The BEST Episodes of DCI Banks

Every episode ever - ranked by fan votes!

Last Updated: Jan 19, 2022

Network: ITV1

DCI Banks is a British crime drama series based on Peter Robinson's Inspector Alan Banks novels.

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Cold is the Grave (2)

#1 - Cold is the Grave (2)

Season 1 - Episode 6 - Aired Oct 21, 2011

Emily Rydell has apparently been brutally beaten to death and DCI Banks quickly ends up being in the middle of a murder investigation with many suspects. After a surveillance operation establishes a link between the murder of Charles McKay and Brian Clough, Banks and Annie soon work out that the two cases have to be connected.

star 8.08
220 votes
Directors: Bill Anderson
Writers: Peter Robinson, Robert Murphy
Dry Bones That Dream (2)

#2 - Dry Bones That Dream (2)

Season 2 - Episode 4 - Aired Oct 31, 2012

With Pamela Jefferies in a coma following her vicious attack, Banks becomes more determined to find Rothwell's killer. Convinced a vital clue is staring him in the face, he resolves to learn more about Keith Rothwell and, against orders, questions MP Martin Fleming, putting him on a collision course with rival DCI Burgess. Meanwhile, the return of Tom Rothwell to the UK presents Helen with another suspect and an opportunity to put pressure on his family.

star 8.06
108 votes
Friend of the Devil (2)

#3 - Friend of the Devil (2)

Season 1 - Episode 4 - Aired Oct 7, 2011

DC Templeton's body is discovered, and Annie becomes convinced that the murder is connected to that of Lucy Payne. The suspect in the Daniels murder case is cleared, so DCI Banks must establish how the real murderer was able to avoid detection.

star 8.05
209 votes
Directors: Bill Anderson
Writers: Peter Robinson, Robert Murphy
Bad Boy (2)

#4 - Bad Boy (2)

Season 3 - Episode 6 - Aired Mar 10, 2014

Following the disastrous raid Helen is suspended but she tells Banks that her colleague Trethowan reentered the house after the event, leading them both to surmise, correctly, that he was covering up for his girlfriend, the policewoman who Tasered Peter Doyle and Helen is exonerated. Meanwhile Kitson takes Tracy to Jenkins' house, where he intends to hold her as a hostage in return for the gun. However Jenkins ultimately admits to Banks that he is terminally ill and the reappearance of his long-lost illegitimate son, by whom he wanted to do right before dying, angered Kitson to the point of murder . Tracy is ultimately returned to her father.

star 8.05
155 votes
Cold is the Grave (1)

#5 - Cold is the Grave (1)

Season 1 - Episode 5 - Aired Oct 14, 2011

An armed robbery ends up taking a much darker twist after the culprit is brutally murdered in his own home. Before DCI Banks can start to unravel the case, Chief Superintendent Gerry Rydell, makes a personal plea for Banks to look for his missing teenage daughter. Some naked photographs found on the Internet by Rydell’s wife, Rosalind, makes it look like that she could be in London. Banks reluctantly agrees to help and manages to track Emily down to the home of a drug dealer. Emily refuses to come back home with him but changes her mind. Annie, who has been leading the investigation into the robber’s murder whilst Banks has been away, thinks that the robbery could have been staged, but the victim’s accomplice refuses to talk. After Emily contacts Banks and suggests that she has seen one of Clough’s associates in Leeds, Banks wants her to tell him everything she knows about Clough. Emily refuses to tell Banks anything though. After a battered body is found in an Eastvale nightclub, Banks is shocked to discover that the victim has been identified as Ruth Walker, somebody Emily knew whilst in London. After the true identity of the victim is revealed though, both Banks and Annie find themselves involved in a conspiracy which has changed both investigations hugely.

star 8.04
251 votes
Directors: Bill Anderson
Writers: Peter Robinson, Robert Murphy
Piece of my Heart (2)

#6 - Piece of my Heart (2)

Season 3 - Episode 4 - Aired Feb 24, 2014

Banks learns that Jack Barber arrested Martin for John Gaunt's manslaughter when he was a constable but Jack denies forcing a confession. However he visits Martin to demand the hand-over of a tape the group buried. With Annie off the case for personal reasons Banks and Helen visit the band, who are planning to reform and hear that Ian Bassett was due to give Matt an interview before he was murdered. Banks finds that both Jack and the band members close ranks when he mentions the tape, especially after Martin kills himself having given the tape to David Hornby, The police discover that the Crystal Kiss's moment has gone and that the killer was desperate to make money for a very dubious reunion, something which also involved Jack Barber. At the same time Banks' private life suffers upheaval when his daughter Tracy turns up unannounced, having dropped out of college.

star 8.02
149 votes
Friend of the Devil (1)

#7 - Friend of the Devil (1)

Season 1 - Episode 3 - Aired Sep 30, 2011

DCI Banks assigns DS Cabbot as SIO when the mutilated body of a woman is found on the Yorkshire Moors, while he investigates the murder of a teenaged girl whose body has been found in a storage room. Annie discovers that her victim was Lucy Payne.

