Law & Order: UK

TV review by
Melissa Camacho, Common Sense Media
Law & Order: UK TV Poster Image
Classic L&O stories -- with a British twist.

Parents say

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Kids say

age 12+
Based on 3 reviews

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A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this TV show.

Positive Messages

The series is set within the criminal justice system, and it shows how the work of police and prosecution comes together to convict criminals within the British legal system. Overall, the cops are good, the criminals are bad, and the court and juries can go either way (though sometimes loopholes result in criminals escaping justice). Some of the crimes depicted are perpetrated against women and children.

Positive Role Models & Representations

The detectives and the prosecutors aren’t perfect, but they do their best to get criminals off the streets and into jail.


Incidents and cases deal with bomb threats, murders, and other violent acts. Images of bruises and bloody wounds on corpses are visible. Dead babies/children are visible.


Some flirting, sexual innuendo, and references to affairs. Cases sometimes deal with prostitution and other sex-related crimes.


Like many British TV shows, it contains some language (like “tit”)  that's considered strong according to American standards. 


Steel occasionally plays with a Rubik’s Cube while thinking about cases.

Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

People are shown drinking at bars/restaurants. References to suspects being drunk.

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that this British adaptation of the long-running Law & Order series features the same gritty, homicide-related material as the original. It also has plenty of violence, including bomb threats and pushing, shoving, and chasing criminals. Bruises, bloody wounds, and images of corpses (including dead babies/children) are also visible. Scenes in bars and restaurants show characters drinking, cases sometimes deal with sex crimes, and prostitution is sometimes discussed.

User Reviews

  • Parents say
  • Kids say
Written byAnonymous August 17, 2012

Law and Order UK is not heinous.

Law and Order UK is actually the best series of Law and Order in terms of maturity in that kids 10 and up can see it instead of other Law and Order series.
Kid, 11 years old December 11, 2020

Law and Order: UK is Okay for Tweens and Up

Familes need to Know that this Review says that Law and Order: UK is Appropriate Tweens and Up.
Teen, 15 years old Written byWolfey May 14, 2014

What's the story?

LAW & ORDER: UK is a British adaptation of the popular, same-named American series. Jamie Bamber and Bradley Walsh star as Matt Devlin and Ronnie Brooks, detective superintendents who investigate homicides throughout London and its suburbs under the direction of Detective Inspector Natalie Chandler (Harriet Walter). Once they catch a suspect, the case is turned over to Senior Crown Prosecutor James Steel (Ben Daniels) and Junior C.P. Alesha Phillips (Freema Agyeman). Crown Prosecution Service Director George Castle (Bill Patterson) acts as their legal conscience as they work to build and win their cases.

Is it any good?

This plot-driven series takes the same two-part approach as its stateside counterpart, which allows viewers to follow the complicated relationship between the investigation and prosecution of a homicide case. Each episode is a remake of an American L&O script that has been modified to fit the British legal system and to reflect the UK's diverse cultural dynamics. Despite these changes, the show manages to maintain the same gritty storytelling style the  franchise is known for.

The show’s focus on the Crown -- as well as the differences between American and British courtrooms -- marks some of the differences that U.S. viewers will see when they tune in. But these variations don't make the show hard to follow. In fact, it actually makes the series more interesting. Fans of good crime dramas definitely won't disappointed, and L&O fans will enjoy seeing how their favorite episodes have been given a British twist.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about the British legal system. What are some of the differences between it and the American legal system? Similarities?

  • Did you know that the majority of police in the United Kingdom don't carry guns? Why is this the case? How does that impact the way the stories are told on this show?

  • Is the show's violence necessary to its storylines? What kind of impact does it have on viewers?

TV details

Our editors recommend

For kids who love dramas

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