Home Television Drama Dixon Of Dock Green

Dixon Of Dock Green

1 9 5 5 – 1 9 7 6 (UK)
367 x 25/45 minute episodes

PC George Dixon was the first British copper to walk the beat.

The character was first introduced in the Rank movie The Blue Lamp (1950) where he was shot dead by Dirk Bogarde after a mere 21 minutes.

Five years later, on 7 July 1955, Ted Willis revived him and created a series that was to span 21 years and 367 episodes, always opening with Dixon’s matey greeting, “Evenin’ all”.

It was the first television programme to be based on a film, and after being commissioned to write the initial six-part series, Willis was worried. “I didn’t know how I would be able to find six good stories”, he said. But eventually, he had 250 policemen on his payroll who fed incidents and true stories to him for the scripts.

The kindly, tea-drinking Dixon (based on a real bobby from Leman Street in London’s East End) reflected the public image of the police at the time. He was the friendly local bobby with a kind word for everyone – There was very little serious crime in Dock Green.

It would have been wholly inappropriate for George Dixon to rugby-tackle a suspect, spread-eagle him and bellow “you’re nicked” just for riding a bicycle without a rear light . . .

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Jack Warner made sure all details were authentic – For example, a policeman was not supposed to remove his helmet when entering a house but should take it off when asking an elderly lady about her dog licence (and the helmet had to be held under the arm when addressing a bishop!).

The emphasis in Dixon of Dock Green was on small everyday police work, not major crimes as is the case with most cop shows today. The debut episode, “PC Crawford’s First Pinch”, was introduced by the Radio Times with the words “Murder cases are not so frequent as some crime writers would have us imagine”.

Other characters also made the transition from the movie, such as Andy Crawford (later to become a Detective and to marry Dixon’s daughter, Mary), PC “Laudy” Lauderdale and Desk Sergeant Flint who lodged with Dixon’s mother.

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George Dixon was always a benevolent father figure to the local community, and in 1964 was promoted to Sergeant and became desk-bound, too old to pound the beat anymore.

Jack had the perfect copper’s walk – like a penguin’s – thanks to a back injury sustained while playing a train driver earlier in his career. He finally retired in 1976 as the show seemed out of place now amongst the new breed of TV copper such as The Sweeney.

Jack Warner died five years later aged 85. His coffin was carried by police officers from Paddington Green – a tribute to the enormous affection in which Jack Warner and George Dixon were, and still are, held – and the show’s theme tune An Ordinary Copper played over the church PA.

Sadly, the majority of episodes of Dixon of Dock Green were either destroyed or lost and no longer exist.

PC/Sgt George Dixon 
Jack Warner
DS Andy Crawford 

Peter Byrne
Mary Dixon/Crawford 

Billie Whitelaw (1)
Jeanette Hutchinson (2)
Anna Dawson (3)
PC Lauderdale 
Geoffrey Adams
Desk Sgt Flint 

Arthur Rigby
PC Willis 

Nicholas Donnelly
PC Tubb Barrell 

Neil Wilson
Sgt Grace Millard 

Moira Mannion
Cadet Jamie MacPherson 

David Webster
PC Bob Penney 

Anthony Parker
WPC Kay Lauderdale 

Jocelyne Rhodes
Inspector Cherry 

Stanley Beard (1)
Robert Crawdon (2)
Duffy Clayton 

Harold Scott
Johnny Wills 

Nicholas Donnelly
Chris Freeman 

Anne Ridler
Alex Jones 

Jan Miller
PC Jones 

John Hughes
Michael Bonnet 

Paul Elliott
Jean Bell 

Patricia Forde
Bob Cooper 

Duncan Lamont
PC Swain 

Robert Arnold
Liz Harris 

Zeph Gladstone
Shirley Palmer 

Anne Carroll
PC Betty Williams 

Jean Dallas
PC Burton 

Peter Thornton
Det Sgt Harvey 

Geoffrey Kean
PC Roberts 

Geoffrey Kenion
Inspector Carter 

Peter Jeffrey
Ann Foster 

Pamela Bucher
Brian Turner 

Andrew Bradford
DC Pearson 

Joe Dunlop
PC Newton 

Michael Osborne
DC Webb 

Derek Anders
Sgt. Brewer 

Gregory de Polney