So you wanna make a cop/ crime thriller show?
There’s a standard format right? There’s the law enforcement agency /cops who are the good guys (unless you have dirty cops), and the criminals who are the bad guys. The cops and the criminals play a cat and mouse game throughout the show with the episode/ season/ show ending with the bad guys getting caught. So how do you make your cop show different from all the other cop shows out there?
With the secret ingredient off-course- the “partner” in crime.
The “partner” in crime here is most of the time, not the cop’s beat partner/ colleague or even part of the law enforcement agency, but is either hired by the agency to help out or takes it upon himself to help the cops out. That’s the other thing that’s special about the “partner” in crime. Since they are outsiders, they can be….wait for it…..just about ANYONE. You can let your imagination run free. The sky’s the limit, or even Heaven/ Hell as the makers of Lucifer would know. Take a look at some of the shows whose secret ingredients make them a recipe for success.
TV Series: Sherlock
Law Enforcer: Consulting Detective, Sherlock Holmes
Partner: Dr. Watson
That Sherlock Holmes is the best detective ever is stating it too plainly. With his deduction skills and exceptional intelligence, there never was a need for Watson. Except there was. Sherlock knows and acknowledges his own brilliance but at the same time felt that something was lacking. He is unable to put his finger on it but finds it in John Watson. John is Sherlock’s opposite and the one who keeps him grounded. He is his best friend, mother, flatmate, shopper, sounding board, doctor, and personal case blogger. He strives to bring out the human aspect to Sherlock and even though he isn’t acknowledged for it most of the time, is dear to Sherlock and his presence, invaluable.
TV Series: Beauty and the Beast
Law Enforcer: Homicide Detective, Cat Chandler
Partner: Muirfield Beast, Vincent Keller
Borrowing certain elements from the Beauty and the Beast fairytale but giving it a more realistic feel, Vincent Keller’s DNA is altered turning him into a beastly creature as part of a super-soldier programme created by Muirfield. When the beasts cannot be controlled, Operation Muirfield is shut down and Muirfield resorts to killing the beasts. Vincent fakes his death, escapes and saves the life of Catherine (Cat) Chandler whose mother is killed as she was instrumental in creating the Muirfield beasts. Together, Cat & Vincent work together to shut down Muirfield and any related threats. While Cat is not imprisoned by Vincent and doesn’t have to clean his house or don ball gowns like in the fairytale, she is the only one who can keep Vincent’s beast at bay.
The Con Artist
TV Series: White Collar
Law Enforcer: FBI Agent, Peter Burke
Partner: Art thief, Neal Caffrey
It takes a thief to catch a thief. As a skilled thief and art forger, Neal’s talents are recognized by Peter Burke who enlists his help to catch white collar criminals. While Burke is the one who put Neal in prison, Burke is a big believer in second chances. He sees Neal’s potential and often takes on the role of a father figure to Neal encouraging him to put his talents to the right use- his moral compass, so to speak. Neal on the other hand is Burke’s guide to bending a few rules and living life to the fullest. Neal is often shown in a state of two minds- stick to a life of crime and the thrill that comes with it or leave his past behind and start on the right track. Peter is also shown in a state of two minds- trust Neal or distrust Neal. Whatever their state of mind however, the two share mutual feelings of love, respect and a certain degree of admiration for the other. Neal’s skills take a bow when he fakes his own death at the end of the show and leaves Peter clues to catch/ find him again.
TV Series: Grimm
Law Enforcer: Homicide Detective, Nick Burkhardht
Partner: Wesen Blutbad, Monroe
When he reaches a certain age, Nick’s powers of a Grimm (Wesen Hunters) manifest allowing him to see Wesen or creatures of the Grimm World, not otherwise visible to the human eye. Wesen, while appearing human, can unfold their bestial appearance to the human eye, if they please. However when they are going through extreme emotions, their Wesen forms are visible to a Grimm. While Nick’s ancestors chose to hunt & exterminate all Wesen, Nick’s background as a detective and his own inbuilt morality allows him to hunt down only the wicked Wesen. Monroe, a Blutbad (Wolf to us, Muggles) is the first Wesen whom Nick encounters and his knowledge of the Wesen community makes him the perfect library source for Nick when his ancestor’s Grimm-oires turn out to be not so helpful. He also reaches out for help from certain members of the Grimm community who would not be too comfortable with a Grimm asking them for aid and helps Nick on Grimm cases which fall outside the lines of law enforcement. Nick & Monroe are both disruptors of the status quos of their own communities. Nick refuses to follow the path of his Grimm ancestors to kill all Wesen, choosing instead to seek out the good in them, before taking hasty action against them. Monroe refuses be an enemy to all Grimms because not all of them are ruthless killers and it is this trait that makes them the best of friends and allies.
