These 3 episodes of the cop show Z cars are from 1962, and it shows. The budget seems just as limited as in the first Doctor Who episodes, actually the studio bits have originally been broadcast live! So, it definitely looks dated.
There, however, is also the shows strength. The makers of Z Cars have strived to make it as faithful to real life as possible, and today it serves as a marvelous "time capsule", a look into a past era. The pace is slow, the crooks peaceful and unarmed, at one point the wife of an iron thief (!) offers the policemen tea before they take his husband away!
Z Cars is also top quality drama. Instead of one star cop we have six exciting characters, very much like in the Hill Street Blues. The most interesting, and sadly the most short-lived of these characters, is PC Steele played by Jeremy Kemp. Otherwise a "good man" and a good cop, he has the unforgivable habit of beating his wife. Such real, deep characters are still too rare in the telly..
The only thing where Z Cars fails are its attempts at suspense. It is far too cozy for that. Also, not being british i only understood about half of the thick dialect. Strongly recommended for people interested in early 60's life and realistic police drama.