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A nine part series depicting the varying fortunes of four friends, Nicky, Geordie, Mary, and Tosker, from the optimistic times of 1964 to the uncertainties of 1995. Taking nine pivotal ... See full summary »
This show is set in the Complaints Investigation Bureau (C.I.B.), the department responsible for investigating other police officers, of London's Metropolitan Police [the British counterpart to the Internal Affairs Bureau (I.A.B.) of a U.S. city's police force]. The first two seasons had stories based around various different aspects of the darker side of the police, ranging from such topics as petty corruption, racism, and sexual harassment through to grand conspiracy, with some plot threads running through the season over several episodes. The series also dealt with the personal lives of it's less-than-clean-cut characters, particularly the womanizing lead character Tony Clark, and is also notable for its inclusion of a lesbian character in a major role. In the third and final season, the focus changed significantly, moving away from the police force to other areas of security and espionage. Written by
Between the Lines is gripping police drama about the CBI investigating abuse of police powers and corruption within the force. The first remarkable thing is that BTL has a fairly unlikeable protagonist: womanizing career police man Tony Clarke who is really blackmailed into joining the CBI. He acts so irresponsibly in his personal life throughout the series that it is really difficult to sympathize with him (and he wears the worst fitting suits I have ever seen). On the other hand he is very emotional about his job and also really professional about it (unless his private life or hormones get in the way) in spite of the fact that he really hates his job. His team consists of bisexual Maureen Connell and veteran copper Harry Naylor whose wife develops a terminal illness in the second series. These three really complex characters really carry the show. The standard of writing is also fairly high. The stories are complex and satisfying which is not easy to achieve in a 45 minutes format. However, in the second season they become formulaic in terms of the CBI's impotence to deal with corruption in the force. You can't help wondering why they bother at all. Apart from the strong performances of the cast (with the possible exception of the rather one dimensional DCS Graves) the series also has some episodes that are visually very well made particularly the inteview situation. For 1992 the first season is also groundbreakling in its depiction of nudity as you see some full frontal shots of Clark's beautiful girlfriend and you see Jaye Griffith's bottom.
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