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  • The Bill - The Complete First Series [DVD] [1984]
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The Bill - The Complete First Series [DVD] [1984]


Price: £29.99 & FREE Delivery in the UK. Details
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Product details

  • Actors: Mark Wingett, Gary Olsen, Trudie Goodwin, Peter Dean, Jon Croft
  • Directors: Christopher Hodson, John Michael Phillips, John Woods, Michael Skivington, Peter Cregeen
  • Writers: Barry Appleton, Geoff McQueen, John Kershaw
  • Format: PAL, Colour, Full Screen, Mono
  • Language: English
  • Region: Region 2 (This DVD may not be viewable outside Europe. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 4:3 - 1.33:1
  • Number of discs: 4
  • Classification: PG
  • Studio: Network
  • DVD Release Date: 6 Jun. 2005
  • Run Time: 600 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (11 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B0009F68GQ
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 33,056 in DVD & Blu-ray (See Top 100 in DVD & Blu-ray)

Reviews

Complete first series of the British television police drama, set amongst the officers of the Sun Hill station in the fictional London borough of Canley. In this series, the officers try to break up a group of thieves at a local market, discover a drugs den in an abandoned theatre, and PC Carver (Mark Wingett) is unwittingly responsible for the death of a old-style safe cracker. Includes all 11 episodes: 'Funny Ol' Business - Cops and Robbers'; 'A Friend in Need'; 'Clutching at Straws'; 'Long Odds'; 'It's Not Such a Bad Job After All'; 'The Drugs Raid'; 'A Dangerous Breed'; 'Rough in the Afternoon'; 'Burning the Books'; 'Death of a Cracksman' and 'The Sweet Smell of Failure'. Also includes the original pilot episode, 'Woodentop'.

Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

20 of 20 people found the following review helpful By Jamie Beckwith on 15 Oct. 2006
Format: DVD
For anyone who watches The Bill today in its current form as a glossy soap opera they may be surprised by its more humble beginnings. The original series takes us back to a time when the show was a lot grittier and almost entirely driven by a crime or police procedural narrative. The original show was post-watershed so be prepared for characters swearing a lot and also for glimpses of hard violence and nudity. The characters are rough around the edges, there's the mix of the youthful idealism of new probationer Jim Carver, the diligient by the book Bob Cryer, the lazy pig Dave Litten and the tempestous and permanantly angry Roy Galloway.

Made in the mid 80s it's also serves to highlight the complete contrast of policing today. Female officers wear skirts and carry handbags, Uniform plods don't wear stab vests and actually walk the beat on the street, CID Officers are old sweats with constant cigarettes, whisky and cups of tea at hand. Sun Hill police station is a poorly lit maze of corridors suggesting an old converted Victorian building like most old schools, and there's no bank of computers with instant information at hand.

The Bill was noted from being shown from the police perspective. This is not entirely true of the original series, though its true of the series is a whole, but here we do have scenes of crimes being commited before the police arrive. Several plot strands go through an episode there's a main crime story, a crime related subplot (Which may or may not eventually tie in with the main plot) and then various scenes of officers responding to or dealing with everything from domestic disputes to handbag snatches, which add a flavour to the overal feel of the show.

