BILL-BAITING FRIDAY night coppering, focusing on seven wet-behind-the-ears trainee detectives, taken “under the wing” of textbook world weary hard-but-fair copper Rockliffe, played by moody IAN HOGG in a maroon anorak. Chanty nursery rhyme type theme song, with lots of tower blocks in the title sequence to denote grit, before Rockliffe and charges stood moodily in front of a van with show’s title written on the side in the grime as a blue light flashed. Practically every episode set on some council estate or other, and plenty of hot-headed mistakes from the decidedly rash Babies to raise the ire of the beleaguered Rockliffe. At least one McGann brother well to the fore, but stars of the show were reformed crim Steve Hood (BRETT FANCY), charismatic Welsh lardbucket Paul “Get us a pork pie, will you, and a sachet of brown sauce” Georgiou (MARTYN ELLIS), and not-at-all-unattractive Karen Walsh (SUSANNA SHELLING), forced on one occasion to pose as a nurse in order to catch a rapist: “Are those tights or stockings?” demanded a lustful McGann, and indeed the entire fourth form. Slightly annoying stylistic gimmick of constantly circling cameras detracted slightly from the action.Read More
Posts Tagged With 'Rozzers'
BIG BUDGET LOW KEY play-along-at-home TV whodunnerin, parachuted into Saturday night primetime and promptly chuted further and further back in the schedule as viewers dropped faster than the show’s victims. Contestants were the middle management types who peopled THE KRYPTON FACTOR and who went on to dazzle the likes of CRISIS COMMAND: COULD YOU RUN THE COUNTRY? Their mission: find the person who killed a woman in the make believe village of Blackwater. Suspects will be eliminated each week, but so – USP Alert! – will the detectives. Yup, another show with an “eviction”, here taking the form of a supposedly chill-inducing face-off called The Killer’s Game, which in reality more resembled that bit in THE ADVENTURE GAME where the person always got trapped in a dark cupboard. Our sleuths whiled away each episode “writing reports” in their youth hostel-esque dormitories or doing painfully contrived ploddery, i.e. asking a teary suspect three loaded questions, or searching a bin bag for a carefully-placed crisp packet. Their efforts were then lugubriously appraised by Detective Bob Taylor, a real-life copper and least excitable front man imaginable for a programme about killing. “Good morning” he would sigh at the start of each briefing. “Good luck,” he would sigh at the end of each briefing, “I think you are GOING to need it.” George Dixon had more pep than this, and he was 95 years old. The series went on for ages and, rather than the case becoming clearer, somehow things became more convoluted and confusing. Shifting time slots didn’t help – if you missed one episode you were done for, like the ever-dwindling population of Blackwater. Turned out the builder did it. Or so it says here.Read More
EVER-RELIABLE COURTROOM sparring from JOHN MORTIMER, charting weaselish exploits of tetchy, defence-cases-only, cigar-toting, hangdog hero Horace Rumpole, aka LEO MCKERN. Resident of 38 Froxbury Mansions, the ‘pole blasted many a snide, snivelling prosecution brief into a thousand pieces, before retiring to Pomeroy’s Wine Bar and spouting pithy extracts from the Oxford Book Of English Verse. All of which narked legendary acid-tongued “she who must be obeyed” wife Hilda (PEGGY THORPE-BATES). Once memorably represented shifty 70s “drop-out” yoof accused of theft when he was actually at nearby Rolling Stones gig. Friends, foes and “old darlings” numbered PATRICIA “SHE DEVIL” HODGE, PETER “MANOR” BOWLES, BILL “CLAUDE SNUDGE” FRASER, RICHARD “MUCH BINDING” MURDOCH and JOANNA “DUTY FREE” VAN GYSEGHEM. Plotting, acting, direction all ultra-high vintage.Read More
PYRO PUDDLE-SPLASHING, cardboard box-barging, “cover me!”-shouting, gun-held-with-both-hands, barrel-up-nose-having adventures of crack MI5 (here changed cunningly to CI5) operatives Bodie and Doyle, aka MARTIN SHAW and LEWIS COLLINS. Many a provincial car-park became noisy child haven for months afterwards thanks to the perfunctory stakeout antics, directed by GORDON “UPSTAIRS DOWNSTAIRS” JACKSON. Depicted a London permanently under siege from a) shifty Arab potentates b) Oirish bomb-toting bastards c) Soviet shysters with tiny eyes d) jive-talking African mercaneries, all of which both our protagonists would alternately joyfully beat up or shamelessly imitate.Read More
