Top Picture: Dixon of Dock Green. Jack Warner, Arthur Rigby, Moira Mannion (as Sergeant Grace Millard), Peter Byrne and Jeannette Hutchinson as Mary this part was originally played by Billie Whitelaw.
Second Picture: The opening radiator shot of the series Fabian of the Yard
Law and Order
Today lets take a look at how law and order was portrayed on the TV when we were kids, this is before the gritty true to life series such as Z Cars came along.
I will briefly look at the three most popular programmes then have a look at one or two you might well have forgotten!
Dixon of Dock Green:
We all know the words “Evening All!" spoken by PC George Dixon played by Jack Warner but did you know that he was the first British TV policeman and the series ran for twenty-one years even promoting PC Dixon to Sergeant towards the end of the 367 episodes. The series was cosy and on a small scale dealing with things that were within most peoples experiences, no sensationalism. The series was developed from an idea by Ted Willis, Dixon still ranks as the longest running police series on British Television having notched up some 367 episodes. The theme tune "An Ordinary Copper" played on the harmonica by Tommy Riley one of the many harmonica soloists of the period and wafter having a vocal added was actually recorded by Jack Warner.
We all knew of the pipe smoking Frenchman played by Rupert Davis. Maigret was originally part of the BBC’s Sunday-Night Theatre presentations the first one being 'Maigret and the Lost Life' in December 1959, Maigret was then played by Basil Sydney. The actual series began in October 1960, The casting of Rupert Davies as Maigret pleased his creator Georges Simenon immensely
No Hiding Place (1959-67)
Back to the UK and No Hiding Place, which was preceded by Murder Bag and Crime Sheet that dealt with true-life cases from the Scotland Yard archives. Detective Chief Superintendent Lockhart was played by Raymond Francis and this was ITV's best known early police drama series Launched in 1959, it was one of television's most successful series and a former Scotland Yard detective, Glyn Davies, was appointed consultant and the theme music "Mailed Fist" was composed by Cecil Milner
Right now let’s start on the more obscure, Who remembers
Garry Halliday (1959-1962)?
He was a pilot for a commercial airline company, "The Halliday Charter Company", his character was rather like Biggles as he flew from one aeronautical adventure to another. There were three series: Garry Halliday, Garry Halliday and the Gun-Runners, Garry Halliday and the Secret of Omar Khayyam. Terence Longdon played Garry Halliday and Terence Alexander was his co-pilot Bill Dodds and Elwyn Brook-Jones played the arch-villain, 'The Voice'. In real-life Silver City Airways assisted in the production, transforming part of their Ferryfield Airport at Lydd in Kent, into suitable location settings and providing a Douglas DC-3 aircraft. The stories were based on the books by Justin Blake.
This starred Robert Beatty as Inspector Mike Maguire who was sent to London by the Canadian Mounted Police to study advanced crime detection techniques. The stories were rugged and the plots suggested that it took a fist of a Canadian copper to clean up London's underworld. The series was made in conjunction with Scotland Yard and involved much location filming around London and at Elstree Studios.
Fabian of the Yard
This was one of my own favourites, however this Fabian was not to be confused with the pop singer who appeared on the scene several years later. Fabian was one of TV's first police heroes. Inspector Fabian of Scotland Yard would rush around the streets of London in a heavy, almost unmanageable, Humber Hawk tracking down criminals. The series was based on the career of the former Scotland Yard Detective Inspector Robert Fabian who, in the series, was played by Bruce Seton. The series lasted 39 episodes and was shot on film and was re-edited into films for the cinema.
Interpol Calling (1959-60)
I have no recollection of this programme at all but it was a crime series based on the files of the International Criminal Police Organisation, which was involved, largely in European murder, robbery, forgery, and narcotics busting. Signalling the action to come, the series always opened with a speeding driver crashing through a checkpoint and being fired upon by border guards.
This was US police series in which Lee Marvin played a Chicago plainclothes policeman assigned to M-Squad. The most memorable part of the series was the Count Basie theme music.
