Home Television Drama Chinese Detective, The

Chinese Detective, The

1 9 8 1 (UK)
14 x 50 minute episodes

An intelligent police series written by Sweeney creator Ian Kennedy Martin, The Chinese Detective starred Liverpool-born half-Chinese actor David Yip as Detective Sergeant Johnny Ho, a scruffy loner in London’s Limehouse district who joined the police force partly to clear his father’s name and nail the ex-cop who had framed him.

Although the identity of this ex-cop was eventually revealed, fresh cases took precedence each week in classic police procedural style.

Ho found the going tough and his colleagues unsupportive. He also encountered plenty of harassment, not least from his rigid and cheerfully racist boss, DCI Berwick (Derek Martin), who hated his scruffy appearance and sloppy behaviour.

To bring Ho back into line, he paired him with experienced sergeant Donald Chegwyn (Arthur Kelly).

Fast-moving and exciting stuff it was, but – not surprisingly – the real police did not appreciate the suggestion that racism existed in the ranks, whether intentional or not.

DS Johnny Ho
David Yip
DCI Berwick
Derek Martin
DS Donald Chegwyn
Arthur Kelly
Joe Ho
Robert Lee