A gritty drama which follows the work of the police force in the fictional northern English town of Newtown.
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13   12   11   10   9   8   7   6   5   … See all »
1978   1977   1976   1975   1974   1973   … See all »
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Cast

Series cast summary:
James Ellis James Ellis ...  Sgt. Lynch / ... 627 episodes, 1962-1978
John Slater ...  Det. Sgt. Stone 421 episodes, 1967-1974
Douglas Fielding ...  PC Quilley / ... 340 episodes, 1969-1978
Bernard Holley ...  PC Newcombe / ... 277 episodes, 1967-1971
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Storyline

A gritty drama which follows the work of the police force in the fictional northern English town of Newtown.

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Plot Keywords:

british | police | 1960s | 1970s | england | See All (7) »

Genres:

Crime | Drama

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Details

Country:

UK

Language:

English

Release Date:

2 January 1962 (UK) See more »

Also Known As:

Freie Hand für Barlow See more »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

(462 episodes) | (337 episodes)

Sound Mix:

Mono

Color:

Black and White (1962-1970)| Color (1970-1978)

Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The "Z Cars" theme (traditional folk tune "Johnny Todd") proved to be so popular that Liverpool-based soccer side, Everton F.C., immortalized it as their theme tune as the teams enter onto the field, a tradition that is still very much alive today. Elton John enjoyed the theme so much, that he also adopted it at the club at which he presided as chairman, Watford. See more »

Goofs

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 »

Alternate Versions

Also available in a computer colorized version. See more »

Connections

Followed by Softly Softly (1966) See more »

Soundtracks

Z Cars Theme
Composed by Bridget Fry
See more »

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User Reviews

 
Essential viewing; a treasure of the era.
4 January 2008 | by MarkA-21See all my reviews

In many respects, a landmark TV series - changing the image of police as seen on TV, changes in real policing (from bobby-on-the-beat to patrol cars), bringing serious social problems to the screen for the first time - this series captured a time and place with clarity, making these episodes a very valuable treasure - I hope they haven't been dumped or let rot somewhere! The series was also valuable in the opportunities it gave many brilliant writers to develop their skills.

The show succeeded in its two goals, exciting police action drama, and gritty social drama (with just a drop of humour when needed); the best of the police action thread followed Barlow (played by Stratford Johns) into the spin-off series Softly, Softly - Task Force, and later: Barlow at Large. Unforgettable music. The forgettable bit was why the car numbers all started Z - V; I think Zed (not Zee; this was British) was for (Ford) Zephyr.

(With apologies to Toody and Muldoon) I wonder: Zed Victor One, where are you, now? I suspect few episodes survive.


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