The Bill is that everlasting British Cop and Robbers show that
continues to attract viewers despite, or perhaps because of its age.
Its strengths are a good cast of character players, some have been
there from the first, (like Mark Wingett, Trudy Goodwin) and a team of
scriptwriters that manage to mostly hide the formula in formula TV.
The latest re-invention under Producer Paul Marquess makes use of
several plots in the one episode, usually two minor stories run with
the anchor plot that links several episodes. Rapid editing from one
plot to the next manages to keep you from getting bored in this
fragmented style of presentation. But its like juggling oranges you
can't afford to drop one. A pool of talented newer actors augment the
small nucleus of the older originals who still put in worthwhile
performances. There is today there is more suggestion of the "Soapie"
than the early series. Now some of the goings on with the cops at
Sunhill would make even the villains they chase blush. Possibly it best
years might be behind now, some of the noteworthy characters are gone,
and the chief cops are more mellow and polite than in the old days.
Nevertheless the writers keep the material moderately controversial and
contemporary. Its not a bad entertainment as these shows go, and the
standard set is remarkably good considering the speed and output of the
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