THIS IS more like it. Erstwhile computer programmer turned – via a nervous breakdown – private detective (very 1970s) TREVOR EVE pounds the streets of Bristol in bootlace ties and scruffy suits rumbling shysters, ne’er-do-wells and fraudulent aristos, before skulking off to his leaky houseboat for an evening making endless doodles. Superb snapshot of its time and, thanks to Trev, one of the most sympathetic and plausible telly crimestoppers ever. Got most of his cases thanks to a phone-in on the then-fictional, now-real Radio West, run by a permanently discomfited MICHAEL MEDWIN and receptionist looker LIZ “DAUGHTER OF LESLIE” CROWTHER. Barrister half-girlfriend DORAN GOODWIN helped with the paperwork and making his dinner. Created by ROBERT BANKS STEWART who, when Trev legged it to avoid being pigeonholed as a moping new wave loner, took the nuts and bolts and turned it into BERGERAC.Read More
ONE OF YOUR MORE credible off-school-with-the-Lucozade viewing options. Different case played out in each three x 30 minutes weekly sittings at Fulchester Crown Court, staffed by the likes of BEN KINGSLEY, RICHARD WILSON and MICHAEL GOUGH. Scum of the earth such as PAULINE QUIRKE (always a single mum caught shoplifting), LIZ FRASER (always an old bat fiddling her pension) or MICHAEL ELPHICK (always a wide boy shifting dodgy motors), took the witness box. Shifty beak looked on. Public gallery fidgeted. “Just stick to the facts, if you please.” Jury retired during commercial break. “Case dismissed!”Read More
TOUGH-NOSED, HARD-PERMED, tight-trousered cop shop series which graduated from studio-bound videotaped vaudeville to all-on-film out-and-out shouting. Original star was DERREN NESBITT, he of the curly blond hair and artfully-shaped sideboards. FULTON MACKAY cleaned up the mess. Revamp found PATRICK MOWER spitting feathers and swinging fists while GEORGE SEWELL looked petulant keeping the car engine ticking over in the background. Sewell got the last laugh though, going on to be George Smiley’s troubleshooter and Jasper Carrott’s boss. Mower, meanwhile, went on to Burton’s adverts (“Nice safari suit, not leaving the country are we?”) and Carry On England.Read More
DOUBLE-SURNAMED SHAW TAYLOR takes personal responsibility for eliminating crime from these shores by way of five-minute despatches from pretend office. Were YOU in Shaw’s featured neighbourhood this week? Have YOU seen this man leaving your local Wilkinson’s? Did YOU spot something suspicious happening by the Belisha Beacon next to Fine Fare on Arkwright Road just before half-day closing last Wednesday lunchtime?Read More
BENT COPPERCOM which lingered for a while at the turn of the decade in spite of iffy plots, endless strikes and equally numerous cast changes including the corrupt eponymous inspector regenerating from RONALD FRASER to DONALD “GOODNIGHT AND GOD BLESS” CHURCHILL between series one and two. RAY “SIMPSON” GALTON and JOHNNY “GARNETT” SPEIGHT wrote it, not always in the same room.Read More
THE RETURN of the inhaler-wielding, glove-toting, Shakespeare-spouting fop DCI George Bulman, still played by DON HENDERSON. Now stationed in Manchester, still paired with DS Derek Willis (DENNIS BLANCH), our man was juggling the pressure of working unfamiliar Northern beats and socialising with unfamiliar Northern sassy colleagues such as FIONA MOLLISON and FRANCES TOMELTY. Format was duly ripped up after two years to send Bulman back to London, now in the employ of MARK MCMANUS, before being ripped up again to send Bulman into, er, BULMAN.Read More
STARCHED SPIN-OFF of Z CARS with STRATFORD JOHNS and FRANK WINDSOR initially trying to keep order in the fictional west country crime capital of Wyvern, grappling with irresponsible bulldog clips, winkle-picker-wearing shafers and eternally suspicious big-jowled locals. Soon became SOFTLY SOFTLY: TASK FORCE with our heroes now in the employ of Thamesford Constabulary CID. Then Johns pissed off to do his own solo copathon, BARLOW AT LARGE, which then became simply BARLOW (keep up), before getting back together with Windsor for, of all things, a Jack the Ripper caper, all of which culminated in SECOND VERDICT, a whole series of old-mysteries-solved-in-the-present-day. Somehow this whole palaver was eked out over 10 years. Along the way came Harry the Hawk and his extraordinary propensity for opening and walking through doors (thanks Clive). GARFIELD MORGAN, WALTER GOTELL, SUSAN TEBBS, WARREN CLARKE and TERENCE RIGBY also looked in from time to time.
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