was updated and given new life in the 1990’s by the comedy duo Reeves and Mortimer. When it was first aired it brought a new angle to the traditional private detective story, because Randal had the help of a ghost to solve crimes and warn of upcoming danger in stakeouts. Again this is a very useful tool for an investigator, unfortunately ghosts are not readily available to today’s real private investigators.
  5. Hetty Wainthropp: In the world of equality we should mention the greatest female detective since Nancy Drew, played by Patricia Routledge. In her TV show Hetty is a retired woman looking to help the police by investigating minor crimes that are not really of interest to them using her young sidekick and lots of intuition.

A special mention must go to the cartoon character, Inspector Gadget because, although not really a private investigator (he is one of the private investigators on tv), let’s face it we could all use some of his estimated 14,000 gadgets for our investigations at one time or another.
As you can see with the TV private investigators it takes all sorts to be a great detective. However there are common skills that they all share with bona fide real life private investigators such as patience and attention to detail.
All at Alpha 1 Legal Services hope you enjoy the rest of the summer.
private investigators on tv