The Force: Behind the Line

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The Force: Behind the Line
The Force Behind The Line Logo.png
Starring Simon Reeve (2006–present)
Country of origin Australia
No. of episodes 108 (as of 10 January 2015)
Production
Executive producer(s) Dan Meenan
Running time Approx 23 minutes
Broadcast
Original channel Seven Network
Picture format 576i SDTV
Original run 22 August 2006 – Present
External links
Website

The Force: Behind the Line is an Australian documentary television series about the Western Australia Police and the New South Wales Police, hosted by Simon Reeve and aired nationally on the Seven Network from 22 August 2006. Similarly to Border Security: Australia's Front Line and the American Cops series, each episode intermixes three or four investigations per episode.[1] in August 2014 Channel 7 Announced That The Force will Return in 2015 With Season 11.

History[edit]

The Seven Network first announced The Force (then untitled) on 23 November 2005.[2] The program underwent a number of name changes, including Police Patrol[3] and True Blue,[4] before the eventual title was finally announced in June 2006.[5]

The Western Australia Police was the only police service to agree to be filmed in the first two series of the show.[6] Lawyers for the Western Australia Police opposed the move, but Police Commissioner Karl O'Callaghan convinced them otherwise.[7] O'Callaghan was keen for the project, and viewed the program as "a great opportunity to give the community a better understanding of the good and bad parts of policing."[6] A third season began airing in February 2008, also presented by Simon Reeve. The Force will Return sometime this year with Season 11

Episodes[edit]

Season 1

Number
in series
Number
in season
Title Original air date
1 1 22 August 2006
...
2 2 29 August 2006
...
3 3 6 September 2006
A Madman loose on the streets of Perth finds himself in a high speed pursuit with the cops on his Yamaha R1. He Crashes on Cambridge street in Wembley and continues on foot, the cops the bring in the dogs to sniff him out.
4 4 13 September 2006
...
5 5 20 September 2006
...
6 6 27 September 2006
Police raid a house in the outback where they suspect that drug-related activities have been taking place. A horse is seen on the loose in Perth's suburban streets and heading towards a main road. A suspicious package causes a street to be closed and a school placed in lock-down. Police apprehend a man suspected of breaching his parole conditions in Victoria.
7 7 4 October 2006
...
8 8 11 October 2006
...
9 9 18 October 2006
...
10 10 25 October 2006
...

Season 2

Number
in series
Number
in season
Title Original air date
11 1 11 July 2007
...
12 2 18 July 2007
...
13 3 15 August 2007
...
14 4 22 August 2007
A nine-year-old boy goes missing from a train station in central Perth. A night out dancing spins a drunk driver into the arms of the police when she forgets to switch her headlights on. A positive DNA match brings a sex attacker face to face with the crimes of his past.
15 5 27 August 2007
A search for three people who disappear in the outback takes a surprising twist. Police contact the father of a child that they have brought in for questioning. Water police take no chances after a reported shark sighting.
16 6 3 September 2007
A 20-year old driver is devastated after an elderly woman is badly injured in a car smash. The Tactical Response Group's bomb squad are called to a police station in Fremantle to check out a suspect parcel left at the front desk. Police are astonished at what they find in a suburban raid at Armadale.
17 7 10 September 2007
A female police officer goes on an undercover assignment to catch street prostitutes. Could a routine traffic stop in Joondalup lead to a lengthy jail sentence for the driver? Police pull over a scooter rider who claims to be spending quality time with the children.
18 8 17 September 2007
Police confront a woman accused of identity theft. Officers from the Major Incident Group join the hunt for a bandit who has robbed a service station. Traffic patrol officers find out how volatile things can be on the road.
19 9 1 October 2007
The Regional Investigations Unit put a stop to a robbery spree that has left Perth on edge. A licence and background check on the rider of a vintage bike turns out to be more than routine for traffic police. Can the police stop a petrol spill near the coast from turning into a major disaster?
20 10 8 October 2007
Police receive a tip-off that a drug deal could be going down at the Bayswater railway station. A routine boat stop turns treacherous when the boat owner decides to do a runner. Grandparents are woken by an intruder who could be their next-door neighbour.
21 11 15 October 2007
A police negotiator is called in when a suburban stand-off gets out of hand. A driver debates the rules of the road with the traffic patrol. A new recruit is a little apprehensive about a welfare check in Huntingdale.
22 12 22 October 2007
City detectives raid a suburban house where they suspect drugs are being made. A driver dangerously tries to dodge plainclothes traffic patrol officers. An ex-husband loses control during an access visit with his children.
23 13 29 October 2007
A chef is taken out of the frying pan and into the fire when he forgets to switch his headlights on. Police officers put all of their skills to the test when a man goes on an angry rampage. A political stand becomes a heated stand-off between loggers and environmentalists.

