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Reviews & Ratings for
"The Bill" More at IMDbPro »

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3 out of 4 people found the following review useful:

The Bill: A Way of Life

Author: Tom_101 from United Kingdom
28 March 2010

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

The Bill was essentially a cultural fountain from which a beautiful rainbow-haze of socio-introspection emerged, inspiring such famed derivatives as Cop Land, The Departed, The Godfather 3, and most recently of course, The Wire.

With multi-faceted characters and story lines that have been described as '4-dimensional Shakespeare', The Bill grabbed you by the collars from episode one and just would not let you go.

The show covered, anticipated, and even occasionally caused all the major global events between 1984 and 2010. The most famously prescient moment being episode 19 of series 5, which aired on the eve of the second Gulf War. Detective Jim Carver's misguided - and ultimately career ending - drugs raid on Craig 'Fun Boy' Richardson's flat in the Jasmine Allen Estate in early 2003, was widely viewed as a predictive allegory for the coalition's failure to find weapons of mass destruction following the invasion of Iraq several months later.

However, it was the work the Bill did to try and highlight some of the lesser-known problems experienced by police officers that won it the most praise. This was sympathetic drama covering such sensitive areas as helmet-phobia, under-uniform cross-dressing, in-van homosexuality, lost truncheons, casual drunken bestiality (regretted), siren aversion syndrome (SAS), groin chaffing caused by chasing suspects while wearing an overly starched uniform and many, many more issues that still trouble, disturb, haunt and excite officers to this day.

The last word should go to one of The Bill's most famous fans, Nelson Mandela: "…it is no exaggeration to say that I would not have made it through the dark void of loneliness that summed up my last years of incarceration on Robben Island if it wasn't for the heart-warming, casual buffoonery of Reg Hollis."

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1 out of 1 people found the following review useful:

Wots all this then?

Author: beni hill from Barton Street, London, England
20 January 2000

Oh dear, oh dear. The Bill used to be a straight down the line police procedural drama. Lately it's turned into a soap. Dave Quinnan getting married in "the first ever Bill wedding?" - do me a favour. It was good to see Loxton and Garfield again but that episode was the worst ever. When they went back to the one hour format in 1999 the first few stories were sharp but now they've begun to lose the plot. I know it has to be paced when it's a one hour show but recent episodes have struggled to fill the hour - nowhere near as tight as it used to be. The upside is that Frank Burnside is making more regular appearances. For me the best years were 1987-92. Move along, now - nothing more to see here.

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1 out of 1 people found the following review useful:

What I think of 'The Bill'. *SPOILER FOR FANS OUTSIDE THE UK*

Author: Sophie (street-5) from Pirton, England
25 October 1999

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

Hello, My name is Sophie, and I'm a 12 year old girl who absolutely loves The Bill. I think that since I started watching, which was in 1995, The Bill has become better and better, and since changing to a one hour, twice weekly, format, the script writers have had more time to develop the story lines, particularly in June this year, when we had a four part story, in which we saw the return of Rosie Fox, played by the talented Caroline Catz. In this we saw Eddie have an affair with Vicky and Jess Orton, while investigating a fire at a club, and on top of this he was doing a covert operation with Area Drugs. We had a lot of exceptionally brilliant acting, and brilliant writing from Elizabeth-Anne Wheal, who wrote it. Rosie Fox eventually got her own back on the Evil Eddie, with the fantastically delivered, last line, "Gotcha". Well Done The Bill, you people RULE!!!!!!

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2 out of 3 people found the following review useful:

Not as good as it once was but still good

Author: walfordqueen
6 November 2005

The Bill was very good a few years ago however at the moment it is suffering from a dose of over-sensationalism. The show has always featured unrealistic happenings for years now and it's always had a dose of sensationalism however it seems to be extracting the urine from it's fans at the moment. The scenes aren't as deep or as meaningful, the stories aren't as top notch and there's an explosion every other week. However the show is still interesting and good to watch but it needs to get back to the people outside the station committing crimes rather than focusing on villainous coppers or the coppers love lives. Overall entertaining to watch but not a patch on what it used to be.

