1 9 8 6 (UK)
3 x 60 minute episodes
This three-part ITV thriller, shown on consecutive nights in April 1986, had impeccable credentials. Written by Ian Kennedy Martin (creator of The Sweeney), it was produced by Ian Toynton, who was responsible for Minder and Widows.
Relative newcomers Christopher Fulford and Richard Graham starred as police sergeants John Miller and Jim Collis – uncouth, grubby and flawed – as they moved through the big-time criminal world of London.
The duo were attached to Scotland Yard’s Serious Robberies squad (based on the fourth floor of that illustrious establishment – hence the title).
Miller was a brilliant, intuitive detective, his life only marred by a tug-of-love battle over his child. Collis was an accident-prone hothead with a weight problem who eased his worries and self-doubts by rushing to the hot dog stand.
One of the top criminals, George Payne (Kenneth Haigh), was a chartered accountant who lost a lot of money in the 1970s property crash and now planned to pull off the biggest crime of the century. A millionaire career criminal, he liked to hang around with violent men.
Crooks with pump-action shotguns were plentiful, and the language was terse and direct.
The three-part miniseries was intended as a pilot for a new police series, but changes among the management team at Thames Television vetoed the idea.
Detective Sergeant John Miller
Detective Sergeant Jim Collis
Detective Chief Supt. Haladene
Tony Ellis MP