Season 3

Number
in series
Number
in season
Title Original air date
24 1 11 February 2008
A police blitz in Sydney's northern beaches proves that no one is above the law. Police officers in Murdoch find a woman who can't remember her name and isn't carrying any identification. A midnight raid in inner suburban Perth catches an elusive crook by surprise.
25 2 18 February 2008
Perth police are caught in the middle of a fierce neighbourhood battle. Friends of a drunk teenage girl have a good reason to report her to the police in Margaret River. A street in suburban Perth becomes the target of a major raid when police suspect that it has a drug laboratory.
26 3 25 February 2008
A police discovery turns a routine traffic stop into a major crime case. A police team track an escaped prisoner. A quick-thinking police officer comes to the rescue of two children when their mother locks herself out of a unit.
27 4 3 March 2008
A reckless driver turns the streets of suburban Perth lethal. Nine years after a woman is almost stabbed to death, police find their suspect in London. A disturbing call-out about a man in army fatigues wielding a gun has a surprise ending.
28 5 10 March 2008
Police hunt a man who has been terrifying his community in Perth with a loaded gun. A lovesick cowboy finds himself in trouble with the police again. Police destroy more than $200,000 worth of drugs after several raids in Kalgoorlie. Police are put into the firing line at a rowdy party.
29 6 21 July 2008
A robber who has broken into numerous Flight Centre franchises and has a notorious criminal as a mentor cannot outsmart the police. Two men are pulled over during a police operation in Sydney's western suburbs, but only one of them will walk free. Bernie refuses to leave a real estate agent until she gets paid for the gardening work she has done.
30 7 28 July 2008
A father of two is busted trying to grow cannabis. Maureen has a classic clash with police over road rules. Police make a dangerous arrest after a wanted criminal flies in to a crowded airport.
31 8 25 August 2008
A convoy of Tactical Response Group vehicles stuck in a traffic jam find themselves in the right place at the right time when a stolen car approaches them. A young mother loses her innocence when she finds herself in trouble with the law. A grandfather's disappearance has everyone worried.
32 9 1 September 2008
Police officers face their worst nightmare when a man confronts them with a knife during a drug raid. In northern New South Wales, police track down a hidden stash of cannabis. A routine registration check becomes a costly lesson for a P-plate driver.
33 10 8 September 2008
When two dangerous armed bandits terrorise Perth, police prepare to take them on when they arrest them during a dawn raid. The dog squad sniff out drugs on several people attending the Big Day Out concert in Sydney. A dangerous driver who puts peoples' lives at risk thinks he has done nothing wrong.
34 11 15 September 2008
Police claim back the city streets of Sydney when they arrest three teenagers who filmed their bashing of a homeless man with a mobile phone camera. A young V8 driver who is caught traveling at more than double the speed limit thinks the police have got it all wrong. The bomb squad face the risky job of dealing with a dangerous gas tank found on a busy beach on the north coast of New South Wales.
35 12 22 September 2008
A man faces court ten years after he viciously attacked his fiancée. When a wife becomes concerned that her missing husband's life may be in danger, police have to find him quickly. Police do their best to keep an intoxicated man from getting into serious trouble on a busy Friday night in Manly.
36 13 29 September 2008
A driver that police pulled over for an expired license ends up in bigger strife after a search of his car. Police search for the source of a DVD piracy racket that is worth a big fortune. A dangerous criminal who has been terrorizing innocent people in a series of armed hold-ups is on the loose in a shopping center in suburban Perth.
37 14 6 October 2008
A thief makes a desperate bid to escape, but is run over by the car he stole. Police officers are astounded by the number of passengers in an unlicensed driver's van. A raid on a carpenter's house and factory uncovers his more lucrative cash business involving drugs.
38 15 13 October 2008
A police dog goes in search of four crooks who go on the run after crashing a stolen luxury car. Could a random breath test take a taxi driver off the road? What police find in the shed of an armed man roaming the streets raises the stakes.
39 16 20 October 2008
A gunman on the loose in a quiet suburban street has neighbours terrified. A woman refuses to accept that a party is over for the night. When police stop a stolen car, a frightening discovery has them on guard.
40 17 27 October 2008
Police hope to prevent a dangerous chase when they close in on a stolen prestige car. Police go on an urgent mission to find a young woman whose life is in danger. Officers have their hands full after they pull over a speeding skipper.