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2 out of 3 people found the following review useful:

good show gone crap

Author: dankru from Australia
1 October 2005

I am now 25 and religiously watched 'The Bill' since I was about 8 years old. I loved the show. It probably was a bit biased in showing cops as virtual angels but it was tightly scripted with good solid acting and was not too soapy.

But ever since the changes made in the late 1990s I have not been able to watch this pile of drivel. The pathetic unbelievable plots are a joke. The characters are a bunch of sissies and it is more like an episode of 'Home and Away' than 'The Bill'. I cannot believe my mum still loves this show; but I know even she struggles to enjoy it.

So thanks to the morons who changed a great show into a pile of crap. If I ever get cable TV it will be to watch the old episodes, not the rubbish on today.

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2 out of 3 people found the following review useful:

What a mess it is

Author: bcjj from australia
12 December 2003

What a mess it is!!!! This was one of the best shows on television, but this new crop of kids (producers - writers) who can't keep their fingers out of things have totally ruined it. The early short human stories, which not always had a happy ending and often left things to you imagination were fantastic. This over the top kill a cop every 2nd episode soap opera rubbish is just that unimaginative RUBBISH. And if the cops on the beat were like these you would want to do away with them. So Producers realise you have ruined a great show and bury it. It is taking up the time slot that even a totally pathetic show could redeem.

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2 out of 3 people found the following review useful:

Needs to move to a later timeslot to have it's full lasting impact

Author: davideo-2 from United Kingdom
8 December 2003

STAR RATING:*****Unmissable****Very Good***Okay**You Could Go Out For A Meal Instead*Avoid At All Costs

The Bill has been a consistently entertaining show for a very long time now (that it's lasted 20 years bears testimony to this).The everyday exploits of a group of Metropolitan police officers as they enforce the law on the tough,uncompromising streets of London was (and still is) an inspired and ingenuitive angle on which to base a soap opera.

But in recent years,it would appear to have ditched it's American-cop-show-ish,the-bad-eggs-always-get whats-coming-to-them kind of image where the featured case always gets wrapped up in under an hour,in favour of a grittier,uglier feel where everything is not as peachy and rosy as everyone would like it to be.To some,this may have caused the show's quality to decline.To others,it may well have been the making of it.I would lean toward the latter way of thinking.

Some may argue that each episode seems to feature even more sensationalist stories than the last.I can see where this school of thought may stem from,but I would plead in the show's defense that it is based on the lives of police officers,who do a job where,by it's very nature,one day is never the same as the next.I actually think it's a clever and engaging angle to explore the character's personal as well as professional lives,and every so often to interwine the two together,as this lifts the show with some depth and substance.

I can't say the show is entirely without it's faults.Some of the stories are far-fetched,contrived and do occasionally employ one or two shock tactics.That's not to mention a lot of over-acting from a lot of the modern cast members.All I'm aware of is that I still find it gripping,riveting viewing after all this time and it's certainly done well to last as long as it has.The trouble is,now it's a lot more aware of itself as a show and wants to cast a realistic perspective of policing in modern day Britain,it can't afford to be restrained in any way.Despite the gritty,hard-nosed feel of the storylines and characters,I still have yet to see any truly explicit sexuality or even an f word.These are things dirty cops,in films or TV shows,are going to run in to and if seeing these reality based themes included in it means shifting this show from it's 8.30pm timeslot to,say,10.00,then that is what I'd suggest the programme schedulers do.