star 7.97
278 votes
Directors: Bill Anderson
Writers: Peter Robinson, Robert Murphy
Bad Boy (1)

#8 - Bad Boy (1)

Season 3 - Episode 5 - Aired Mar 3, 2014

Club DJ Richard Martin is run off the road and subsequently shot in the head, leaving the perpetrators to dispose of his body and his car, as well as the gun used in the shooting. When the gun turns up in the bedroom of Erin Doyle, the daughter of Banks' long-term neighbours, Banks decides to act quietly to remove the gun without fuss. However, DI Morton overrules him, forcing him to follow procedure, organizing a full-blown raid which results in Erin's father, Peter Doyle, being tasered resulting in a heart attack. As Banks, Blackstone and Lang investigate Martin's death, Annie is forced to conduct an official investigation into Helen's actions, an investigation which threatens to destroy Banks' team. As the team identify Jaff Kitson as the possible murderer, Erin reveals that Jaff's new girlfriend is none other than Banks' daughter, Tracy. Banks has to decide between his family loyalties, his moral actions and the hope of a relationship with Annie in order to secure the safety of his daughter. But which will he choose?

star 7.97
179 votes
Undertow (2)

#9 - Undertow (2)

Season 5 - Episode 6 - Aired Oct 5, 2016

star 7.91
229 votes
Directors: Mark Brozel
Writers: Paul Logue
Ghosts (2)

#10 - Ghosts (2)

Season 4 - Episode 6 - Aired Apr 8, 2015

Helen is determined to try and win back Banks's approval as they attempt to discover the true identity of student Josh's murderer and stop his father from seeking a revenge of his own.

star 7.90
137 votes
Directors: Kenneth Glenaan
Writers: Peter Robinson (characters), Paul Logue
Wednesday's Child (1)

#11 - Wednesday's Child (1)

Season 3 - Episode 1 - Aired Feb 3, 2014

11-year old Kyle Heath escapes a couple claiming to be social workers who try to force him into their car but next day his mother Katy tells Banks and Helen that they returned and abducted him and the phone number they gave her is false. Mr and Mrs Harris who live opposite confirm the visit but are critical of Katy's parenting and Kyle's behaviour. When heroin is found in the floor-boards of Katy's house Annie believes Kyle was taken to force Katy to give them to the abductors but Katy denies knowledge of it. She suggests Kyle's father, her estranged partner Paul Cain, is the culprit though evidence suggests that Kyle is the actual drug dealer, earning money to spend at an arcade with headmaster Mark Campbell. Then a young boy's corpse is found - though it is not that of Kyle.

star 7.90
201 votes
Innocent Graves (1)

#12 - Innocent Graves (1)

Season 2 - Episode 5 - Aired Nov 7, 2012

Frustrated that a number of cases have been knocked back by the Crown Prosecution Service, Banks and the team are called on to investigate the murder of teenager Ellie Clayton, daughter of a high-profile internet entrepreneur. The victim's background, together with the suggestion she may have been raped, means the incident is soon the subject of much media speculation, and strong evidence implicates a theatre director who ran a drama workshop the girl attended on the night she died. The detective believes he has found his man, but Morton fears her colleague isn't seeing the bigger picture.

star 7.89
122 votes
Ghosts (1)

#13 - Ghosts (1)

Season 4 - Episode 5 - Aired Apr 1, 2015

After the body of a university undergraduate is discovered dumped in a ravine the investigation into hismurder reveals he was not a model student. Helen's professional relationship with Banks comes under threat when somebody from her past shows up she has has found hard to forget.

star 7.88
154 votes
Directors: Kenneth Glenaan
Writers: Peter Robinson (characters), Paul Logue
Playing with Fire (2)

#14 - Playing with Fire (2)

Season 1 - Episode 2 - Aired Sep 23, 2011

After Tom McMahon becomes the third victim following some suspicious fires, Alan realises that he is now attempting to catch a serial killer. His superiors warn him to keep his distance from the Aspern family who are trying to lodge an official complaint against him. Banks is determined to locate the ringleader of the art forgery scam which links two of the victims. Annie continues to see Mark Keane, despite Banks’ warnings. After Banks finally discovers the true identity of ‘Morrison’, he quickly realises that Annie could be in real danger.

star 7.85
358 votes
Writers: Peter Robinson, Robert Murphy
Piece of my Heart (1)

#15 - Piece of my Heart (1)

Season 3 - Episode 3 - Aired Feb 17, 2014

Matt Barber, whose father Jack is a respected high ranking policeman, and is now a London-based journalist is found murdered in a holiday chalet, owned by Liz Forbes. Liz was the singer with a 1980s band the Crystal Kiss, along with Martin Soames, who is the chalets' caretaker. Matt was seemingly investigating the death of another band member John Gaunt, over thirty years earlier, which, at the time appeared to have been an accident. The remaining band member Ian Basset had returned to England from abroad just before Matt died. He approaches Liz and Martin with the idea of reforming the group - a suggestion made to him by Matt, of whose death he is seemingly unaware. At the same time Martin's lawyer David Hornby is discovered to have been paid by Matt and his finger prints are found at the chalet. He is also the father of Annie's baby.

