The best thriller series 2017 in suspense, action, mystery and horror.

18. January 2018 - Alexander Schmidt

Best Thriller Series 2017 – Adrenalin and Goose Bumps




Series junkie? So are we! And these are the 16 best new series of 2017, if we have our way. In part 1 with the best thriller series 2017 that make our breath go faster and all the little hairs stand up.

The good news for all series junkies and binge-watchers was 2017: an end to the golden age of series is far from in sight! On the contrary: it seems as if the average quality standard for series is constantly rising.

2017 not only brought us series nerds (some hotly anticipated) new seasons of international flagships of series culture such as Game of Thrones, Stranger Things, House of Cards and The Walking Dead. Last year also saw the launch of several highly ambitious new series. And a legendary cult series returned to the screen after 26 years. All I can say is: It is happening again.

Particularly pleasing: finally, the bang seems to have been heard in Germany, too! At least two new German series are trying to shed the provincial stink of standard German television and break new ground in order to catch up with international series.

It’s not easy to pick out the best thriller series 2017  from so many series. Nevertheless, we have tried and present to you here in the first part 5 series that kept us on the edge of our seats, gave us the creeps and kept us riveted to the screen with suspense.

This is followed by Part 2 with the best drama series 2017 and Part 3 with the comedy series 2017.

The Best Thriller Series 2017 – Action, Horror & Mystery

The Sinner


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It’s not often that a German novel is the basis for an American film or series production. But Petra Hammesfahr’s abysmal psychological thriller The Sinner (1999) managed to do just that.

The Sinner, starring Jessica Biel, was hailed in 2017 as one of the most exciting and innovative crime series of the year, and quite rightly so.

What’s it about?

Cora Tannetti has a seemingly perfect life: a loving husband and a sweet little son whom she takes care of. She spends an afternoon on the beach with both of them, the sun is shining, people are laughing, young couples are courting each other. One can hardly imagine a more idyllic picture.

And in less than a minute Cora destroys this idyll and her whole life to boot. With the fruit knife she just used to share a pear with her son, she attacks a man she doesn’t know at all and kills him on the spot. What drove her to do it? She claims she doesn’t know herself, but investigator Harry Ambrose is not letting the case rest.

Optimal for:

  • Fans of crime fiction and psychological thrillers

See it on: Netflix.

Or on DVD at amazon*

Marvel’s The Punisher


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Following Daredevil and Jessica Jones, Marvel’s The Punisher is the third collaboration between Netflix and Marvel. Frank Castle, the Punisher, already made his appearance in the second season of Daredevil and sometimes clashed with Matt Murdock while cleaning up the New York underworld.

Because as far as his methods are concerned, the Punisher is a lot less squeamish than Matt Murdock. While Daredevil is always careful not to take a life, the Punisher lives up to his name. Accordingly, the new series dedicated to him is much more brutal and action-packed than Daredevil and more like a badass walk through hell than a comic book adaptation.

What’s it about?

Frank Castle is still on the trail of those who have his family on their conscience. Having already busily decimated the members of three criminal organisations in season 2 of Daredevil, he now takes on the real culprits responsible for the massacre of his wife and children.

Afterwards, he seems to have found peace for the time being and continues to live in hiding under a false identity for a few months. But soon his old identity catches up with him and he stumbles upon a gigantic conspiracy that is also connected to his past in the military. What follows is a merciless reckoning!

Optimal for:

  • Marvel fans
  • Fans of hard-hitting action

See it on: Netflix



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Filmmaker David Fincher obviously has a soft spot for serial killers: after Sieben and Zodiac – The Trail of the Killer, he also returns to his favourite subject in his latest series. Mindhunter is based on the novel Mindhunter: Inside the FBI’s Elite Serial Crime Unit by John E. Douglas and Mark Olshaker, which itself is based on fact.

What’s it about?

1977: criminal psychology is still in its infancy. FBI agents Holden Ford and Bill Tench pioneer the field by questioning imprisoned serial killers in detail about their deeds, their motivations and their thoughts.

Their goal is to understand the minds of psychopaths in order to solve cold cases and track down other serial killers still at large.

Not everyone at the FBI approves of the two agents’ approach and they encounter vehement resistance within their own agency. But that is nothing compared to the horror that awaits them as they investigate a brutal series of murders….

Optimal for:

  • Anyone interested in the subject of serial killers
  • Fans of Hannibal, True Detective and Mad Men

See it on: Netflix



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Naturally, there are high expectations for the first German-language Netflix production and I have to admit: I was also sceptical at first. I love mystery series and was happy that there would finally be a German production in this genre. But would it be able to keep up with American series like Stranger Things or The OA?

The answer is: absolutely! Of course, Dark was not created in a vacuum and has its role models in both the cinematic and serial fields, but that is just as true for American series. Screenwriter Jantje Friese and director Baran bo Odar have created something independent and, above all, extremely exciting. From episode to episode, you become more immersed in a labyrinth of characters and events that spans decades.

What is it about?

In the fictional small German town of Winden, children mysteriously disappear. And an unidentifiable child’s body turns up – dressed in clothes from the 80s. Then sudden stoma failures follow, birds fall like stones from the sky and 33 dead sheep lie in the pasture…

What secret is hidden in the cave in the forest of Winden? What do the inhabitants of the small town have to hide? And what role does the nuclear power plant play in all this?

Optimal for:

  • Mystery fans
  • Fans of time travel stories

See it on: Netflix

Twin Peaks: The Return

Long before cult series that made history like The Wire, Breaking Bad and Game of Thrones, one series broke viewers’ viewing habits in revolutionary ways and set the standard for the art of the series to this day: Twin Peaks.

From 1990 to 1991, Mark Frost and star director David Lynch created Twin Peaks in two seasons, a surreal, magical cosmos full of bizarre, lovable and also terrifying characters in the fictional small town of the same name in the north-west of the USA. Twin Peaks was and is one of the cult series par excellence and has numerous devoted fans worldwide (including the authors!).

The surprise was all the more joyful when it was announced in 2014 that Frost and Lynch were working on a third season. This was also a sensation because the series had so far ended on a really nasty cliffhanger and because a character ominously announced even then: We’ll see us again in 25 years!

After watching Twin Peaks: The Return, I can say: they’ve done it again! They have again created something completely new, completely unique, that breaks with conventions and the result is nothing less than brilliant!

What’s it about?

While the original Twin Peaks was about smart FBI agent Dale Cooper solving the murder of high school queen Laura Palmer, it’s almost impossible to tell what Twin Peaks: The Return is about. And certainly not without spoilers. Roughly speaking: about his difficult return to Twin Peaks. But also about evil doppelgangers, beings from another dimension, lost souls, dark forests and nothing less than the origin of all evil… and the fight against it.

Mysterious things are not only going on in the small town and the surrounding woods this time: the plot jumps from Twin Peaks to New York, Philadelphia Buckhorn (South Dakota), Las Vegas and many more places, including some that could not be listed on any conventional map.

As viewers, we follow our heroes of yesteryear and some new ones along the way, we are taken on a journey where we can never, really never guess what is waiting for us around the next corner and at the end of each episode we enjoy a musical act: There’s always music in the air.

By the way, for those who haven’t seen the original two seasons of Twin Peaks, Abenteuer Freundschaft has a Introduction for Newbies.

Optimal for:

  • Surrealism fans
  • Twin Peaks and David Lynch fans (anyway).
  • Anyone who appreciates truly unusual and challenging storytelling in films and series.

Watch on: Sky Ticket

Enjoy the best thriller series 2017 in our opinion!

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