I'm not trying to say these things would boost the show's quality in any way,I'm just saying it would make it a little more realistic.And this show's main problem at the moment is it's limitations.****

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Author: dtroyhester
11 November 2016

Sounds allot like a wondrous trill of a epic witch hunt to track down dead end thrives I don't think that I'd like it. I watched this over lengthened jack pot office low budget film that had this young man jumping though hoops to get paid for his day job. He did exemplary work but was suspicious of his colleges plotting behind his back. Even though he had his suspensions he was still unsure of any plan until the sly move was made in order to change who he was as a person took place. He prayed that it would be over and things would bounce back after the event was over but things got worse. While he was praying they we're preying to pounce even further. Therefore he thought it'd be in his best interest to take his own leave of absence- let the 'waters' cool.

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Patrolling the streets of Sunhill

Author: Maddyclassicfilms from United Kingdom
21 May 2016

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

The Bill was created by Geoff McQueen. The series ran from 1984 to 2010. When I was in high school, this was a series me and my friends watched all the time, us girls all loved Smithy and there were so many gripping story lines. The series has been rerun for a while now here in the UK and if you have never seen it you should check it out. If you're a fan and miss it, give it a rewatch.

The series was at it's best from 1984 to around 2002, after that too many beloved characters left and the series became more of a soap opera than a gritty police series. Even at it's worst though The Bill was still a must watch series, the characters and stories meant it was difficult to give up on the series all together.

The series is set in the fictional borough of Sunhill in London.The episodes focus on the cases of the uniformed officers and the CID teams. Many episodes will follow one team entirely, some episodes have split story lines following officers from both uniform and CID teams.

My personal favourite episodes are the ones mostly featuring uniformed characters , many of my favourite characters (Smithy, Gina Gold, Vicky Hagan, Reg Hollis, June Ackland, Roger Valentine and Tony Stamp)are among these characters, plus I find the uniformed cases to be more interesting.

The CID focused episodes are very good too though and often have long running story lines that pop back up every few episodes.

There have been so many characters in this over the years that everyone will have different favourites. Characters that the majority of fans love include, Reg Hollis, Tony Stamp, Jack Meadows, Mickey Webb, Tosh Lines, June Ackland, Smithy and Bob Cryer.

One of the great things about this series is the relationship between characters, be it romance or friendship.

Reg Hollis and Des Taviner are so funny together and it was nice to see Reg have a really close friendship with someone for once. So sad how that one ended.

I love the friendship between Mickey Webb and Jack Meadows, they are sort of like father and son and they are always there for one another. The scene between them by Mickey's mums grave when Jack learns about Mickey's attack is so moving and beautifully performed by both actors.

The will they wont they relationship between Samantha Nixon and Phil Hunter is great to watch. Hunter the tough badboy and Sam the driven Sergeant.

There were many bad officers too such as the corrupt Don Beech, working under his colleagues noses for years. There are some downright scary ones too Gabriel Kent, Cathy Bradford and Superintendent Chandler are three of the most evil and insane characters ever seen on TV. Gabriel's long running torment of poor June is unforgettable.

Another good thing The Bill does is make you change your first impressions concerning certain characters. Neil Manson is a good example, starting off as a man seemingly only after good statistics and concerned with looking good, you come to realise he is actually a good man and just wants things to be done by the book. Jim Carver starts off as likable but then you come to despise him for his treatment of June and his descent into gambling. Cathy Bradford starts off as a strong character who won't stand for nonsense from criminals, she turns into one of the most frightening and deranged TV characters ever.

A great series that I wish would be brought back, if they focused less on the private lives of the characters and a bit more on the cases this would no doubt be as successful as it used to be.

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Best show ever!

Author: sammy1404 from Australia
9 November 2012

I've been a fan of the Bill for ever. Since i first saw it I've been in love with it. I first watched it when Cass Rickman was in it and thought the story line was awesome. How they chase down criminals and still have enough time to gossip around the station and have affairs and relationships Over the years I've had over 40 favorite's cast members. I love them all. There's so many story lines that you will love. But i quit watching it 3 or 4 years before it finished. because all of my favorite's cast members had left. There's also a lot of hot cops. Which i like, and old and loving characters that made the show. And because it's British its not racist.

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