Monday, 14 May 2012

Getting away with murder on TV

Do you remember the Chinese TV detective "Charlie Chan."  He was portrayed as  an intelligent, benevolent and honourable man. A far eastern version of Conan Doyle's Sherlock Holmes. Charlie was portrayed as being both inscrutable and smart at the same time. I have always enjoyed the various detective series on television. But the broad brush strokes within the many facets of the law and amateur sleuths, have been a good hunting ground for different television series producers.





The whole genre of police, courts and special branch programs started out with the acceptable face of the bobby under the blue lamp" with "Dixon of Dock Green." The surreal "Mark Sabre" the one-armed detective. The factual "Fabian of the Yard" and the ever memorable theme music that came with "Z-Cars."


A particular favourite for me was "Rumpole of the Bailey" with the catch phrase that came into everyday language "She Who Must Be Obeyed" Which in turn links in a way to a more modern version in "Judge John Deed". The good honest judge -v- state interference.


Then the was semi religious element introduced with "Cadfael" and "Father Brown." The semi spoof series "The Avengers" complete with the martial arts in black skin tight leathers. A later series sparking a popular hair do. Three inexplicably affluent international private detectives provide protection to innocents in "The Protectors."


The occult came with "The Champions" giving us hero's with super powers. Then it was back to the future with "Ashes to Ashes" and "Life on Mars". Not forgetting the living dead in "Randall and Hopkirk"


The Inspectors as a title came in the form of "Inspector George Gently", "Inspector Lewis", "The Inspector Lynley Mysteries", "Inspector Morse" and "Inspector Wexford."


Science, and the crime scene investigation came to the forefront the form of  "Waking the Dead", "Prime Suspect" and "Silent Witness."


Then there was the tea and cake detectives with "Lord Peter Wimsey", "Poirot" and "Miss Marple.The rough tough world was provided by "Dalziel and Pascoe", "The Saint" and "The Sweeney."




Location of one kind or another provided the background for "A Touch of Frost", "Bergerac", "Hamish Macbeth", "Heartbeat", "Van der Valk", "Taggart" and "Midsomer Murders."


Day-to-day policing and regional crime squads came in the form of "The Bill", "Juliet Bravo" and "Softly, Softly." The coppers brought back out of retirement came in the form of "New Tricks."


Not forgetting the very forgettable "Hazell", "Jonathan Creek", "Shoestring", "Wallander" and "Hetty Wainthrop." fully supported by the almost forgotten "Foyle's War", "The Gentle Touch", "Gideon's Way", "The Last Detective", "No Hiding Place", "The Ruth Rendell Mysteries" and "The Singing Detective."




We have to give a respectful "evening all" to "Crime Watch" and "Police 5"


There was another program, with a criminologist crime writer who presented a factual series - but I can't bring his name to mind at the moment. I am sure there are others that I have forgotten.


The whole gamut has been done to death over the years - You could say that they get away with murder on TV.


Later....



1 comment:

  1. edgar lustgarten is your man.skpt

    ReplyDelete

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