The Last Detective

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This article is about the television series. For the Elvis Cole novel by Robert Crais, see The Last Detective (novel).

The Last Detective is an ITV drama starring Peter Davison as Dangerous Davies. The first series was aired in 2003, with three more seasons following it. The first season consisted of a pilot and three episodes, the second and the third series each consisted of four episodes, and the fourth series increased the run to five episodes and the duration of each episode to 90 minutes, as opposed to the previous 70-minute format. The series had 17 episodes in total. Granada, the company that made the programme, has stated that the fourth series was the last.

The series is based on the "Dangerous Davies" series of novels written by Leslie Thomas and was filmed in the north London suburbs of Willesden, Neasden and Harlesden. Its gentle but engrossing nature was in stark contrast to other harder-hitting police dramas, leading to a surprise success in the UK.

The Granada series was not the first time "Dangerous" Davies had appeared on television. In 1981 a TV movie, Dangerous Davies: The Last Detective, was produced, starring Bernard Cribbins.


The series follows Detective Constable "Dangerous" Davies. Davies testified against a corrupt fellow officer in the past and was reduced to the lowest rank, constable, as a result. Davies is treated as a pariah by his colleagues, but is committed to his work and is staunchly humane, leading to a degree of grudging respect from local criminals. As the series progresses his reputation improves with his colleagues, particularly with Detective Inspector Aspinall, who realises that Davies's intelligence and fair but determined methods make him the best policeman in his squad. A strained mutual respect develops between the characters as Davies increasingly finds the time to try to understand the troubled DI and his demons.

The other major aspect of the series concerns Davies's private life, which centres on his estranged wife, Julie (played by Emma Amos), his attempts to repair the damage his career in the Metropolitan Police Force has done to their marriage and the loss of his wife's respect after he was reduced in rank. His efforts mainly consist of walking the unnamed dog (a Landseer in early episodes, and later a St Bernard), and carrying out routine household repairs to the family home now occupied solely by his wife; and his friendship with the irreverent and rather feckless Mod (short for Modesty) Lewis, played by the Irish comedian Sean Hughes. Other amusing scenes concern the relationship between "Dangerous" and the romantic daydreaming landlady of the Bali-Hai Guest House, where he resides for a period.

Recurring cast[edit]


Series Episode Air date Title
1 1 7 Feb 2003 Dangerous Davies
1 2 14 Feb 2003 Dangerous By Moonlight
1 3 21 Feb 2003 Tricia
1 4 28 Feb 2003 Lofty
2 1 13 Feb 2004 Christine
2 2 20 Feb 2004 The Long Bank Holiday
2 3 27 Feb 2004 Benefit to Mankind
2 4 5 Mar 2004 Dangerous and the Lonely Hearts
3 1 29 May 2005 Friends Reunited
3 2 5 Jun 2005 Towpaths Of Glory
3 3 12 Jun 2005 Three Steps To Hendon
3 4 19 Jun 2005 Willesden Confidential
4 1 3 May 2007 Once upon a Time on the Westway
4 2 10 May 2007 Dangerous' Liaisons
4 3 17 May 2007 A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to Willesden
4 4 24 May 2007 The Man from Montevideo
4 5 31 May 2007 Dead Peasants' Society

Home media[edit]

The Last Detective: Complete Collection was released on Region 1 DVD on 20 January 2009 and includes all 17 episodes of the TV show, the earlier TV movie, and other features including an interview with Peter Davison. The DVD set is distributed by Acorn Media UK.

External links[edit]