The Bill was created by Geoff McQueen. The series ran from 1984 to 2010. When I was in high school, this was a series me and my friends watched all the time, us girls all loved Smithy and there were so many gripping story lines. The series has been rerun for a while now here in the UK and if you have never seen it you should check it out. If you're a fan and miss it, give it a rewatch.
The series was at it's best from 1984 to around 2002, after that too many beloved characters left and the series became more of a soap opera than a gritty police series. Even at it's worst though The Bill was still a must watch series, the characters and stories meant it was difficult to give up on the series all together.
The series is set in the fictional borough of Sunhill in London.The episodes focus on the cases of the uniformed officers and the CID teams. Many episodes will follow one team entirely, some episodes have split story lines following officers from both uniform and CID teams.
My personal favourite episodes are the ones mostly featuring uniformed characters , many of my favourite characters (Smithy, Gina Gold, Vicky Hagan, Reg Hollis, June Ackland, Roger Valentine and Tony Stamp)are among these characters, plus I find the uniformed cases to be more interesting.
The CID focused episodes are very good too though and often have long running story lines that pop back up every few episodes.
There have been so many characters in this over the years that everyone will have different favourites. Characters that the majority of fans love include, Reg Hollis, Tony Stamp, Jack Meadows, Mickey Webb, Tosh Lines, June Ackland, Smithy and Bob Cryer.
One of the great things about this series is the relationship between characters, be it romance or friendship.
Reg Hollis and Des Taviner are so funny together and it was nice to see Reg have a really close friendship with someone for once. So sad how that one ended.
I love the friendship between Mickey Webb and Jack Meadows, they are sort of like father and son and they are always there for one another. The scene between them by Mickey's mums grave when Jack learns about Mickey's attack is so moving and beautifully performed by both actors.
The will they wont they relationship between Samantha Nixon and Phil Hunter is great to watch. Hunter the tough badboy and Sam the driven Sergeant.
There were many bad officers too such as the corrupt Don Beech, working under his colleagues noses for years. There are some downright scary ones too Gabriel Kent, Cathy Bradford and Superintendent Chandler are three of the most evil and insane characters ever seen on TV. Gabriel's long running torment of poor June is unforgettable.
Another good thing The Bill does is make you change your first impressions concerning certain characters. Neil Manson is a good example, starting off as a man seemingly only after good statistics and concerned with looking good, you come to realise he is actually a good man and just wants things to be done by the book. Jim Carver starts off as likable but then you come to despise him for his treatment of June and his descent into gambling. Cathy Bradford starts off as a strong character who won't stand for nonsense from criminals, she turns into one of the most frightening and deranged TV characters ever.
A great series that I wish would be brought back, if they focused less on the private lives of the characters and a bit more on the cases this would no doubt be as successful as it used to be.
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