Between The Lines
Each generation of TV viewers has a police or crime show that resonates with them. Over the years I’ve enjoyed ones such as Streets of San Francisco, Callan, Starsky and Hutch, Cracker… hell, even Dempsey and Makepeace. While nowadays its all CSI, The Shield and The Wire, back in the 90s a show hit the BBC which really seemed to hit the spot for me.
Between The Lines was a police show, but centring on the Complaints Investigation Bureau – a sort of British Internal Affairs – where the decent beat cops and those on the take in some form or another are investigated by what should by all rights be a crack squad of the very best. However, the protagonists are either flawed, on the take themselves or extremely reluctant doing the job in the first place.
The first series was excellent with episodes tackling some extremely tough subjects, all intertwining nicely with an overarching storyline with very Senior officers implicated. The performances by the main cast were superb and you could tell a lot of effort was put in by both the actors and the writing team fleshing out the characters. This was key, because without the flaws, doubt, borderline alcoholism, backstabbing and womanising the show wouldn’t have been half as good.
Sadly, after the second series the show hit the buffers, taking the team out of the environment which had made them and setting them up as pseudo private detectives.
A shame, but there are two great series of this show still around which are engrossing.