Best cop and criminal duos from Holmes and Moriarty to DCI Ted Hastings and 'H'

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Best cop and criminal duos in TV history from Sherlock and Moriarty to DCI Ted Hastings and
Best cop and criminal duos in TV history from Sherlock and Moriarty to DCI Ted Hastings and 'H' (Image: TV Grab)

Happy Valley might be anything but a joyous place to live.

But after seven years away viewers were glad that the drama returned to our screens on New Year’s Day.

Sarah Lancashire’s Sgt Catherine Cawood faced her nemesis rapist and murderer, Tommy Lee Royce, played by James Norton.

With millions tuning in to BBC One for the first episode of series three, it seems we cannot get enough of the adversaries’ on-screen chemistry.

Yet Sgt Cawood is not the first TV police officer to have a dynamic and formidable opponent.

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Here’s a look at the best cop and criminal – or police and perp – duos in television history...

DCI Ted Hastings and 'H' - Line Of Duty

Best cop and criminal duos from Holmes and Moriarty to DCI Ted Hastings and 'H'Ted Hastings and 'H' (BBC/World Productions)

Adrian Dunbar’s Ted was tested to his absolute limit as AC-12, as well as Jesus, Mary and Joseph AND the wee donkey, were taunted for six seasons by the devious bent copper codenamed ‘H’.

It was only in the jaw-dropping finale, after nine years of cat-and-mouse twists and turns, that Ted got his man as bungling Detective Superintendent Ian Buckells (Nigel Boyle) was unmasked as the villain.

Adrian however believes there’s still more to come after Line of Duty’s u-turn plans to return this year for three final episodes.

“He’s [Buckells] not H. We just got the guy we could actually pin a charge on. We didn’t get H, we got Buckells, the patsy,” Adrian said, hinting that Chief Constable Philip Osborne (Owen Teale) is the real suspect.

Morse and Hugo De Vries - Inspector Morse

Best cop and criminal duos from Holmes and Moriarty to DCI Ted Hastings and 'H'John Thawís as Inspector Morse (ITV)

De Vries was the Moriarty of Oxford - the only adversary who ever came close to defeating the great Inspector Morse.

He was only seen in the show in series four, but he has a shadowy presence throughout Morse’s career. Not only was the mocking crime lord and freemason one of only people who stood a chance against DCI Morse in his latter years but he was also one of his very first opponents back in the days of Endeavour.

Like Moriarty, he could manipulate with the best of them and was prone to a pithy and deep one liner - from “Life and death... darkness and light... none of it matters” to “I enjoy being dead - takes the strain out of living.”

Of course what really made him the perfect archrival to John Thaw’s Morse was the actor who played him - Ian McDermid....aka Star Wars’ ultimate bad guy Emperor Palpatine.

No wonder his dialogue was a bit on the dark side....

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DI John Rebus and Morris Cafferty - Rebus

Best cop and criminal duos from Holmes and Moriarty to DCI Ted Hastings and 'H'Played by James Cosmo, Morris Gerald Cafferty is a notorious crime boss (Ken McPherson)

He might have had a bigger presence in the books but fans of DI John Rebus (then played by Ken Stott, previously by John Hannah) were delighted when his literary nemesis appeared in the show.

Played by James Cosmo, Morris Gerald Cafferty - or “Big Ger” - is a notorious crime boss who is constantly a thorn in the Detective Inspector’s side.

Their relationship is far from straightforward, however, as the cop regularly tries to prise information from him, while also trying to bang him up for his crimes.

Jim Bergerac and Philippa Vale - Bergerac

Best cop and criminal duos from Holmes and Moriarty to DCI Ted Hastings and 'H'Actor John Nettles as detective Jim Bergerac (Daily Record)

As thieves go, Philippa Vale (Liza Goddard) was a particularly well-heeled one, which made her all the more dangerous when it came both to her getting her finely-manicured fingers on the glitzy spoils - and also on the copper trying to stop her, Jim Bergerac (John Nettles).

Everyone knew Bergerac had an eye for the ladies, and vixen Vale caught his eye in more ways than one - which was obviously totally part of her game and made for a scintillating pairing.

The so-called Ice Maiden of Jersey used her glamour to her advantage.

The pair had a flirtatious rapport all the while Bergerac attempted to land the high-class thief behind bars.

John later confessed he wouldn’t be up to scratch as a police officer in real life, saying: “Emotional wear and tear in homicide investigations burn-out rate is very high. They retire at 53, through PTSD and I couldn’t take that. You meet enough criminals in acting though I can tell you that!”