I cannot have a page on cops without featuring Highway Patrol. Featuring Broderick Crawford in powerful patrol cars with superheterodyne two-way radios the police department sought to fight crime on the rural highways of America's wide open spaces. The California Highway Patrol strongly supported the program in its first two seasons, and the production company was able to rent actual CHP squad cars. "Highway Patrol" logos were placed over the real CHP emblems and studio license plates were taped over the genuine plates. The 1955 Buick Century two-door sedans seen were built especially for the CHP and were never offered for sale to the public. Two-door sedans were adequate because the real CHP rarely arrested anyone at that time, being involved more with accident investigations, enforcement and car thefts. . The show's uniforms were copies of the khakis worn by the CHP including the state seal and the slogan "Eureka", except that the word "California" was removed. Authenticity was a major goal, and Dan Matthews' call sign - 21-50 - was the actual unit number of then-CHP Commissioner Bernard Caldwell. In mid-1956 the CHP dropped its support of the program over differences in story lines and presentation, and refused to supply any more squad cars. The producers quickly acquired an incorrect Buick Super four-door hardtop to complete that season. Accurate squad replicas were ordered for the 1957 season, but the 1958-season cars differed from reality.
No one remembers the opening words to the episodes, “Whenever the laws of any state are broken, a duly authorized organization swings into action. It may be called the State Police, State Troopers, Militia, the Rangers... or the Highway Patrol. These are the stories of the men whose training, skill and courage have enforced and preserved our state laws.
But we all remember Broderick Crawford’s end quote “Remember leave you blood at the blood bank and not on the highway.
Stay in touch,
A message from the USA
The city of Los Angeles declared Wednesday September 7th "Buddy Holly Day" on what would have been his 75th birthday.
News and Views:
Lieutenant-Commander Peter Twiss died on August 31 aged 90, he was one of Britain's foremost postwar test pilots and the first man to fly faster than 1,000mph.
On this day 16th September 1960-1965.
16/09/1960the number one single was Apache - The Shadows and the number one album was Down Drury Lane to Memory Lane - A Hundred and One Strings. The top rated TV show was No Hiding Place (AR) and the box office smash was Psycho. A pound of today's money was worth £13.68 and Tottenham Hotspur were on the way to becoming the Season's Division 1 champions.
16/09/1961the number one single was Johnny Remember Me - John Leyton and the number one album was South Pacific Soundtrack. The top rated TV show was Coronation Street (Granada) and the box office smash was One Hundred and One Dalmations. A pound of today's money was worth £13.25 and Ipswich Town were on the way to becoming the Season's Division 1 champions. The big news story of the day was First Mothercare shop opens in Surrey.
16/09/1962the number one single was She's Not You - Elvis Presley and the number one album was Pot Luck - Elvis Presley. The top rated TV show was Coronation Street (Granada) and the box office smash was Lawrence of Arabia. A pound of today's money was worth £12.89 and Everton were on the way to becoming the Season's Division 1 champions.
16/09/1963the number one single was She Loves You - The Beatles and the number one album was Please Please Me - The Beatles. The top rated TV show was Coronation Street (Granada) and the box office smash was The Great Escape. A pound of today's money was worth £12.64 and Liverpool were on the way to becoming the Season's Division 1 champions.
16/09/1964the number one single was You Really Got Me - Kinks and the number one album was A Hard Day's Night - Beatles. The top rated TV show was Coronation Street (Granada) and the box office smash was Dr Strangelove. A pound of today's money was worth £12.24 and Manchester United were on the way to becoming the Season's Division 1 champions.
16/09/1965the number one single was (I Can't Get No) Satisfaction - Rolling Stones and the number one album was Help - The Beatles. The top rated TV show was Coronation Street (Granada) and the box office smash was The Sound of Music. A pound of today's money was worth £11.69 and Liverpool were on the way to becoming the Season's Division 1 champions.