The Bill (1984-2010) Apr 22, 2017 13:13:17 GMT
Post by rjc77 on Apr 22, 2017 13:13:17 GMT
The first three series are a standalone show for me and in terms of cop shows <controversial> almost as good as 'The Sweeney' in terms of level of enjoyment for me. </controversial> I strongly recommend any fan of The Sweeney try the first three series of the show - personally with the exception of the "Woodentop" pilot it's great stuff!
To this day I find it incredible that Salthouse left that role as he thought it was becoming a soap opera only years later to appear in the Sky One soap opera 'Dream Team'. Even more incredible that he was not given a spin off series.
After Galloway left it was never the same show - sure Ted and the others were still in it but Burnside (who everyone thought was superb in the press) was always a poor substitute in my opinion. His character was also changed a bit from the 'Tommy Burnside' that had previously appeared in the first three series. As the show continued I always enjoyed watching Ted and Dashwood, hoping Galloway might return but it never happened. Incredibly Burnside did eventually get a spin-off show off his own which was far tougher than The Bill. I will always think Galloway more poorly replaced by Burnside.
I think initially it held up well after Galloway's departure, it was still 'ok' but never the classic it had been. By the time the show had reached 1990 it was waning for me, more progressively so each year. Action was shorter, and I distinctly remember the 'interview' episode with DS Alistair Greig as one were I thought 'this isn't the show it used to be'.
There were still good episodes though but slowly, Dashwood left, Ted was reduced and the whole thing became Burnside. The point where I thought it got better was the DS Beech scandal and I was glued during this. Sadly this was a vehicle to really turn the screw and make it more popular and half the cast were written out overnight. This was the point it became soap opera for me. They then wiped out the cast with a fire at the station, thej every second copper was corrupt and it all went stupid.<br><br>The only time I really enjoyed it again after that was towards the end - just before it ended they changed the show's theme music and the last year or so I quite enjoted it again.
Characters I liked: Roy Galloway, Ted Roach, Mike Dashwood, Brian Kite, Pete Ramsay, Don Beech, Max Carter, Phil Hunter, Jack Meadows, Rod Skase, Cathy Bradford, Stevie Moss, Dave Litten, Vicky Hagen, Malcolm Haynes,
Couldn't stand them: DI Alex Cullin (worst DI ever?), Sam Nixon, Andrew Monroe, Jo Morgan, Alec Peters, Vik Singh, Luke Ashton, Matt Boyden, Gabriel Kent, Roger Valentine, Gina Gold, Suzi Croft, Danny Glaze, Honey Harmen, Mike Jarvis, Ron Smollet, Cass Rickman, Donna Harris (nothing character).
Personally, I thought The Bill was still pretty good during the early 90s, but seemed to lose its way after about 1992, although Roach's 1993 'swansong' episode 'Punch Drunk', for me is probably one of the most memorable of the 90s era of TB.
I think the show started to become a bit too predictable from about 93 onwards. The noughties era of TB just seemed too far-fetched for me, especially the episode from about 2005 (I think) where that psychotic PC Gabriel Kent held June Ackland hostage on the roof of the high-rise flats, then gave himself up through committing suicide by jumping from the roof of the tower block. Also Jim Carver's battles with alcoholism and his violent and aggressive outbursts whilst on duty seemed far-removed from reality as any copper behaving like that whilst on duty in real life would most certainly have to 'face the music' from the powers that be.