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 production.
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