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Z Cars (TV Series 1962–1978) Poster

(1962–1978)

Trivia

Creator Troy Kennedy-Martin had the idea for the series when listening in to police radio whilst laid low with mumps.
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A character named Ted Bowman, who appeared on this series, later reappeared on the Canadian detective series Sidestreet (1975).
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Michael Caine refused the part of PC Bob Steele as he did not want to be typecast in an TV series.
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The Ford Zephyrs used in the black and white episodes were actually primrose yellow. This colour showed up better than white on the older type B&W film.
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The "Z Cars" theme (traditional folk tune "Johnny Todd") proved to be so popular that Liverpool-based soccer side, Everton F.C, immortalized it as their theme tune as the teams enter onto the field, a tradition that is still very much alive today 45 years on. Elton John enjoyed the theme so much that he also adopted it at the club at which he presided as chairman, Watford.
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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.
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In the mid-'70s the Palitoy company produced a talking Z-Victor 4 car.
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In the early days the show was transmitted live, with only pre-shot film inserts to relieve the pressure for cast and crew. Mindful of the 14 million viewers about to tune in, Stratford Johns' nerves would regularly see him vomit before going into studio.
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Troy Kennedy-Martin left the show when he felt that the Police were trying to influence storylines in their favour too much. He returned only to write "Pressure", the final edition in 1978 (which also saw the return of original director John McGrath and several early cast-members).
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The famous Ford Zephyr fast response patrol cars were replaced with more up-to-date Pandas when the series was revived in March 1967. This reflected reality, as the Lancashire Constabulary (on which the Z Cars set-up had been largely based) had begun using them whilst the series had been off-air.
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The 1960s Merseybeat group The Newtowns took their name from the series' fictional setting.
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Bernard Kay was asked to play the Dudley Foster role.
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See also

Goofs | Crazy Credits | Quotes | Alternate Versions | Connections | Soundtracks

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