TV Series: Forever
Law Enforcer: Detective, Jo Martinez
Partner: Henry Morgan
Henry Morgan comes as close to Sherlock Holmes as any other character could and while helping Jo solve cases using his Sherlockian persona and background of a medical examiner, the greater part of his time is spent in seeking the answers to his own immortality. After his first death in 1814, he realises that death is really not an option for him. Every time he dies after his first death, his body appears in a nearby body of water and finding clothes to mask his nakedness becomes his main priority. While belonging to two different time periods, Jo and Henry are drawn to each other in the present, and their relationship is a portrayal of love being a timeless concept.
The Criminal Profiler
TV Series: Hannibal
Law Enforcer: FBI Agent, Jack Crawford
Partner: Will Graham
Will Graham? Who is that? Will Graham is one of the most overlooked characters in the Hannibal series. Sure there was a book called Red Dragon dedicated to him and Hannibal but the book remained factual, never exploring any sort of relationship between the two, as majority of the spotlight was on Hannibal and Clarice Starling. The feels were certainly lacking. But no more. When TV show Hannibal kicked Will Graham onto the big screen, Will had his Harry Potter moment and suddenly everyone knew who he was. Will’s unusual ability to visualize himself in the shoes of a killer is a trait that Jack recruits him for and Hannibal can’t resist. Jack’s role as a protector and pressurizer keep shifting, he is always in two frames of mind: keep Will from going in too deep or let Will go all the way. Jack is the initial link between Hannibal & Will. While Hannibal doesn’t want to be caught, he really wants Will to catch him and hopes to twist Will’s psyche of understanding killers into the psyche of becoming a killer. Basically he was lonely and wanted freaking company because nobody wants to be your bff when you’re a serial killer. While Clarice Starling managed to reform Hannibal in the book series, poor Will has no such luck on the TV show because the TV show contract came to an end, so goodbye world and hello death by cliff jump.
TV Series: Blood Ties
Law Enforcer: Private Investigator, Vicki Nelson
Partner: Vampire, Henry Fitzroy
When she opens a private investigation office after being diagnosed with retinitis pigmentosa, Vicki becomes the go-to girl for cases which the police have no time to handle; ironically all these cases have supernatural bearings. She meets Henry who is following up on her first case which screams “vampire in your face” which he most afraid will reveal his true nature. His character is based on the real historical character Henry FitzRoy, 1st Duke of Richmond and Somerset – the illegitimate son of Henry VIII of England. While blood ties would make one think of a relation, someone tied to you by blood, Henry is tied to Vicky by “blood” because of his need for a certain “poison”. And since Vicki’s only human, it’s always useful to have a vampire around especially when you’ve got really poor eyesight and a demon is trying to enter your town. And when the vampire’s hot, well that just sweetens the deal right there.
TV Series: Sleepy Hollow
Law Enforcer: Police Lieutenant, Abbie Mills
Partner: Ichabod Crane
Borrowed from the Legend of Sleepy Hollow by Washinton Irving, the TV show revolves around the Headless Horsemen and Ichabod Crane, placed in a biblical-like context of the Apocalyse coming soon to Sleepy Hollow. Abbie & Ichabod are “Witnesses” of the Apocalyse and the only ones who can thwart it. Ichabod, who died in 1781 while beheading the Horseman, is brought back to life when the Horseman is resurrected as their bloods had the misfortune of being mixed when they died on the battlefield. Ichabod’s background as a history professor at Oxford, soldier and supernatural expert makes him an asset to Abbie in a show that highlights Christian beliefs (Revelations) and Buddhists beliefs (Reincarnation) simultaneously.
TV Series: Minority Report
Law Enforcer: Detective, Lara Vega
Partner: Dash Parker
As a sequel to the Minority Report movie, we learn what happens to the precogs after the Precrime Unit was dismantled in 2054. The records of the precogs are erased and they are shipped off to spend their days in peace on a remote island. However the precogs gifts are still in active force. Dash’s precog abilities allow him to witness murders, Arthur’s allows him to draw facts from murders while his sister Agatha experiences the death of the victims. Now if majority of your life was used up in witnessing future crimes before they happen and you played a major role in preventing those crimes, how do you kick the habit? Dash certainly can’t. While his brother Arthur uses his abilities to slowly build himself an empire and his sister Agatha prefers to shy away from the limelight, Dash is drawn to his past role and is caught between wanting to save the victims and avoiding being used by those who wish to exploit his abilities, prompting him to explore a partnership on the down-low with Vega. The only thing this show was lacking was adequate viewers and funding. Oh, and Tom Cruise.
