Top positive review
9 people found this helpful
Adventures in a Yorkshire landscape
on 2 October 2012
Produced by Yorkshire Television and broadcast in the late 60's/early 70's, the series is set against the windswept backdrop of the North Yorkshire Moors. The show centres on the day-to-day police work of PC Moss Parkin (John Flanagan) who lives 'on the job' in the fictional village of Fickley with his wife, Beth (Heather Page). There's good support from the rest of the cast which includes Gareth Thomas as DC Ron Radley. Parkin himself is an efficient but fairly morose individual, but along with Radley the pair occasionally inject a little humour into the series.
Minus any 'sexed-up' action & gratuitous violence, the stories have a down-to-earth and plausible feel. With episodes directed at a 'natural' pace, the characters are often vividly sketched, warts-and-all creations. On the subject of "Heartbeat" - reappearing character, Tom Parry (played by Michael Robbins) has a prototype 'Claude Greengrass' feel, but in essence the comparisons between the two series rests mostly on the familiar rural setting.
A variety of nefarious activities include the perhaps predictable sheep rustling. Other crimes include the likes of abduction & theft. Amongst the collection's 3 black & white episodes "Boys" is a crime tale involving a gang of juvenile car thieves. "The Deserter" sees David Lodge starring as an irate Redcap scouring the village for an AWOL soldier. The rest of the excellent roll-call of guest stars includes Robert Urquhart, Michael Elphick, George A. Cooper, Warren Clarke & "Last of The Summer Wine's" Peter Sallis who along with the regular cast, all put in good performances.
The location shooting is a big plus here, the barren landcape & terraced village housing all add a welcome air of authenticity to the series, with the cars, fashions & various product packaging adding a warm layer of nostalgia. With the show's 25-minute episode format, some of the stories do seem to fly by pretty quickly, which is why IMHO a 50-minute format would have been preferable, but this is still a realistic & entertaining police drama.
While the sound is OK, the picture quality is variable - sometimes grainy & faded while occasionally good, the scenes shot on set are generally the cleanest. Some episodes also have the occasional picture disturbance but on the whole the picture quality on this 26-episode complete series is OK/acceptable. There are no extras or subtitles.