Season 4

Number
in series
Number
in season
Title Original air date
41 1 19 April 2009
...
42 2 26 April 2009
...
43 3 3 May 2009
...
44 4 10 May 2009
...
45 5 17 May 2009
...
46 6 24 May 2009
...
47 7 31 May 2009
...
48 8 7 June 2009
...
49 9 14 June 2009
...
50 10 21 June 2009
...
51 11 28 June 2009
...
52 12 28 June 2009
...

Season 5

Number
in series
Number
in season
Title Original air date
53 1 20 September 2009
...
54 2 27 September 2009
...
55 3 4 October 2009
...
56 4 11 October 2009
...
57 5 18 October 2009
...
58 6 25 October 2009
...
59 7 1 November 2009
...
60 8 8 November 2009
...
61 9 15 November 2009
...
62 10 22 November 2009
...
63 11 30 November 2009
...
64 12 7 December 2009
...
65 13 14 December 2009
...
66 14 21 December 2009
...

Season 6

Number
in series
Number
in season
Title Original air date
67 1 11 April 2010
the police's eye in the sky spots a hoon, a desperate and dangerous man at a service station and a small child in distress.
68 2 18 April 2010
Police go all out to destroy forests of cannabis and catch the growers, plus brazen crooks on camera in a wealthy suburb.
69 3 25 April 2010
GPS technology leads police to the location of a stolen car, a suspected cannabis growers multiple sites are searched.
70 4 2 May 2010
the mightiest part of the force under threat from drunken revelers, deadly secrets inside what appears to be an ordinary suburban home, and a young man refuses to learn an important lesson.
71 5 9 May 2010
A search for a prison escapee leads officers to one of the biggest hauls ever and a criminal is caught in the act but what he is holding has officers baffled.
72 6 16 May 2010
Detectives close in on an elaborate drug ring. A family gets locked inside a cemetery and a Porsche flies by police.
73 7 23 May 2010
Logging protesters are in danger and the race is on as drug dealers rush to offload their merchandise.
74 8 30 May 2010
A country town erupts and police rush to quell the riot. Detectives systematically search a house and uncover a secret stash.
75 9 6 June 2010
Detectives from Strike Force Sappa receive a new lead into two large scale drug syndicates.
76 10 13 June 2010
Police respond to a domestic disturbance, drugged drivers at the snow and Regional Investigations Unit police are on the hunt for two aggressive armed...
77 11 13 June 2010
Police respond to a domestic disturbance, drugged drivers at the snow and Regional Investigations Unit police are on the hunt for two aggressive armed...

Season 7

Number
in series
Number
in season
Title Original air date
74 1 2011
...
75 2 2011
...
76 3 2011
...
77 4 2011
...
78 5 2011
...
79 6 2011
...
80 7 2011
...
81 8 2011
...
82 9 2011
...
83 10 2011
...

