Z-Victor 1, reg. KTJ 578, was Smith and Weir; Z-Victor 2 (348 VTB) was Lynch and Steele, latterly Graham. See more »
Whilst taping 'moving vehicle' shots in studio, as technology was nowhere near as advanced as it is currently, it was so much simpler to use a 'stripped' version of the vehicles involved. Many such were missing their entire front ends and windscreens to facilitate both filming and sound recording. Continuous film was played on the screen behind, to give the impression that the vehicle was actually on the move during recording. Immediately after one such shot, actor Brian Blessed (PC 'Fancy' Smith) stepped out of the Z-car, and, having left his cap on the dashboard, reached in through the vacant windscreen space to retrieve it. Blessed himself spoke of this during a talk show some years later, but apparently neither the film crew nor the director noticed. See more »
Also available in a computer colorized version. See more »
This was ground-breaking TV. I only realized this later living in North America and seeing a "new wave" of crime shows post Starsky & Hutch and Miami Vice. Shows like Law and Order, CSI and The Wire are great programs but Z Cars was created thirty years before them and got people wanting a more gritty cop show. Growing up outside of Belfast, I was also drawn to it as it had an Ulster actor in the cast. At a time when Irish actors were only allowed to play drunken thugs and terrorists, it was great to see one play a good guy. Sadly it was unique in that respect and Irish characters/actors were still largely banned to those roles for the next twenty years.
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