With it's straight fly on the wall style, one can almost call The Bill messy.
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22 of 24 people found the following review helpful By D. Evans VINE VOICE on 12 Jun. 2005
Format: DVD
When The Bill was first devised by the late writer Geoff McQueen, he elected to develop a programme which showed the reality of Policing in the 1980's. As with the early 1980's drama, Juliet Bravo, McQueen wanted to show Police investigating and dealing with everyday problems, as opposed to the more far fetched action packed storylines associated with Thames other Police Drama, Dempsey and Makepeace. To do this he came up with the groundbreaking idea of only showing events from the Police Officers perspective, so for example we would not see criminals planning a robbery, unless a Police Officer was present undercover. Further realism was added by using handheld cameras, to give the series a documentary feel, an idea later adopted for the mid 1990's drama, This Life.
20 years on, although the fashions, hairstyles and cars look dated, as with The Sweeney the episodes are all very enjoyable, and this does not distract from the quality of the episodes on offer. The pilot episode is not as good as the rest of the series, but as several characters were recast and even changed accents in some instances, it can not be regarded as part of the official series, but rather a separate alternative entirety
It's also a chance to meet up again with old favourites such as Bob Cryer, Jim Carver, Ted Roach, Frank Burnside and Roy Galloway. It's such a shame that this programme was allowed to evolve from the early years into the tired sensationalist driven drama of today.
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41 of 46 people found the following review helpful By Andrew Potts on 22 April 2005
Format: DVD
The Bill. One of the longest running television shows in the world. The bill began as an hour long television play called Woodentop (which I believe is on this DVD) Today it has been running for 22 years. While it may not be all that good anymore This DVD takes us back to the begining. Series 1, televised between 1984 and 1985 gives a fly on the wall look at modern day policing in a fictional East End London Nick, Sun Hill.
The series stars Eric Richard as Sgt Bob Cryer, John Salthouse as DI Roy Galloway, Mark Wingett as PC Jim Carver, Trudie Goodwin as WPC June Ackland, Colin Bleumenau as PC Francis "Taffy" Edwards, Gary Olsen as PC Dave Litten, Tony Scannell as DS Ted Roach, Joh Iles as DC Mike Dashwood, Robert Hudson as PC Tony "Yorkie Smith, Ashley Gunstock as PC Robin Frank, Peter Ellis as Chief Superintendent Charles Brownlow, Nulla Conwell as WPC Viv Martella, Roger Leach as Sgt Tom Penny and Alec Dann as Sgt Alec Peters
The first series of The Bill is one of the best cop shows ever made. it may have had a low budget and the camera work may be shakey but the stories are second to none and the actors all put 110% into it.
Highlights of Series 1 include Funny Ol Business Cops and robbers which features the First appearence of DS (later DI) Burnside, The Drug Raid which features an uncredited background appearence of Graham Cole as PC Tony Stamp a couple of years before he joined the cast proper. While all episodes are classics my personal favorites include The Drug raid and Burning the Books. here's hope the excellent series 2 and 3 are on their way.
This DVD set is unmissable for any fan of the Bill or television in general. Groundbreaking and orignal
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By CJ1980 on 23 Nov. 2011
Format: DVD
When the axe fell on The Bill in 2010 few could imagine how different the show had become in 26 years of production. This DVD collection put together nicely by Network goes back to where it all began. The original Storyboard pilot episode titled 'Woodentop' that aired in 1983 shows a boyish looking Mark Wingett as new boy on the beat PC Jimmy Carver who nearly ruins his career before it has started by clipping a young tearaway around the ear. Thanks to the world wisely intervention of Peter Dean's Sgt Wilding all is resolved at the end. Following the success of this stand alone play - Thames Television commissioned an 11 episode series the following year and thus Sun Hill was official born.

Unfortunately by then, Wilding is gone (owing to Peter Dean signing up to play Pete Beale in Eastenders by that point), but instead we get the equally brilliant Eric Richard as the 'firm but fair' Sgt Bob Cryer who would go on to form a stable backborn to the show until his departure in 2001. The other central character here is DI Roy Galloway now played by John Salthouse (Robert Pugh had played him in the pilot) - a man just as firey as his ginger hair, but a hard working cop with a moral sense to protect his fellow officers despite the fact his style ruffles a few feathers.

PC's Jim Carver, June Ackland, Dave Litten and Taffy Edwards all reprise their roles from the pilot (although the latter's name had originally been Morgan in 'Woodentop'). Other additions in this first year are the legendary DS Ted Roach, DC Mike Dashwood, Sgt Tom Penny, PC Viv Martella and Chief Supt Charles Brownlow.
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