Holmes and Moriarty - Sherlock

Best cop and criminal duos from Holmes and Moriarty to DCI Ted Hastings and 'H'Sherlock Holmes and Moriarty

Few detectives have had a nemesis as challenging as Moriarty.

Professor James Moriarty first arrived to torment great Sherlock Holmes in Arthur Conan Doyle’s novels. And after the many TV and film adaptations over the decades, Moriarty’s intelligent cunning and conniving schemes have now made him perhaps the most infamous arch nemesis in pop culture - and the only one able to match the skill of the Baker Street detective himself.

Whether it’s Andrew Scott to BBC Sherlock’s Benedict Cumberbatch, or George Zucco to Basil Rathbone in the 1939’s The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes, Moriarty is no regular villain.

Most recently, of course, US TV show Elementary made a Moriarty-style twist of their own when their Sherlock Johnny Lee Miller unearthed Moriarty as none other than Natalie Dormer.

The Game of Thrones actress said: “Moriarty and Sherlock are dependent on one another, they are two guys who exist to beat the other one. [Being] the first ever female Moriarty, it’s very, very cool.”

Kima Greggs and Omar Little - The Wire

Best cop and criminal duos from Holmes and Moriarty to DCI Ted Hastings and 'H'Omar Little is played by Michael Kenneth Williams (URL:)

Narcotics detective Shakima ‘Kima’ Greggs, played by Sonja Sohn in the breathtaking American crime drama The Wire, frequently outshines her colleagues at the Baltimore Police Department.

But when local stick-up man Omar Little (Michael Kenneth Williams) loses his partner to a violent murder, Kima must convince him to testify against killer Bird to get justice.

But Sonja wasn’t always keen to play an officer of the law.

Best cop and criminal duos from Holmes and Moriarty to DCI Ted Hastings and 'H'Narcotics detective Shakima ‘Kima’ Greggs, played by Sonja Sohn (HBO)

“Where I come from, cops, nah, we don’t like cops,” she said.

“Those worlds were clashing inside me all over the place… Eventually I had to recognise that I am an actor and this is my job, and otherwise I am going to get really caught up and my work is going to be no good.”

Andy Dalziel and Stella Applegarth - Dalziel and Pascoe

Best cop and criminal duos from Holmes and Moriarty to DCI Ted Hastings and 'H'Officer Dalziel - played by Warren Clarke (BBC)
Best cop and criminal duos from Holmes and Moriarty to DCI Ted Hastings and 'H'Diana Quick as Stella Applegarth (Geoffrey Swaine/REX/Shutterstock)

Before anyone even thought of “H” being a criminal copper came Assistant Chief Constable Stella Applegarth.

Rotten to the core she tried to cover up her own crimes and misdeeds but when Yorkshire police officer Dalziel - played by Warren Clarke - cottoned on, it was only a matter of time.

Soon it emerged Applegarth - played by Diane Quick - the boss who had been a thorn in his side, had been childhood sweethearts with a career criminal.

Arresting her for murder Dalziel was sure to have the last laugh telling her: “You tried to make out I was past it, didn’t you? Do you still think I’m past it, ma’am?”

Stella Gibson and Paul Spector - The Fall

Best cop and criminal duos from Holmes and Moriarty to DCI Ted Hastings and 'H'Gillian Anderson’s Stella Gibson and Jamie Dornan’s serial killer Paul Spector (TV Grab)

When it comes to cat and mouse games, not much comes close to Gillian Anderson’s Metropolitan Police Superintendent Stella Gibson and Jamie Dornan’s serial killer Paul Spector.

Set in Northern Ireland, viewers were gripped as, for three series the pair circled each other, trying to get the upper hand.

Fans even suggested there might be some (rather twisted) romantic tension between the two but Anderson said: “She’s fascinated and obsessed with bringing him to justice. It’s not an unhealthy obsession. The families of his victims want justice. For him to die on the side of the road would be devastating for them.”

Finally Gibson brought the murderer to justice but even then he had to have the last word, attacking her before finally taking his own life, ensuring he’d never be far from her thoughts.

Luther and Alice Morgan

Best cop and criminal duos from Holmes and Moriarty to DCI Ted Hastings and 'H'Idris Elba exploded onto our screens as the titular DCI Luther in 2010 (BBC / Des Willie)

Idris Elba exploded onto our screens as the titular DCI Luther in 2010, and fans were quickly mesmerised by his relationship with serial killer Alice (played by Ruth Wilson).

The brilliant research scientist had murdered her own parents in such a coldly calculated way that Luther couldn’t prove her guilt - even though he was certain of it.

Ruth has previously refused to rule out a reprisal of her role, quipping: “You never know, I could be back when I’m 50 playing Alice.”

Emmeline Saunders

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