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4.7 out of 5 stars
4.7 out of 5 stars
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on 24 January 2005
Rowan is always at his best in these roles, either Blackadder or Inspector Fowler. He was made for the roles. Delivering lines with such comic value that you laugh everytime, regardless if you know what is coming. The first series wasn't repeated too much on TV, but series two had more coverage. You are spoiled for choice here with both DVDs at a bargain price. Watching them now (2005), they seem fresh and funny as ever, and it's a sin they didn't make a third series. Inspector Grim, played by David Haig, is the icing on the cake, flawless lines and delivery. "It's my arse on the line, and I don't want any cock ups." Watching him get wound up and going into a rant about "my Tina", or some other "Namby Pamby" speech is side splitting, he protrays stress in a hilarous way.
This is every bit as good as the best Blackadders in my opinion, it just shows how good sitcom can be. Cast is excellent, the writing brillant. It's rare to find such sitcom perfection.
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on 26 July 2005
This is without doubt an underappreciated Tv series, which sees Rowan Atkinson at his best. His martian impression is hilarious, and the electricity between him and the other characters is great. As always he uses facial expressions, and gestures to hilarious effect, and puts a large ammount of energy into his performance. Inspector Grim is very funny, especially in the second series when his partner is Boyle played by Mark Addy. James Dreyfus is wonderful as always as well, with his delighfully camp, and childish Goodie. Rudolph Walker is excellent, with classic lines such as "we gave our dog a bad name ~ Collin" His deadpan portrayal just makes it even funnier.
If I was going to be critical i would complain that series one is less funny than series two, and that Habib's character can get a little annoying, but these are minor complaints really. Its a cheerful series, with plenty of laughs, and i recommend it to anyone who loves Rowan Atkinson!
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on 23 February 2007
I can remeber this BBC comedy being transmitted when I was a child and finding it hilarious. I also remember watching it on VHS years later and finding it hilarious for different reasons. It is a British comedy set in Gasforth Police Station and blends political and social issues with great wit and humour. The diversity of the characters the structure of the fourteen episodes and the actors make this greatly underrated comedy a classic.

Firstly there is Inspector Fowler played by Rowan Atkinson. He is a retentive old-fashioned Inspector whose ignorance of the ways of the world and inability to understand his girlfriend is funny and endearing. His live in girlfriend is Sergeant Patricia Dawkins who is played by Serena Evans. When (Raymond) Fowler insults her without meaning to the look on her face is hilarious.

Fowler commands three constables. Maggie Habib is a left wing feministic Asian officer whose views are very different from Fowlers. Next there is Constable Gladstone who, although being a main character has no really major personality traits compared to the others (which let's face it is difficult). Then, of course, is Constable Kevin Goody played by James Dreyfus. Everything he does in this programme is hilarious. He is quite camp in his mannerisms but is hopelessly in love (or lust) with Maggie Habib.

Inspector Grim is a middle aged officer of CID. He is miserable (in a comedy way) impatient and often gets his sentences muddled. He is many peoples favourite character but if you watch the show you will find there is a wide range of favourite characters available.

Three other characters that I should mention are Constables Kray and Boyle who are in command of Grim in each series respectively. Also the mayoress who Raymond secretly fancies. She appears in a few episodes in Series 2 and is self-important and speaks in a booming voice.

The reason I think this programme is so great is because the episode structure is perfect. After you watch a few episodes you'll know that when Inspector Fowler has the constables assembled for briefing that it is going to go hilariously wrong and the clash of personalities is fantastic. It was written by Ben Elton (who appears in the Xmas Special) and has the political attack appeal of The Young Ones. Topics such as the monarchy, sex, police policies, subcultures, banks, protestors, racism and marriage are all raised without causing the viewers any offence.

Certain aspects of the humour may not appeal to some people such as when Habib requests a judge for their role playing exercise to which Fowler replies "We haven't got a judge. A glance about the place reveals no slumbering octogenarian claiming never to have heard of The Beatles!" However the chemisty between Habib and Goody is superb. She acts like an older sister snapping at him like a child often with the catchphrase "I shall speak to your mother!"