TV Series: Lucifer
Law Enforcer: Homicide Detective, Chloe Decker
Partner: Lucifer Morningstar
Hell yeah! The devil’s in the details. Ever wondered what the Devil would look like on earth? Where he would live? What he would for a living? What he would dress like? What he would do in his free time? Unhappy as King of Hell, Lucifer snips off his wings and makes his home in Los Angeles, the City of Angels (intentionally chosen, maybe?), is the proud owner of a nightclub Lux, dresses like sin in pristine suits (in one case, he actually quotes The Devil does indeed wear Prada) and solves crime with Chloe in his free-time. He solves crime not out of the goodness of his heart but because he misses dealing out punishments to the baddies. He retains his prime power of persuasion as a celestial being and can get anyone to tell him their deepest darkest desires. Everyone, except Chloe. In Chloe’s presence, he is rendered mortal, while in the presence of others he is immune to mortal destruction. There’s an interesting theory to this. Ever heard of the phrase love makes you bleed? The growing attraction between him & Chloe makes you wonder if love is his affliction. Oh and it also helps to know that even the Devil has daddy issues and needs a therapist, not just us, mere mortals.
The Best-Selling Mystery Writer
TV Series: Castle
Law Enforcer: Detective/ Captain Kate Beckett
Partner: Richard Castle
Booyah! Castle is here to write all wrongs! As a mystery writer, Castle’s first case saw him assisting Beckett to catch a copycat killer who was imitating the way he killed off characters in his novels. Inspired by Beckett, Castle decides to use her as the muse for his next novel series and stays on the force in consulting capacity. Although Beckett is initially wary of his ways, she realises that his imagination though a bit extreme at times, is useful when exploring the ways of criminals and most often aids her in forming her own conclusions on cases. Castle & Beckett are more than often, always on the same wavelength and spend most of the show completing each other’s sentences. In short, they acted like a married couple way before they actually tied the knot. This one’s for the book lovers. Meeting your favourite author? Check! Working with your favorite author? The dream! Marrying your favourite author? Better than any book plot you will ever read!
The Ape Man
TV Series: Tarzan
Law Enforcer: Detective, Jane Porter
Partner: John Clayton Jr. / Tarzan
Meet Tarzan. Straight outta The Jungle. The show explores what it means to be human and what it means to be a beast. While John Clayton Jr. / Tarzan’s instincts and mannerism may be animalistic due to his past upbringing in the jungle, his heart is pure and human. The same cannot be said for his uncle, Richard Clayton, a shark in his own right, who holds his nephew under house- arrest, claiming grounds of insanity so he can overwrite Tarzan’s claim to Greystoke Industries and keep his position as CEO. With all tales of Tarzan, no matter how many narratives are explored, the common theme that runs through every storyline is that there’s no Tarzan without Jane and vice versa. For once, Jane does not play a damsel in distress and hangs up the traditional yellow dress for a smoking gun. Jane got a gun? We can definitely swing with that.
Fighting crime and trying to save the world, here they come just in time the powerpuff girls vigilantes! Admit it, you sang to this line. When your job as a vigilante is to operate outside the law to catch criminals, it doesn’t hurt to have the good cops on your side. Sometimes the cop may be your family (like the Joe West to your Flash & the Alex to your Supergirl) or your mentor (like the James Gordon to your Batman) or a family acquaintance whose daughters you may have dated (like the Quentin Lance to your Green Arrow) or a friend of a friend (like the Brett Mahoney to your Daredevil). In any case, vigilante with a side of backup is always a good thing.
TV Series: Daredevil
Law Enforcer: Detective, Brett Mahoney
Partner: Matt Murdock aka Daredevil
TV Series: The Flash
Law Enforcer: Detective, Joe West
Partner: Barry Allen aka The Flash
TV Series: Arrow
Law Enforcer: Detective, Quentin Lance
Partner: Oliver Queen aka Green Arrow
TV Series: Gotham
Law Enforcer: Detective, James Gordon
Partner: Bruce Wayne aka (The Future) Batman
TV Series: Supergirl
Law Enforcers: DEO Agent, Alex Danvers & Detective, Maggie Sawyer
Partner: Kara Zor-El aka Supergirl
The Prison Profiler/ Comic Book Enthusiast
TV Series: Alcatraz
Law Enforcer: Homicide Detective, Rebecca Madsen
Partner: Dr. Diego Soto
When you have a secret obsession with something, it helps to write books on it. Even if that secret obsession is the history of a prison. Because sometimes, the thing you obsess about may turn out to be way more interesting than you could have ever imagined. Dr. Diego Soto’s (Doc) obsession with the Alcatraz Federal Penitentiary would soon be justified a 100 times over. Though he didn’t know it at the time, 256 inmates & 46 guards disappeared in 1963 from Alcatraz without a trace only to reappear in their cells in the present day. With no recollection of their lost time, but seemingly set with a secret agenda that only they have knowledge of. Intriguing? I mean, official reports that the inmates had been transferred to another prison holding aside (we all know the Government lies to us), Diego’s historic obsession leads him to becoming part of the task force that may just be involved with time travel. And yes, while we all love Batman and know he is a fictional character, he can still come to the rescue, especially when you use “Gotham City” as an example in your crime evaluation report to thwart the PhD dreams your parents had for you and open your own comic book store! Plus, you gain a detective as your new partner & bestie!
