1 9 9 5 – 1 9 9 7 (UK)
20 x 50 minute episodes
Robert Carlyle starred as the easy-going PC Hamish Macbeth of the remote and picturesque (and fictional) village of Lochdubh on the west coast of Scotland.
Accompanied by his lovable West Highland Terrier ‘Wee Jock’, Hamish – the sole copper in town – pursued bucolic villains and a troublesome love life, torn between the posh blonde Alex (Valerie Grogan) and the feisty brunette journalist Isobel (Shirley Henderson) amongst the picture-postcard Scottish Highland.
He was far from a conventional TV cop, preferring to avoid enforcing the law for petty crimes, such as poaching or after-hours drinking and resisting interference from the nearby Inverness police.
His role in the village was more counsellor than law enforcer, and he yearned for the simple things, enjoying village life and even smoking marijuana.
Influenced by American shows such as Northern Exposure, Hamish Macbeth mixed light whimsy with dark tragedy and had a wealth of quaint, bizarre and eccentric characters – chief amongst them, the enigmatic TV John (Ralph Riach).
Opening episode ‘The Great Lochdubh Salt Robbery’ featured domestic abuse, murder and the cannibalisation of a local thug. ‘Wee Jock’s Lament’ saw the killing of Hamish’s beloved Scottie dog (although Jock Mark II was soon in place) and a ghostly helper in the search for a missing child’s final resting place.
‘No Man is an Island’ deftly combined tragedy and comedy as a suicidal Hamish tries desperately to rescue a woman from an old WW2 land mine, while his temporary replacement in Lochdubh is taught a lesson in community policing by the locals after he rashly starts arresting people.
The series showcased the talents of Carlyle, who later became a Hollywood star.
While pronounced “Loch Doo” in the series, the producers chose the name of the fictional village as a play on “Locked up” (geddit?).
PC Hamish Macbeth
TV John McIver
Major Roddy Maclean
The Great Lochdubh Salt Robbery | A Pillar of the Community | The Big Freeze | West Coast Story | Wee Jock’s Lament | A Bit of an Epic || A Perfectly Simple Explanation | In Search of a Rose | Isobel Pulls It Off | Radio Lochdubh | No Man Is an Island | The Lochdubh Deluxe || The Honourable Policeman | Deferred Sentence | The Lochdubh Assassin | The Good Thief | The Trouble with Rory | More Than a Game | Destiny: Part 1 | Destiny: Part 2