Trust me give this a chance, it's comedy gold.
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on 3 October 2002
Focussing on Rowan Atkinson when writing about The Thin Blue Line would be missing the point a bit. Inspector Fowler (Atkinson) is undoubtedly funny, but Inspector Grim is one of the greatest comedy characters of all time. No question. Never has a secondary character created so many laugh out loud moments.
At the risk of sounding like I'm reviewing a Friends DVD, the one with the football match is a classic. Grim, when asked why he's wearing a bright orange nylon football shirt with matching bobble hat (you'd laugh just looking at this bloke!), explains that he's gone undercover to catch violent hooligans because "this is the sharp end mate, not jolly cricket bats, lovely boating weather, don't you know, Oxford and Cambridge, row row row and hoist your little cox above your head. This is football, and football is not a game!" Err...Maybe you had to be there. It's funny when you see it. Honest.
The Thin Blue Line is consistently excellent. Ben Elton has written a comedy in which each character is well conceived and funny, and the scripts are witty and intelligent.
I've watched this DVD about 1,000 times and if I'd paid £100 for it I'd still think it was a bargain. Buy it. Aiii.
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on 5 December 2009
A Ben Elton classic ... mild inuendo, suitable for all ages. Terrific characters very well portrayed, all round.
If you like a laugh and have any sense of humour at all, you'll just love this one. I've a "horrible" humour while my wife prefers "slap-stick" but we were sad to come to the end of this box set.
I have a varied, dvd collection but this is not only memorable but so affordable, buy it for yourself and a friend - they're sure to love it!
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TOP 500 REVIEWERon 2 February 2007
This is not one of the greatest comedy's ever made. However it is good and very occasionally great. You get two DVDs in this set, one for each series.

Rowan Atkinson gets star billing of course, and he delivers his lines with his usual brilliance - the fact that the lines aren't quite as brilliantly written, as say BlackAdder is not Atkinsons fault. He plays

Inspector Fowler who is in charge of a mottley crew of uniformed officers. All of the supporting cast playing Fowlers team are good.

However the reason to get this series is David Haig (who I have never seen in anythingelse) as Detective Inspector Grim. Although he doesn't get as much screen time as Atkinson when he is on-screen he is completely brilliant and steals the show from everybody. His muddled cliches and brilliant delivery are the great bits in this show.

So this isn't as good as BlackAdder or Fawlty Towers, but it is funny and after you've seen a few episodes and got to know the characters you will be hooked!
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on 5 November 2000
At last, the whole of this brilliant sit-com in one box set! The "Thin Blue Line" between order and disorder is the police of course, but at Gasforth Police station it is practically invisible!
The characters are so funny that it is difficult to pick a favourite! Rowan Atkinson is brilliant as the bungling Inspector Fowler who spends more time upsetting his partner and colleague Patricia than catching criminals. Who can forget him sticking his up the lady mayor's skirt and proclaiming "there could be a number of innocent reasons why an Inspector might put his head up the Mayoress's skirt!".
The plain clothes squad (which consists of one other officer!) are led by DI "GO GO GO!!" Grim, an idiot of a man who firmly believes that an "ism" never hurt anybody! He hasn't got time for "namby pamby hoity toity" liberals who treat people with respect. This guy didn't just watch "The Sweeney" he thinks he is in it! Constable Habib once proclaimed that she thinks he has been taken over by "an alien from the Planet Burk", and Inspector Fowler, proper as ever told her to have respect for rank.
The most refreshingly "PC" of all the PC's is Constable Goody, played fantastically by James Dreyfus. There is genius in Ben Elton's writing as Kevin fits every gay stereotype going, and yet we know that Goody is hopelessly in love with Maggie Habib. PC Gladstone, on the other hand, is hopelessly in love with Gloria Hunniford, and he probably has more chance with her than Kevin has with Maggie!
According to Ben Elton, Rowan Atkinson is currently "getting around to thinking about making another series". I wish he would get around to it a bit quicker! The "Thin Blue Line" is easily the best sit-com (and with the best theme tune!) to have emerged in the last five years or so. The issues are just as relevant and funny now.
So I would recommend this video to anyone. If you weren't a fan before you soon will be! But don't forget to "mind your Curly Wurly"!
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on 8 October 2015
From gentle chuckles to side-splitting laughter. A delightful send-up of inept Police mixed with somewhat "sensible" Officers.
Some characters are endearing, while others (to me) are dreadfully annoying. I won't name them (or why) for various reasons.
The writer, Ben Elton, is an Enigma. Clever, Funny and Witty in this Series, but painfully embarrassing in others - without some outside help.

Rowan Atkinson in the lead role, is often his Mr. Bean persona in a Humanised form. Some scenes play on his natural abilities at visual or physical comedy, (Martian incident) and others on his rubber-mouthed and rubber-faced deliveries. It's a perfect vehicle for his talents.
As many have said, it's a pity there were only 2 Series, but that's because (I suspect) Elton had run out of fresh ideas.
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on 3 June 2016
Always been a fan of Rowan Atkinson & "The Thin Blue Line" is a great comedy; Some of the characters and their lines are so lame, it's insanely addictive, innocent humour, with reasonable language so that the whole family can have a giggle. Give it a try if you like Rowan Atkinson; The choice is yours 😋
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on 24 August 2015
Lacking the manic and often politically motivated satire characterising much of Ben Elton's work, this sparkling series with more than one nod in the direction of Dad's Army, is at times bizzare, at others gentle and rarely challenging but it captures the essence of British sitcom humour with just an occasional foray into Elton's more familiar adult targeted themes. Rowan Atkinson is supported by a strong cast and the storylines and scripts are an ideal vehicle for his acting skills.
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