Sheridan Smith in Four Lives

Liked The Pembrokeshire Murders? All the true crime TV drama coming up in 2021

Including Four Lives starring Sheridan Smith, and Mansfield Murders with Olivia Colman

| Updated:

The Pembrokeshire Murders was ITV’s biggest true crime TV drama launch in more than a decade, with 11.2million tuning in for the first episode earlier in January 2021.

Luke Evans stars as police officer Steve Wilkins, a man determined to solve the cold case of serial killer John Cooper (played by Keith Allen).

So what are the best true crime TV dramas coming up in 2021?

Here’s our rundown of the ones to watch out for!

Stephen Merchant in Four Lives on BBC one
Stephen Merchant in Four Lives, a dramatisation of The Barking Murders is a top true crime TV drama to look out for in 2021 (Credit: BBC One)

Read more: The Pembrokeshire Murders: John Cooper drama becomes ITV’s biggest drama since 2006

The best true crime TV dramas coming up in 2021

We know Martin Clines will be returning for a second series of Manhunt on ITV1, while Sheridan Smith and Stephen Merchant take on the grim tale of The Barking Murders.

Other dramatisations include a series about The Yorkshire Ripper, see below.

Four Lives, BBC One

Stephen Merchant transforms into real-life serial killer Stephen Port in BBC One’s upcoming factual drama Four Lives.

The series tells the horrifying case from the perspective of the families of Stephen Port’s four victims and their fight for justice.

The police investigation was widely criticised at the time.

Sheridan Smith plays Sarah Sak, the mother of 23-year-old victim Anthony Walgate.

Jaime Winstone also stars.

Stephen Port is a former chef born in Southend, who raped and killed four men between 2014 and 2015.

He met his victims via dating and hook-up apps and used drugs such as GHB to sedate them.

We recently reported that Four Lives may be delayed.

COVID has postponed an inquest into the four men’s death.

The series can only be shown after the court case has been completed.

Yorkshire Ripper drama ITV
ITV has confirmed a drama series about the Yorkshire Ripper is being made (Credit: ITV News / YouTube)

Read more: Top theories on death of Elisa Lam: murder, suicide or something even more sinister?

The Yorkshire Ripper on ITV1

An ITV Yorkshire Ripper drama from the makers of Des and White House Farm is in the works.

ITV has confirmed a six-part drama with the working title of The Yorkshire Ripper.

The programme will depict one of the world’s most notorious and shocking serial killer cases.

In total, Peter Sutcliffe killed 13 and attempted to kill seven others.

Police hunted for Peter Sutcliffe from October 1975 until his capture in January 1981.

It became the biggest manhunt in British criminal history.

The series will focus on the desperate cat-and-mouse hunt for Sutcliffe, as well as the lives of his victims.

No cast members for The Yorkshire Ripper have been announced yet.

ITV drama boss Polly Hill said ITV will “sensitively” dramatise the case.

Martin Clunes as DCI Colin Sutton in Manhunt II The Night Stalker
Martin Clunes returns as Detective Chief Inspector Colin Sutton in Manhunt II: The Night Stalker (Credit: ITV1)

Manhunt II: The Night Stalker, ITV1

Martin Clunes will return as DCI Colin Sutton for new series of ITV drama Manhunt.

The new series will be called Manhunt II: The Night Stalker.

It’s a follow-up to the 2019 drama, which saw DCI Sutton pursuing serial killer Levi Bellfield.

Manhunt II: The Night Stalker is a four part dramatisation of the police pursuit of a notorious serial rapist.

His 17-year reign of terror left thousands of elderly people in south east London living in fear.

The programme is based on Colin Sutton’s diaries.

olivia colman
Olivia Colman will play Susan Edwards, a woman currently serving 25 years behind bars for murdering her reclusive parents in 1998 (Credit: Splash)

Mansfield Murderers, Sky Atlantic and NOW TV

Olivia Colman portrays killer Susan Edwards, who murdered her own parents in 1998.

Susan is currently serving 25 years behind bars for killing her reclusive mum and dad and burying them in their Blenheim Close garden.

This four-part crime drama follows the shocking actions of double murderer Susan and her husband Christopher.

Susan and Christopher Edwards shot Patricia and William Wycherley, planning to claim their money.

The couple were eventually found guilty in 2014.

My Name is Lizzie, Channel 4

This upcoming true crime TV drama looks at the murder of Rachel Nickell in 1992, and how the police sent an undercover officer to become sexual bait for their prime suspect.

My Name is Lizzie tells the story of the female undercover officer, codename Lizzie James, who will be portrayed by actress Niamh Algar.

Colin was eventually exonerated and awarded more than £700,000 in compensation for the bungled police operation.

The four-part drama examines the controversial honeytrap at the heart of one of Britain’s most high-profile cases.

Niamh Algar in The Virtues
Niamh Algar, seem here in C4’s The Victures, takes on the role of undercover honeytrap cop Lizzie James In C4’s drama My Name is Lizzie (Credit: C4)

Anne, ITV

Maxine Peake stars as Anne Williams, whose 15-year-old son died in the Hillsborough disaster.

She subsequently dedicated her life to campaigning for justice for the 96 who died on April 15 1989.

Anne refused to believe the official line on how the disaster unfolded, seeking new medical opinion, tracking down witnesses whose statements were altered, and leaving no stone unturned in her fight for truth and justice.

The four-part mini-series was filmed in Liverpool.

Other true crime TV dramas 2021

Impeachment: American Crime Story (FX and BBC Two) is the next instalment in Ryan Murphy’s anthology series.

It will focus on Bill Clinton’s abuse of power and subsequent affair with Monica Lewinsky between 1995 and 1997.

Booksmart’s Beanie Feldstein will play Monica, who was a 22-year-old White House intern at the time.

Clive Owen will play 49-year-old Clinton.

Inventing Anna on Netflix stars Ozark’s Julia Garner as real-life con artist Anna Delvey.

The Instagram-legendary German heiress stole the hearts of New York’s social scene – and stole their money too!

Finally, Joshua Jackson stars as Christopher Duntsch in Dr Death.

The neurosurgeon’s gross malpractice is thought to have killed and maimed 33 patients during his career.

It is based on the podcast of the same name.

At first, the series will air on streaming service Peacock in US.

The Pembrokeshire Murders is currently available to watch on ITVPlayer.

What do you think? Leave us a comment on our Facebook page @EntertainmentDailyFix.