1 9 8 8 (UK)
1 x 60 minute episode
In 1949, Tom Riley (Sean Chapman doing his best Dirk Bogarde impression) is arrested for the murder of PC George Dixon (as seen in the 1950 film The Blue Lamp) and escorted back to the police station by PC Hughes (Karl Johnson).
All of this takes place in black and white as a continuation of the original movie.
As Riley and PC Hughes await the villain’s interrogation at Paddington Green nick, their surroundings turn to colour and they are mysteriously transported into an episode of The Filth, a (fictional)1988 Sweeney-style police series where the hard men rule.
Riley and Hughes are suddenly adrift in a world that neither of them recognises – a world of bent coppers who are handier with their fists than their 1950s counterparts, represented by hard-as-nails Superintendent Cherry (Kenneth Cranham).
The 1950s cosh boy is stripped of his bravado when he encounters the brutish Cherry who responds to Riley’s request to see a lawyer by telling him, “In two minutes, I am going to cut off your bollocks with a Stanley knife.”
A solicitor is accidentally hanged in the interview room and PC Hughes runs amok in the station like Rambo.
As the corpses pile up, a weary Superintendent Hammond (John Woodvine) casually informs everyone that George Dixon was, in fact, a “wrong ‘un”, under investigation by internal affairs for his alleged involvement in a paedophile ring.
This innovative black comedy was written by Arthur Ellis and aired on 22 September 1988 as part of BBC2’s Screenplay dramatic anthology. The future producers of Life On Mars (2006) and Ashes To Ashes (2008) were surely watching and taking notes.
Mr Bromley Sr.
Mr Bromley Jr.