A gritty drama which follows the work of the police force in the fictional northern English town of Newtown.
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1978   1977   1976   1975   1974   1973   … See all »
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Cast

Series cast summary:
James Ellis ...
 Sgt. Lynch / ... (627 episodes, 1962-1978)
John Slater ...
 Det. Sgt. Stone (421 episodes, 1967-1974)
...
 PC Quilley / ... (340 episodes, 1969-1978)
...
 PC Newcombe / ... (277 episodes, 1967-1971)
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Storyline

A gritty drama which follows the work of the police force in the fictional northern English town of Newtown.

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Genres:

Crime | Drama

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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

2 January 1962 (UK)  »

Also Known As:

Freie Hand für Barlow  »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

(462 episodes) | (337 episodes)

Sound Mix:

Color:

(1962-1970)| (1970-1978)

Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The series suffered from the BBC's lack of a proper archiving policy until 1978. It was BBC policy before 1978 to wipe master tapes and reuse them for other programmes, hence saving money and storage space. From a full tally of 799 editions, 466 (broadcast between 1962 and 1974) are thought to no longer exist; additionally, some colour videotaped episodes only survive as monochrome film copies. The final four series, broadcast between September 1974 and September 1978, exist in their entirety. See more »

Connections

Featured in Z Cars: Playing Connor (2014) See more »

Soundtracks

Z Cars Theme
Composed by Bridget Fry
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User Reviews

 
Essential viewing; a treasure of the era.
4 January 2008 | by (New Zealand) – See all my reviews

In many respects, a landmark TV series - changing the image of police as seen on TV, changes in real policing (from bobby-on-the-beat to patrol cars), bringing serious social problems to the screen for the first time - this series captured a time and place with clarity, making these episodes a very valuable treasure - I hope they haven't been dumped or let rot somewhere! The series was also valuable in the opportunities it gave many brilliant writers to develop their skills.

The show succeeded in its two goals, exciting police action drama, and gritty social drama (with just a drop of humour when needed); the best of the police action thread followed Barlow (played by Stratford Johns) into the spin-off series Softly, Softly - Task Force, and later: Barlow at Large. Unforgettable music. The forgettable bit was why the car numbers all started Z - V; I think Zed (not Zee; this was British) was for (Ford) Zephyr.

(With apologies to Toody and Muldoon) I wonder: Zed Victor One, where are you, now? I suspect few episodes survive.


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