1 9 8 7 – 1 9 8 8 (UK)
18 x 50 minute episodes
The tough and experienced hardnosed Metropolitan Police copper Detective Sergeant Alan Rockcliffe (Ian Hogg) watched over a bunch of seven young rookie trainee detectives in this BBC1 series.
PC Gerry O’Dowd (Joe McGann) was an impetuous but lovable Liverpudlian who acted much quicker than he could think but desperately wanted to succeed as a detective; WPC Janice Hargreaves (Alphonsia Emmanuel) was a black Londoner who found it hard being a policewoman; PC Paul Georgiou (Martyn Ellis) was a half-Welsh/half-Greek man who knew all the local gossip; WPC Karen Walsh (Susanna Shelling) was tough, confident, a fast driver and keen to make her mark; PC Keith Chitty (John Blakey) hoped to go on to the CID; PC David Adams (Bill Champion) also had high hopes, and PC Steve Hood (Brett Fancy) was a local – a tough and occasionally vicious lad – with a lot of prejudices.
Green but keen, the Crime Squad youngsters tackled muggings, flashers, rapes, drug dealers and robberies under his watchful eye.
Rockliffe’s superiors were Detective Inspector Charles Flight (Edward Wilson), a relaxed fatherly man, and Detective Superintendent Munro (Malcolm Terris) – nicknamed “Marilyn” – a very nervous man not renowned for his intellect or self-discipline.
The series was made on location in the frey, impoverished Kensal Rise area of West London, and there was lots of action, violence and sleazy stories with plenty of cliffhangers.
To ensure the show was authentic, the BBC drafted in Jim Sewell, who had spent 37 years in the police force, being Deputy Assistant Commissioner and head of the Flying Squad during that time.
The series spawned a spin-off called Rockliffe’s Folly, with Rockliffe moving away from London to spend the rest of his working days in rural Dorset.
DS Alan Rockliffe
PC Gerry O’Dowd
WPC Janice Hargreaves
PC David Adams
PC Keith Chitty
PC Paul Georgiou
PC Steve Hood
WPC Karen Walsh
Detective Inspector Charles Flight
Detective Superintendent J Munro
Chief Superintendent Barry Wyatt