star 7.84
182 votes
Directors: Ed Bazalgette
Buried (2)

#16 - Buried (2)

Season 4 - Episode 4 - Aired Mar 25, 2015

Geoff has become a marked man and Banks decides to put both him and his daughter Evie under watch at an anonymous hotel whilst he increases the search for Mullen.

star 7.83
122 votes
Directors: Craig Pickles
Writers: Nicholas Hicks-Beach
Undertow (1)

#17 - Undertow (1)

Season 5 - Episode 5 - Aired Sep 28, 2016

star 7.82
247 votes
Directors: Mark Brozel
Writers: Paul Logue
Wednesday's Child (2)

#18 - Wednesday's Child (2)

Season 3 - Episode 2 - Aired Feb 10, 2014

Campbell admits to kerb crawling but claims to have met Kyle in the arcade by chance and sent him home whilst the dead boy is named as Andre Petri, who died of a heroin overdose and lived near the Heaths. His sister tells Annie that she was amazed how flush he was and it turns out that the arcade was the recruiting ground for under-age drug dealers. Banks suspects the leader is Chivers, a cab driver with previous convictions, who has disappeared with a female accomplice but Helen believes that Katy is not so innocent and is involved with Chivers to get Paul to pay a ransom which he will share with her. Annie shadows Paul as he delivers the money but loses him. Eventually Banks catches up with Chivers and finds that things are not as they first appeared to be.

star 7.79
154 votes
A Little Bit of Heart (2)

#19 - A Little Bit of Heart (2)

Season 5 - Episode 4 - Aired Sep 21, 2016

star 7.75
222 votes
Directors: Craig Pickles
Writers: Nick Hicks-Beach
Innocent Graves (2)

#20 - Innocent Graves (2)

Season 2 - Episode 6 - Aired Nov 8, 2012

The collapse of Owen Pierce's trial has left the case wide open and there's still a killer on the loose, but Banks remains determined to build a watertight legal case against his prime suspect. As the investigation continues, Morton and Jackman uncover promising new leads focusing on Ellie's ex-boyfriend Tyler, but just as they seem to be getting close to the truth, another schoolgirl is murdered, putting Pierce in the spotlight once again.

star 7.73
91 votes
What Will Survive (1)

#21 - What Will Survive (1)

Season 4 - Episode 1 - Aired Mar 4, 2015

After the unidentified body of a woman is found on some waste ground, the team find themselves becoming involved in the world of vice in a town where nobody is happy to talk. Banks also has to deal with a personal tragedy.

star 7.71
154 votes
Directors: David Richards
To Burn in Every Drop of Blood (2)

#22 - To Burn in Every Drop of Blood (2)

Season 5 - Episode 2 - Aired Sep 7, 2016

The post mortem into the daughter of crime boss Steve Richards reveals that her death isn't a simple suicide – could someone else have been involved? And if so, who? While the violent Richards conducts his own unique brand of investigation, the focus shifts once again when the team discover that despite Kat's confession, she can't have murdered Damon Horsley. The break comes when evidence is uncovered that puts Kyle Finn, who found Horsley's body, in the spotlight, and under questioning he confesses to something truly shocking ‐ but Banks already knows he's lying, the real murderer has been hiding in plain sight all along.

star 7.68
248 votes
Directors: Robert Quinn
Writers: Nick Hicks-Beach
What Will Survive (2)

#23 - What Will Survive (2)

Season 4 - Episode 2 - Aired Mar 11, 2015

The officers are dismayed to learn the arson attack on the Osgoods' house has injured Michael and killed his son Robbie, and local bully Gary McCready is soon questioned. As the investigation into Katrin's murder continues, the body of an older man who died of natural causes is found buried near her grave, and when Banks suspects Jason McCready abducted missing Annika, he uncovers a shocking secret. Meanwhile, the detective gives a moving speech at his mother's funeral, and the ceremony brings him closer to his father.

star 7.66
169 votes
Directors: David Richards
Strange Affair (2)

#24 - Strange Affair (2)

Season 2 - Episode 2 - Aired Oct 17, 2012

Banks visits his childhood home to break the news of Roy's death, and his parents plead with him to find out what happened. Defying Morton, he returns to the station in an attempt to lead the investigation into the murders of his brother and Jennifer Lewis, and both officers are convinced the key to cracking the cases lies with a woman being treated at a clinic.

star 7.66
166 votes
A Little Bit of Heart (1)

#25 - A Little Bit of Heart (1)

Season 5 - Episode 3 - Aired Sep 14, 2016

star 7.64
241 votes
Directors: Craig Pickles
Writers: Nick Hicks-Beach