This show is set in the Complaints Investigation Bureau (C.I.B.), the department responsible for investigating other police officers, of London's Metropolitan Police [the British counterpart to the Internal Affairs Bureau (I.A.B.) of a U.S. city's police force]. The first two seasons had stories based around various different aspects of the darker side of the police, ranging from such topics as petty corruption, racism, and sexual harassment through to grand conspiracy, with some plot threads running through the season over several episodes. The series also dealt with the personal lives of it's less-than-clean-cut characters, particularly the womanizing lead character Tony Clark, and is also notable for its inclusion of a lesbian character in a major role. In the third and final season, the focus changed significantly, moving away from the police force to other areas of security and espionage.Written by
"Between the Lines" was a show which reflected British television's attitude to the police in the Thatcher years...namely, that the police are brutal, corrupt and fascist. If the show was merely about corrupt officers, then it could have made for gripping drama, but it had a heavy political agenda so corruption was always from up on high and institutionalised. One or two episodes of this might have been gripping, but it was constant and often Neil Pearson's character would often act as an apologist for the criminals. One of the more ludicrous episodes featured Pete Postlethwaite as a senior Metropolitan Police commander putting down a riot (by good lefties or course) which he agitated and he ends up quoting the speech made in the Falklands War: "The flag is flying over Port Stanley"...oh, is this a dig at Thatcher? But apart from the student level politics, the show gained notoriety and earned the nickname "Between the Loins" for its preponderance for sex scenes bang on the stroke of the 9 o'clock watershed. Any chance for Pearson to drop his trousers (but always in a sensitive way) and he'd grab it. Sometimes it seemed he'd abandon a case to get some more sex...can't say I blame him.
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