IN PICTURES: Detectives series from TV's past

Freeview is a haven for past detective and private eye series.

Friday, 1st March 2019, 2:30 pm
Updated Friday, 1st March 2019, 3:42 pm
Foyle's War was a British detective drama television series set during (and shortly after) the Second World War. It starred Michael Kitchen as Foyle, Honeysuckle Weeks as his driver Sam Stewart and Anthony Powell as his sidekick sergeant Paul Milner

We take a look at some of the series still being shown - and those waiting for an outing.

Banacek was an American detective TV series starring George Peppard. Thomas Banacek, a suave, Polish-American freelance investigator based in Boston, who solved seemingly impossible thefts. He then collected from the insurance companies 10% of the insured value of the recovered property.
William Conrad played private detective Frank Cannon in the TV series.
Hamish Macbeth is a police constable in the small Scottish town of Lochdubh, who occasionally bends the rules when it suits him or when it can help some of his fellow eccentric townsfolk. Robert Carlyle played the title role.
McMillan and Wife revolved around a 40-ish San Francisco police commissioner, Stuart McMillan (Rock Hudson) and his attractive, bright and affable 20-something wife Sally (Susan Saint James). Often, the storylines featured Mac and Sally attending fashionable parties and charity benefits before solving robberies and murders. John Schuck appeared as McMillan's likeable, if somewhat bumbling aide Sgt Charles Enright and Nancy Walker was Mildred, the couple's sarcastic, hard-drinking maid, both characters serving as comic relief.
The Sweeney is a 1970s British television police drama focusing on two members of the Flying Squad, a branch of the Metropolitan Police specialising in tackling armed robbery and violent crime in London. The programme's title derives from Sweeney Todd, which is Cockney rhyming slang for Flying Squad. It starred John Thaw - who went on to play Morse - as Detective Inspector Jack Regan and Dennis Waterman as his partner, Detective Sergeant George Carter. Waterman played a retired detective - Jerry Standing - in New Tricks. Such was its popularity in the UK thatThe Sweeny spawned two feature film spin-offs, Sweeney! and Sweeney 2. Great quotes: Regan to two violent thugs in answer to their query: Who are you, Jack Regan says: We're the Sweeny son, and we haven't had any dinner
Shoestring was a British detective fiction drama series, set in an unnamed city in the west of England and filmed in Bristol, featuring the down-at-heel private detective Eddie Shoestring, played by Trevor Eve, who presents his own show on Radio West, a local radio station.
Newly-promoted Inspector Jean Darblay takes charge of the police station in the Lancashire town of Hartley. She is the first woman to be placed in charge of the station and initially there. First to play Jean Darbly was Stephanie Turner, and after the third series, she was replaced by Anna Carteret in the role of Inspector Kate Longton.
Police Woman is an American television Police procedural starring Angie Dickinson. The series revolves around Sgt. "Pepper" Anderson an undercover police officer working for the Criminal Conspiracy Unit of the Los Angeles Police Department. Sergeant William "Bill" Crowley (Earl Holliman) was her immediate superior. In many episodes, Pepper went undercover (as a prostitute, nurse, teacher, flight attendant, prison inmate, dancer, waitress, etc.) in order to get close enough to the suspects to gain valuable information that would lead to their arrest.
The Streets of San Francisco was a television crime drama filmed on location in San Francisco. It starred Karl Malden and Michael Douglas as two detectives in San Francisco. The show ran for five seasons, between 1972 and 1977, on ABC, amassing a total of 119 60-minute episodes
The Detectives was a British comedy television series, starring Jasper Carrott, Robert Powell, and George Sewell. It aired on BBC One from 1993 to 1997, and was a spoof of police dramas. George Sewell was known from another police procedural - Special Branch
Special Branch was a police drama series, the action was centred on members of the Special Branch anti-espionage and anti-terrorist department of the London Metropolitan Police. It starred George Sewell and Patrick Mower.
Dixon of Dock Green starred Jack Warner and is arguably the grandfather of all police shows. It was a BBC television series about daily life at a London police station, with the emphasis on petty crime, successfully controlled through common sense and human understanding. The central character was a mature and sympathetic police constable, George Dixon, played by Jack Warner in all of the 432 episodes, from 1955 to 1976. Warner first played the character in the film The Blue Lamp
Softly Softly took its name from the proverb "Softly, softly, catchee monkey", the motto of Lancashire Constabulary Training School. It was a spin off from Z Cars and centred on the work of regional police crime squads, plain-clothes CID officers based in the fictional region of Wyvern, supposedly in the Bristol area of England. It was designed as a vehicle for Detective Chief Inspector Charles Barlow and Detective Inspector John Watt (played by Stratford Johns and Frank Windsor respectively) from the police series Z-Cars
Z-Cars was a British television drama series centred on the work of mobile uniformed police in the fictional town of Newtown. It debuted in January 1962 and ran until September 1978. The series differed sharply from earlier police procedurals. With its less-usual Northern setting, it injected a new element of harsh realism into the image of the police, which some found unwelcome. Z-Cars ran for 801 episodes, of which fewer than half have survived. Regular stars included: Stratford Johns (Detective Inspector Barlow), Frank Windsor (Det. Sgt Watt), James Ellis (Bert Lynch) and Brian Blessed ("Fancy" Smith). Barlow and Watt were later spun into a separate series Softly, Softly.