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The Bill - Vol 1 [1988] [DVD]
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30 of 31 people found the following review helpful
In the summer of 1988 The Bill began broadcasting twice weekly throughout the year. The change of format also saw the programme having to tone swearing and violence as it was now broadcast before the 9:00pm watershed. As a consequence of this, the key cast member and central character Roy Galloway left the programme with actor John Salthouse stating that he did not like the changes. The red haired short tempered DI was not given an on screen departure, and it is implied that he has moved to another station. Several cast members are also missing including Inspector Kite and PC Shaw. In their place we see the arrivals of Inspector Fraser, PC Peter Ramsey, PC Malcom Haynes and a character destined to be a big part of the programme for many years, Chief Inspector Derek Conway. Although the programme would arguably reach its peak in 1990/1991, there are some very good episodes included on this release. Opening episode Light Duties has Tom Penny struggling to cope after being shot. In another memorable episode Frank Burnside arrives as the new Detective Inspector during a football hooligan crackdown in which he has been acting undercover.
PC Stamp also makes his debut as a new regular in Light Duties, athough he does not feature that much in the subsequent episodes. The programme seems to have one of its strongest lineups, with no weak characters in the cast. It was a shame that Pc Ramsey and Haynes only stayed with the programme for a year. Ramsey being a particularly flawed character who takes bribes and also rips off Sgt Cryer's mechanic friend after he repairs his porsche. Cryer and Ramsey do not get along from this point and this was perhaps a storyline which would have developed further had Nick Reding who played Ramsey decided not to leave. Although some of the cars and fashions have dated in the last 20 years, these episodes are far superior to those made today. It is a reminder of when the programme did not resort to sensationalism to get good ratings.
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15 of 16 people found the following review helpful
on 17 February 2008
Series 4 marked the first of the 30 minute twice weekly episodes in place of the 50 minute "originals". The show also lost two of its best characters in Inspector Kite and DI Galloway. Replacements included Inspector Christine Fraser, and PC Pete Ramsey, a slimey ex-DC from Barton Street superbly played by Nick Redding. The series also marks the full time debut of Frank Burnside as Sun Hill's new D.I. - his previous portayal as a cockney wide boy being explained by a backstory involving Operation Countryman. Old favourites still with the show include Sergeants Cryer, Penny & Peters, DS Roach & DC Dashwood, and all the uniformed officers - "Taffy" Edwards, Reg Hollis and June Ackland amongst others.

The main consequence of the move to the 30 minutes/ twice a week format is loss of overall quality. However, when the show is good, it's very good. Fears that the gritty tone of the show would be fatally compromised are only slightly realised - an episode such as "Here We Go With The Loopy Loo" would never have made it to screen as an "original". However, there's still some fairly meaty storylines to be had, most notably Tom Penny's attempts to deal with the aftermath of his shooting in Season 3, as well as epsiodes such as "Home Sweet Home" & "Hold Fire".

Overall, although not as good as the "originals", when compared to the childrens program that airs under The Bill moniker today, Season 4 is a must to see what real policing was/ is all about
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
TOP 500 REVIEWERon 26 June 2012
From 19 July 1988, the successful Thames Television series The Bill changed in format. Previously a weekly hour long drama screeend at 9pm for around 12 weeks a year, the series was now to become a twice weekly half hour series screening all year round at 8pm on ITV.
As well as the change in format, changes were also happening at Sun Hill Police Station. Jim Carver (Mark Wingett) has now become a DC, the station is also awaiting the arrival of a replacement DI for DI Galloway. And there's a new female inspector, Inspector Frazer (Barbara Thorn) as well as a new PC on the relief, Pete Ramsey (Nick Reding).
Episodes on this set are
Light Duties (19 July 1988)
The Three Wise Monkeys (21 July 1988)
Good Will Visit (26 July 1988)
Home Sweet Home (28 July 1988)
All In Good Faith (2 August 1988)
Just Call Me Guvnor (4 August 1988)
Caught Red Handed (9 August 1988)
Homes and Gardens (11 August 1988)
Country Cousin (16 August 1988)
Alarms and Embarrassments (18 August 1988)
Stealing Cars and Nursery Rhymes (23 August 1988)
Hold Fire (25 August 1988)
Bad Faith (30 August 1988)

