Wednesday, April 01, 2009

GF Newman on TV cops

As The Wire comes to BBC Two (hadn't you heard?!), in the BBC News Magazine, screenwriter G.F. Newman, who created Law And Order in the 1970s, calls for a new wave of British cop shows.
The group I'd most like to see influenced by The Wire is that minority of TV executives which signs off on all commissioning.

As a result they might think it safe at last to venture into similarly murky waters of realism here, rather than relying on imports from the US.

How and by what means we get to that point I don't much mind. That we get there and break out of this non-radicalised, non-politicised straightjacket television writers have been encouraged to wear under a surreptitiously repressive and watchful government, is essential to the very survival of drama on the box.


  1. Anonymous8:55 am

    I agree, we are spoon-fed a very dull style of cop show here in the UK. In most cases the police are portrayed as bumblers, or they are a sideshow in a story dominated by "villains".
    Given the UK's well known style for serious gritty drama and tension, we could do a lot better. For years I've been asking "Why doesn't someone make a UK 'Dirty Harry' film?".
    Not to glorify violence or anything, but to show us a side to policing that we never see, that of a morally driven (if not morally behaving) officer who will sidestep protocol and bureaucracy if it means that a killer can be caught and stopped.
    If I were a police officer in the UK I would be so disillusioned by my role, partly because the way it is portrayed, that affects public perception, and by and large the public (especially young hooligans) consider the police to be bumblinh impotetent puppets of the system.

  2. Anonymous8:59 am

    My Wife is from Baltimore (and her dad is a retired judge from there too) and she loves "The Wire", we are living in the UK this year. There is one issue though, the language, the accent and language use if peculiar to Baltimore (Maryland) and it is hard to follow sometimes, "true dat" for example means "yeah, that's true" and it is full of other such gems.
    On the DVD version one has subtitles, which are highly recommended.


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