A Beginner’s Guide To Dangerfield

If you’ve never seen Dangerfield, you’re in for a treat. Here’s why we prescribe watching this great crime drama.



Meet Dr Paul Dangerfield - local doctor and police surgeon. No ordinary medic, then, and his career is quite a balancing act. On the face of it he leads a quiet, ordinary life, yet he's routinely called upon to investigate complex and murky crime cases. At the same time, he has his family life to deal with, and things there are rather tough going too. Dangerfield is a widower, having lost his wife in a car accident, and he's raising a pair of teenagers who have been deeply affected by the loss of their mum. No ordinary set-up for a crime drama, then. And that makes Dangerfield all the more fascinating.

Nigel Le Vaillant as Dr. Paul Dangerfield.

Nigel Le Vaillant as Dr. Paul Dangerfield.


Who'd have thought idyllic Warwickshire could be such a hotbed of intrigue and murder? Watching Dangerfield, you'll be admiring the gorgeous sweeping emerald countryside one minute, and delving into a sordid tale of lethal lust the next. The contrast is one of the reasons why the show is so compelling, but there's also the sheer variety of cases Dangerfield has to face as he works alongside his copper colleague DI Ken Jackson. From bodies suddenly turning up in canals to crimes directly connected to Dangerfield and his friends, no two days are ever the same in this seemingly tranquil corner of England.


The show isn't just about the intricacies of forensic police work, or the daily adventures of a single-parent family. It's also got one of the juiciest story arcs you could want from a crime drama: a will-they-won't-they romance. The lady in question is Dr Joanna Stevens, a fiery and passionate fellow doctor who works alongside Dangerfield and has to cope with spearheading a seriously understaffed surgery. Beautiful and charismatic, Joanna seems like an ideal match for Paul, but you won't be able to second guess this burgeoning courtship. Especially when other potential love interests show up, such as glamorous legal eagle Kate Durrani...

Tim Vincent as Marty Dangerfield, Tamzin Malleson as Al Dangerfield and Nigel Le Vaillant as Dr. Paul Dangerfield.

Tim Vincent as Marty Dangerfield, Tamzin Malleson as Al Dangerfield and Nigel Le Vaillant as Dr. Paul Dangerfield.


One of the incidental pleasures of Dangerfield is the star-spotting. You'll see quite a few famous faces early on in their careers, including Sean Maguire, still a heartthrob from his EastEnders days, as Dangerfield's son Marty. Lisa Faulkner - who would go onto suffer a rather darker fate in Spooks - plays Dangerfield's other child Alison, while the great Amanda Redman, star of New Tricks and so many other memorable dramas, is Dangerfield's potential love interest Joanna Stevens. Look out as well for some actors who would go onto become major names, including Brendan Coyle, Hugh Dancy, and even Idris Elba.


The other thing that makes Dangerfield stand out? You basically get two dramas for the price of one. That's because original star Nigel Le Vaillant chose to bow out when the show was at its peak. Deciding he preferred a quiet life away from the showbiz limelight, Nigel put the showrunners in a bit of a predicament, but they made the bold move to carry the series on with a brand new lead: veteran smoothie Nigel Havers, who plays Dr Jonathan Paige. It could have derailed the show, but actually marked the start of a brilliant new chapter. You'll also love the way Paige is introduced - rather than being jarringly jettisoned in out of the blue, he's introduced through a special story where the suspect is... Jonathan Paige himself. And he'll need Paul Dangerfield's help.