The thirteen episodes maintain the first classs quality of the originals and the new additions to the cast certainly make this set well worth watching.
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on 23 November 2011
This DVD contains the first 13 episodes of the new half hour format that were originally aired in July and August 1988. I remember the press launch around the time the Bill went twice weekly all year round so watching these shows brings back alot of fond memories for me. Considering each story is now confined to less than 25 minutes and the show was being aired before the 9pm watershed there isn't a great deal of difference to the original 50 minute episodes. Most of the cast who appeared the previous year in series 3 are back with the exception of the brilliant DI Roy Galloway (as actor John Salthouse felt he couldn't continue his solid performance in a 'watered down' tone). There is of course an extention to the existing cast including Chief Insp Derek Conway, Insp Christine Frazer, PC Malcolm Haynes, the excellent PC Pete 'Rotten' Ramsey and of course the legendary DI Frank Burnside (who replaces Galloway). After four years as an extra, Graham Cole is finally given credit as PC Tony Stamp, but sadly (as another member has mentioned) he doesn't appear as frequently as other characters and he wasn't given any of his own stories until a few months down the line. Episode highlights include the debut episode 'Light Duties' (in which Sgt Tom Penny is recovering from his gun shot wound), 'Good Will Visit' (which sees new face Ramsey crossing swords with Sgt Bob Cryer) and 'Just Call Me Guv'nor' (which sees newly promoted Frank Burnside arrive at Sun Hill in style by slapping a prisoner!). Each episode is a great way to pass away the odd half hour.
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TOP 500 REVIEWERon 3 February 2014
I was really looking forward to the 30mins episodes as while the hour ones are nice, i find them a little bit long. So was happy with this DVD set.

The first few episodes I didn't really enjoy. But that is down to losing a few of the cast & I just needed to get used to it again. But this is the same with Heartbeat and Waterloo Road DVD box sets I am collecting too.... But after a few I really started to love it again.

The Bill - Series 4 - Vol 1

Disk 1:
Episode 1 - Light Duties (24mins & 46 seconds long)
Episode 2 - The Three Wise Monkeys (23mins & 34 seconds long)
Episode 3 - Good Will Visit (24mins & 47 seconds long)
Episode 4 - Home Sweet Home (24mins & 55 seconds long)
Episode 5 - All In Good Faith (24mins & 12 seconds long)
Episode 6 - Just Call Me Guvnor (24mins & 38 seconds long)

Disk 2:
Episode 7 - Caught Red Handed (24mins & 44 seconds long)
Episode 8 - Homes and Gardens (24mins & 7 seconds long)
Episode 9 - Country Cousin (24mins & 14 seconds long)
Episode 10 - Alarms And Embarrassments (24mins & 58 seconds long)
Episode 11 - Stealing Cars And Nursery Rhymes (25mins & 21 seconds long)
Episode 12 - Hold Fire (24mins & 22 seconds long)
Episode 13 - Bad Faith (24mins & 21 seconds long)
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on 26 July 2009
Includes the first 13 episodes of season 4. Most episodes are excellent entertainment. They do seem short, only 22 mins long after the hour long series. A wonderful blast from the past. 80's attitudes etc. I loved the old Bill so I love this set. More episodes per set would be more econonmic.
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
on 21 October 2008
For anyone who misses the days when The Bill was about police drama rather than soap opera tedium, this is a gem. For me this was the golden age of The Bill - good stories and strong scripts with excitement, intrigue and wit, featuring classic characters such as Burnside, Roach, Carver, Sgt Cryer and the lovely Martella among others. My only real gripe is the number of episodes. Howcome people in Australia get nearly 50 episodes of The Bill for every release and the UK gets just over a dozen? At the rate of releases in the UK, DVDs wll have been replaced by some other format before any episodes from 1989 have been released here. Still, if you're a fan of the series this is a must-have.
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on 19 October 2012
The Bill Volume 1 is completely unedited and has the add breakers as seen on ITV. The Bill Volume 1 has the first 13 episodes of Season 4 1988.

Episode Listing is:

Disc 1:
Light Duties
The Three Wise Monkeys
Good Will Visit
Home Sweet Home
All In Good Faith
Just Call Me Guvnor

Disc 2:
Caught Red Handed
Homes and Gardens
Country Cousin
Alarms and Embarrassments
Stealing Cars and Nursery Rhymes
Hold Fire
Bad Faith
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on 20 June 2013
There hasn't been a single The Bill episode where I have thought, 'This is crap' or 'I'm bored' I find all of The Bill episodes very interesting! Including all of those in this DVD!
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on 6 August 2013
bought this as the bill was a long running drama and it was fun to look at the 'old' characters and how they have changed. will get around to buying the next series !
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