Home Television Drama Wolcott


1 9 8 1 (UK)
4 x 60 minute episodes

Newly promoted to the CID, short-tempered black copper Winston Churchill Wolcott (George Harris) received a cool reception from most of his new colleagues but found an ally in Detective Inspector Gilligan (Martin Dempsey).

Prone to insolence and violence, just like The Sweeney‘s Jack Regan, and as old-fashioned in his views as his first two names would imply, Wolcott became embroiled in a drug war between rival black and white gangs in London’s East End.

Filmed over eight weeks in and around Hackney in East London, Wolcott – the first British cop drama to have a black actor in the lead role – was originally designed as a pilot for a thirteen-part series, as this failed to materialise the story ends on an ambiguous note, with the character’s survival left unclear.

Alternative comedians Rik Mayall, Alexei Sayle and Keith Allen provided guest performances, appearing respectively as a racist policeman, a spokesman for the Socialist Workers Party and a National Front heckler.

Christopher Ellison’s sneering cop on the take seemed to be a dry-run for his later role as DI Burnside on The Bill.

Winston Churchill Wolcott
George Harris
DI Gilligan
Martin Dempsey
Dennis St George
Hugh Quarshie
Terry Rowe
Warren Clarke
Reuben Warre
Raul Newney
Jeremy Godden
Clive Merrison
Melinda Marin
Christine Lahti
Cynthia Jerome
Merdel Jordine
DI Charlie Bonham
Christopher Ellison