The best type of television cop is the fascist but fair cop . Jack Regan from THE SWEENEY and Frank Burnside from THE BILL are the personification of the fascist but fair cops as seen on British television , yes they beat confessions out of guilty men and occasionally blow away a bad guy but the bad guys were guilty in the first place so that makes it all right.
THE BILL started to lose its impact after Burnside left the series and the show suffered from much lower ratings because of it , hell Burnside was THE BILL so the producers kept bringing him back every now and again . And being a sometimes avid watcher of THE BILL I was looking forward to seeing this " gritty " spin off show but felt it was a complete waste of time afterwards
This series is called BURNSIDE but is a complete misnomer . It consists of six episodes of three 2 part stories but if you`re expecting them to revolve around Fascist Frank you will be in for a major disappointment since only the first story centres around him , the other two centre around his colleagues the very attractive Sam Philips who is far too pretty to be a convincing policewoman and Dave Summers who is a gay black policeman . Yup a gay black policeman and never once does Burnside come out with the obvious line " Don``t stand behind me you iron " . Not only that but for both of the latter two stories Burnside is off screen for much of the time , compare this with the amount of BILL episodes where he`s the focus of the story . And despite the post watershed screening time and the very occasional use of the " F " word by the villains there`s nothing memorable about the episodes and could have easily been written for any British television detective show
Any chance we`ll be seeing Frank back in THE BILL after this debacle ?
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