Brit cop shows?

We had to suffer your tedious cops shows: Kojak; Cagney & Lacey; Starsky & Hutch; Ironside etc etc.

But were any of our cop shows screened in the US? It would be sad if you hadn’t enjoyed the delights of The Sweeney, the finest example of a Brit cop show from the 70s, an episode of which I am currently watching (“Get yer traasers on, son; you’re nicked”).

What about other stuff like The Professionals? Callan? Special Branch? Or were they too parochial for Yank audiences?

Do The Thin Blue Line and Star Cops count?

How about Prime Suspect with Helen Mirren?

The Brit show Spooks has been running on the A&E channel in the U.S. for a while now, re-titled as MI-5. I watched a few episodes, but I found their scheduling so chaotic that I gave up trying to find the damn thing.

The best channel for this sort of thing in the US is BBC America, which has “mystery Mondays” I think. They’ve shown several UK cop dramas; I can remember Red Cap, Wire in the Blood and John Hannah in some drama with thick Scot accents.

They also cut an hour show down to 42 minutes, which went about as well as you’d think it would.

You know, The Bill is a surprisingly good show when you sit down and watch it.

I am addicted to A Touch of Frost. I’ve missed a few, and hope to see them on DVD someday.

McCallum. That was the first show I thought of when I saw the thread title. There’s also another police doctor show that I love – Dangerfield with Nigel Havers (I know there were earlier series of this show with someone actually playing Dangerfield, but I’ve only seen the Nigel Havers episodes). And of course we’ve just finished a season of the Inspector Lynley mysteries here, although we’re at least one season behind the U.K.

Jeez, that reveals a major blind spot on me. That fact should have been obvious as soon as I saw the show was on a commercial network, but I missed it entirely.

A great British import was Cracker, starring Robbie Coltrane. Fantastic show which led to a short-lived U.S. version.

I doubt it was ever shown here, but the title of this thread made me think of Dempsey & Makepeace. Anyone else remember that one? I loved the theme song!

I don’t know if McCallum was ever shown on BBC America, but the first thing I thought of was the Rebus series. Because I loved it. :slight_smile:

It used to be much better but back around '99 or so they changed the format so that now it is more of a soap opera than a proper crime / police drama.


Nobody has yet said whether the older shows from the 70s made it across the water. Stuff like The Sweeney and The Professionals were done on film rather than VT and produced by companies (Euston Films and LWT rspectively) which enjoyed good success with exports.

As a kid I always wanted a cross-over episode, where Regan and Carter follow a villain to New York, where they are assigned to Kojak’s precinct.

Was it really necessary to be snide and rude?

Curious: Do your cop shows generally follow the cops who have guns or the cops without?

Obviously there are some cops with guns (and given the current news, they are willing to use them), but that is the exception, right?

I used to watch a show called Bergerac.

Er, sorry LonesomePolecat; not sure what bit of my post you took to be "snide and rude but I apologise for any offence caused. All I meant was that much of the action and dialogue in a Brit cop show might not be what you’re used to in the US. Too much rhyming slang (“So I gets out of the flounder, sloshes the chocolate round the mush and makes off with the tom…”). No precincts, nobody called “captain” and nobody eating doughnuts.

Until recently, it was very rare to see an armed cop in Great Britain (Northern Ireland was a different kettle of fish) and the TV shows reflected that. But of course the action was always more exciting when The Sweeney drew firearms because the villains were “tooled up”. “The Professionals”, for example, were supposed to belong to a fictional division called “CI5” - a cross between the police and military intelligence - so Bodie and Doyle were armed more often than not.

Nowadays, even in stuff like The Bill, the use of firearms is still pretty rare. Most TV cops who are injured on duty either get stabbed or simply duffed up.

I cannot remember Bergerac ever being armed. But that was on Jersey - the original one, not your imitation, which isn’t even an island.

I was really into the show starring Robson Green. Can’t remember the name of it right now though. He’s a great actor (and hot).

Anyone know about MI-5? I’m assuming it’s a Brit production. It showed up in my recommendations with five stars on Netflix, so ordered the first season.

I know it’s not a cop show but I always liked Lovejoy

John Hannah was in another cop show I liked called “Rebus”, set in Edinburgh. Christ, does the Sun ever shine there? No wonder Scots drink.