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Maybe it's because he was a Londoner and an Ordinary Copper
I'm afraid we all took this TV cop series for granted when it was on you don't know what you've got till it's gone. 432 episodes were broadcast 1955-1976, over 400 of them junked by the BBC all the way up to 1975 and not many illegally filmed by any of the TV viewers at the time either. It was PC George Dixon's, sorry, Jack Warner's show, it suited his avuncular personality down to the ground. In his case familiarity bred warmth. His weekly homily could range from you to be on your guard for scams to children to know their kerb drill, and other such laudable aims. When he started to get too old to pound the beat and others took up the stories instead it started to lose that special feeling the real world began to creep in. Saturday evenings were never the same again. When he stopped pounding the beat I think every copper in Britain must have done so too, and hardly any have been seen since.
The Roaring Boy broadcast 18.08.56: The programme was played live as was everything then and is one of a small group from the same period that managed to avoid being binned afterwards. Dixon has to check on whether army deserter skinny Kenneth Cope has been sighted in the neighbourhood, by going to see his girlfriend. He finds him and we're in for a tense psychological 15 minutes as psychological as Dixon was ever likely to get anyway. The story was bookended with an old lady gossipping to the station Sergeant which was reminiscent of Mrs. Lopsided in The Ladykillers which Warner had recently been in, even managing to be a Superintendent there. Peter Byrne who played Detective Andy for all those years made a brief appearance shortly before his marriage to Dixon's daughter Mary.
Unsensational and unrealistic as it may have been, 40 years ago it was as realistic as I wanted anything to get and want to get now. I don't need to graphically see how bad the baddies are because I don't consider myself to be one. And of course, were cops ever part of their communities as depicted at Dock Green? But great to see again to check how much our lovely society has progressed since then.
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