1 9 9 5 – 1 9 9 6 (UK)
14 x 30 minute episodes
Rowan Atkinson starred as stick-in-the-mud traditionalist Inspector Raymond Fowler in this Ben Elton-created series set in a cosy British police station in the fictitious town of Gasforth, populated by a group of half-witted caricatures.
Joining Fowler were his eminently more sensible live-in girlfriend of ten years, Sgt Dawkins (Serena Evans); Constable Habib (Mina Anwar) – an Asian from Accrington and another voice of womanly reason; Constable Gladstone (Rudolph Walker) – a languid West Indian with irrelevant recollections of the old days; and the vain, jumpy and decidedly effeminate – despite his lust for Habib – Constable Goody (James Dreyfus).
Friction at the station came from the CID division, headed by the angry, bitter and unscrupulous DI Grimm (David Haig) and his right-hand men, initially the smirky DC Kray (Kevin Allen) and then the bluff DC Boyle (Mark Addy).
Collectively, the Gasforth squad faced difficult situations such as dealing with young offenders, marshalling football hooligans, policing protesters, flushing-out drug dealers and making themselves attractive for a TV documentary.
The script was mostly composed of half-witted inanities and seemingly the reject material from Blackadder (“Don’t snivel like a Frenchman who’s caught his baguette in his bicycle spokes”).
Inspector Raymond Fowler
Sgt Patricia Dawkins
PC Kevin Goody
WPC Maggie Habib
PC Frank Gladstone
DI Derek Grim
DC Gary Boyle