1 9 9 1 (UK)
6 x 30 minute episodes
Mark Arden and Stephen Frost starred as the titular cops – a pair of unconventional and consistently ineffective detectives in the Really Serious Crime Squad of a more than slightly unconventional police department.
Steve Lazarus (Frost) looked the kind who could frighten both Frank Bruno and Henry Cooper at the same time. In fact, he was a great big softie. Handsome, curly-haired Mark Dingwall (Mark Arden, formerly Vaseline in London’s Burning) was a man given to wearing neck chains with dollar signs and junk rings on his fingers.
Other eccentric characters included The Chief (Peter Bland), desk worker – and the object of Dingwall’s affections – Beverly Armitage (the highly fanciable Race Davies) and the plainclothes duo (Simon Godley and Neil Mullarkey).
Clinton the black undercover cop (Jim Findley) was always being arrested as a drug dealer, two camp detectives were mainly concerned with what trendy gear they should wear for an Acid House party bust, and the Chief was a nutter in love with his office microwave and low-calorie meals.
The series was five years in gestation and whether Arden and Frost liked it or not, it felt like a British version of Starsky and Hutch.
It was bound to, with two unorthodox plain-clothes detectives who were jokey buddies, always ready to throw in a punch line when looking down a gun barrel.
However, these two coppers were playing it for comedy, not drama, so cocaine was “happy dust”, the drug barons were ‘Mr Big’ and ‘Mr Quite Big’, and for hiding the coke inside fish the villains risked 20 years inside for ‘haddock abuse’.
Sadly, the general leaning towards insanity, incompetence and the incongruous didn’t produce a lot of laughs.
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