The Serial Killer
TV Series: Dexter
Law Enforcer: Detective, Debra Morgan
Partner: Blood Splatter Analyst/ Serial Killer, Dexter Morgan
This is by far the weirdest, funniest and creepiest scenario that any cop would ever have to face. Not only does Debra have to deal with the fact that her brother is a serial killer, but that he has been hiding in plain sight, using the police department’s resources to choose his victims and his cover as the department’s blood splatter analyst to throw off any connections to his involvement in the murders he has committed as the Bay Harbour Butcher. Oh yeah, and Debra also falls in love with Dexter, so now she has incest to add to her list of worries. Although Dexter’s “Code” compels him to kill only the baddest of the bad, making him a vigilante serial killer, he is still a killer and slave to his “Dark Passenger”. So while we may be darkly dreaming about Dexter, we would definitely not want to be on his hit list.
The Illusionist & the Agnostic
TV Series: Houdini & Doyle
Law Enforcer: Constable Stratton
Partners: Houdini & Doyle
Houdini and Doyle explores two themes in one storyline. The first is women empowerment. Constable Adelaide Stratton’s character is based on the real first female constable of the London Metropolitan Police Force. Basically she kicks ass as a cop, and that too wearing a floor length dress! The second is the universal battle between seen & unseen forces i.e. Science vs. the Paranormal. Not many people know that Harry Houdini & Sir Arthur Conan Doyle were friends in reality, so it was interesting to explore their supposed friendship from a fictional point of view. Not forgetting, you’ve got a magical stunt artist on one side and the author of Sherlock Holmes on the other, so it’s really a win-win situation for everybody!
The Past- Version Dad
TV Series: Frequency
Law Enforcer: Detective, Raimy Sullivan
Partner: Frank Sullivan
You have Gilmore Girls for mothers & daughters and Frequency for fathers & daughters. How many of us have wanted the chance to talk to a person we love once they have passed on? How many of us would be tempted to save them from dying? With every story that revolves around altering timelines, the message is the same. There will always be a price to pay. Using a radio transmitter exhibiting a strange frequency, Raimy Sullivan discovers she can communicate in her present time with her father Frank Sullivan who is existing in the past version of her timeline. She saves him from a tragic death which he met while working on an undercover narcotics case but in doing so, she places her mother in death’s way by the hand of a serial killer called the Nightingale. So now she and daddy dearest have to work across time to catch the killer before it takes out her mum. They haven’t really learned the “do not mess with time” lesson, so a few more seasons should do the trick. Somebody, please make these two watch Flash! Pronto!
The Historian Professor, U.S. Army Delta Force Operative & Time Machine Programmer
TV Series: Timeless
Law Enforcer: Homeland Security Agent, Denise Christopher
Partners: Lucy Preston, Master Sergeant Wyatt Logan & Rufus Carlin
So yeah! The bottom-line is everybody needs to watch Flash! It doesn’t matter whether you’re a cute history lover, hot operative, or scary villain with your own agenda. Good intentions and bad intentions aside, everyone’s messing with time. Lucy wants to bring her sister back, Wyatt wants to bring his wife back (if he has his way), the villain Garcia Flynn wants to destroy the Rittenhouse organization through American History because they murdered his family. I mean, why build a time machine (which can be stolen if your villain is a smarty pants) in the first place if you don’t have the intention of messing with time! Connor Mason of Mason Industries, I am giving you the squinty eyes!! On the plus side, it gives you a good enough reason to visit the milestones in American History, because history in its own way is a timeless thing.
Now pick your “partner”, place yourself under house “arrest” and do the time!
Brett, Matt & Foggy (http://www.theothermurdockpapers.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/06/IMG_1004.jpg)
Dexter & Debra (https://zombiesruineverything.files.wordpress.com/2013/09/deb6.jpg)
Stratton, Houdini & Doyle (http://media.philly.com/images/houdini-and-doyle.jpg)
Raimy & Frank Sullivan (http://omfgtv.com/images/featured-frequency-page.jpg)