1985 main title caption
|Created by||Terence Feely|
Tracy Louise Ward
|Opening theme||John Kongos (Series 1)
Barbara Thompson (2 & 3)
|Country of origin||United Kingdom|
|No. of series||3|
|No. of episodes||30 (List of episodes)|
|Running time||1 Hour|
|Original run||12 April 1985– 6 June 1987|
|Preceded by||The Gentle Touch|
The series was a spin-off from The Gentle Touch and saw Jill Gascoine reprise her role as Maggie Forbes, having left the police force to join a private detective agency called "Eyes" based in Kent that is actually a front for a Home Office team called C.A.T.S. (Covert Activities Thames Section).
The team also comprised refined Oxford graduate Pru Standfast (Rosalyn Landor) as leading the unit, and streetwise computer expert Frederica "Fred" Smith (Leslie Ash). Nigel Beaumont (Don Warrington) was the "man from the ministry" overseeing their activities. For the second series onwards, the Eyes detective agency front had been dropped; Pru was replaced by the similarly upper class but more frivolous Tessa "Tess" Robinson (Tracy Louise Ward); and Maggie was elevated to team leader.
Apart from Maggie Forbes, the only other character from The Gentle Touch to make an appearance was her love interest D.I. Mike Turnbull (played by Bernard Holley) who appeared in the second episode of the first series of C.A.T.S. Eyes to help her with a case. Although they were still a couple at the end of The Gentle Touch, it was implied that they had ended their relationship in the time between though were still good friends. However, their relationship was left somewhat ambiguous and unresolved.
Production and broadcast
C.A.T.S. Eyes was shown on Friday nights in the UK for its first series, before moving to a Saturday night slot for its second and third series. It was a ratings hit in the UK, regularly ranking within the top 20 throughout its run. The theme music from the first series by John Kongos was released as a single in 1985.
The cars used by the regular cast in the series were loaned by Ford. In season 1, Pru drove a 1985 Ford Escort 1.6i Mark III Cabriolet (also featured at the end of the 1st series title sequence); Fred had a 1984 Fiesta XR2 Mark II and Maggie used 1985 Escort 1.6 Mark III. In seasons 2 and 3, Fred and Tessa drove 1986 white and Azure blue Ford Escort RS Turbos respectively (the latter being the only one produced in that colour) whilst Maggie now had a 1986 Ford Sierra Mark I.
C.A.T.S was filmed in the then closed Chatham Dockyards as well as locations in the Medway Towns and Maidstone. All filming was on location, all post production and editing was done at the TVS Television Centre in Maidstone. The idea behind location shooting was to show the newly acquired south east region given to TVS in its franchise win.
C.A.T.S. Eyes has so far never been released on video or DVD due to a dispute over the rights. The same problem has arisen with other Television South (TVS) productions.