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Constable Nick Rowan is a English Policeman in the 1960's who decides to be reassigned to the same small village where his wife was born. There, he patrols the countryside as a part of a small attachment in the area dealing with the various events and problems that come up while at same time keeping a eye on Claude Greengrass, the local rogue. Written by
Kenneth Chisholm <email@example.com>
gives those that were too young to remember the sixties a second chance
If you were a young child living in England during any period of the 1960's, then this show is for you. If you miss the sixties, the live sounds of The Beatles, Donovan, Dusty Springfield together with many cult bands in those times of magic when we felt like as if life took you beyond your dreams, then this television series will help you reminisce and relate to such times more than any other television show ( to my knowledge) that is set in that era which contains the British atmosphere. The plot and theme enriches much of the simple life of a Beautiful English country town somewhere in Yorke, initially focusing around the interaction of a local Bobby - Nick Rowan ( played by Nick Berry) with the characters that make up the village community. Nearly all of the characters play a unique and important role, creating a new and interesting episode which leads the viewer enticed to want more. The episodes are beautifully supported by background music made popular by artists of that era and sometimes earlier (as the title tune `Heartbeat' was made famous by Buddy Holly in the late fifties) all depending on the scenes, bringing the sixties as alive as possible.
Every episode can be identified by it's title as most series are and each has it's own merit. It would be next to impossible to comment on all of them here, but two particular episodes which have strongly impacted me were; firstly, when Dr Ferrenby (played by Frank Middlemass) departs the series during a fishing trip and gets swamped into the river by the waves of water. It is a very moving scene superbly supported by the background music`Windmills of your mind' (soundtrack to the original 1968 `Thomas Crown Affair') resulting in an exceptionally directed scene. The news is then conveyed to Dr, Kate Rowan (played by Niamh Cusack) who is a colleague of Dr Ferrenby where she is naturally devastated by the news. Dr. Kate Rowan (who later departs the series when she dies from Leukemia) is a beautiful and empathetic character full of charm which the community get to love, underpinning the village morale. The other impressive episode titled `Baby Blues' is again well directed and filmed with a lovely scenery of the beautiful greenery of the Yorke country landscape which is well blended with the background music `Catch the wind' made famous by Donovan back in 1965. The echoes in this background music is well blended giving me goosebumps, hence giving a perfect sixties feel. This episode is one that demonstrates the teething problems that were associated with the typical stereotypes (highly contrasted to today) in the prejudices of judging a book by it's cover, where a group of hippies are accused by snobby upper middle class people for the disappearance of a baby. Cutting a long story short, it is the Hippies that eventually lead to successfully locating the missing baby. The snobby lady then swallows her pride with gratitude and wishes to offer them a reward, which they refuse to take, hinting to her that she had misjudged them. It is a powerful statement of the times which in turn is still valid by todays standards on a different platform
Other characters include the the village Sargent, Oscar Blaketon ( brilliantly performed by Derek Fowlds) who is overly obsessed with catching in the act another semi-comedy scruffy couch potato character Claude Greengrass (brilliantly performed by Bill Maynard) who is one of the village petty rogues who has never being caught for any of his scams. Greengrass is always accompanied by his shaggy dog - Alfred. It also has moments of comedy where one episode has Greengrass with his dog in the local pub and someone complains about fleas. Greengrass is immediately on the defence to claim that his dog is clean, but is soon corrected that it isn't the dog they were complaining about, but of him instead.
The only unrealistic component of this series is that almost every episode that I am aware of has a crime occurring, making this Yorkeshire village one of the most unsafest villages in the world which would obviously not be the case. However, this is probably purposely plotted to avoid the series from tarnishing to boredom which is a nightmare faced by anyone responsible for maintaining successful ratings of any television series.
This series have been running for some 10 years and naturally has changed so much in it's story lines with different characters coming and leaving the series, but the atmosphere and setting has remained unchanged. I have never seen anything like it as it is uniquely focused on a time and life that makes the show what it is and it is superbly cast and filmed.
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