Season 8

Number
in series
Number
in season
Title Original air date
71 1 8 May 2012
The Middle Eastern Organised Crime's highway unit are out on the streets looking at different known hotspots throughout Sydney. After witnessing a white Subaru acting strangely they find out that they have a serial offender on their hands. The police are on the look out for a violent armed robber who held up a massage parlour in Perth.
72 2 22 May 2012
A couple of houses are raised by the NSW State Crime Command before they close in on the ringleader following a massive operation. Two officers patrolling the streets of Darwin end up finding the night taking a shocking turn after they're called to a car thought to be carrying a firearm. The Fairfield Highway Patrol stop a stolen car
73 3 28 May 2012
One of the worse crimes the force has ever deal with is an online sexual predator who is targeting young girls. They go deep under cover with officers from the Child Exploitation Unit as they lay the bait to capture the man. The police respond to robbery reports at a house in Perth and are shocked at what they discover.
74 4 4 June 2012
Martin Riley is already a wanted man ansd he is only nineteen years old. He has been committing some serious burglaries and leaving countless lives at risk fleeing from police in stolen cars. The police set up a roadblock on one of Australia's busiest highways, with the help of the NSW Police Dog Unit to help identify people moving drugs.
75 5 11 June 2012
A man has been reported as missing on a lonely Perth beach in very strange circumstances. The police launch a full-scale land and sea search after dark in a very baffling case.
76 6 18 June 2012
The police take a look at a case of missing victims after occupants of a badly damaged vehicle are seen fleeing the scene of a car crash. The cameras follow motorcycle cops Matt Rudd and Terry Fryer as they patrol through Sydney's busy motorways.
77 7 14 November 2012
Some offficers from the Middle Eastern Organised Crime Squad chase an orange turbo charged car. The driver of the car is having difficulty controlling her temper afterpolice find some cannabis in the vehicle. Perth's Chemical Operations Team raid a suspected Meth-Lab. Officers of Rescue 22 are called out assist in two very different rescue situations.
78 8 21 November 2012
Some of the Auburn Detectives are gettinfg ready to arrest a gang of violent armed robbers. Officers in Perth see a car driving erratically.

Season 9

Number
in series
Number
in season
Title Original air date
80 1 3 February 2013
...
81 2 10 February 2013
...
82 3 17 February 2013
...
83 4 24 February 2013
Operation Karup is a huge operation for Perth's Child Sex Crime police department. Using new computer technology, the police are able to pinpoint people accessing child exploitation material on the Internet.
84 5 3 March 2013
The olice target a POI who has led them on a pursuit through the city streets. They surround his house but not even a phone call from a relative will get him to leave the building.
85 6 10 March 2013
Officers in Perth have received a call needing assistance with a search warrant.It's believed that an illegal clandestine lab is in the house, which is extremely dangerous for police and anyone nearby. Police in Darwin make their way to the scene of a reported armed robbery.
86 7 17 March 2013
The police raid a property on Sydney's Northern Beaches after a well-known drug supplier looks like he is up to his old tricks again. 'Police dog Rumble' is about to have his abilities tested.
87 8 24 March 2013
Police are on a manhunt for a wanted fugitive called Brett Klimczak, who has escaped from prison. Klimczak is causing havoc across the city, stealing vehicles. He is also desperate not to be caught, making him dangerous. Late-night shopping in Perth attracts shoplifters, and some women's clothing has been stolen.
88 9 14 April 2013
A child sex predator has attempted to become friends with who he thinks is a 13-year-old girl on the internet. What he doesn't know is that he is actually talking detectives from the Sex Crime division.
89 10 1 May 2013
Police in the state of Victoria receive information about a man who allegedly has a firearm hidden inside a secret compartment in his car. General Duties Officers spot something suspicious as they drive pass a well known drug house.
81 11 5 May 2013
Campsie Proactives sees a familiar face driving a car unlicensed, which they think is a stolen vehicle. Detectives receive an anonymous information of a hydroponic being set up in Spearwood.
82 12 8 May 2013
A couple of Irish tourists decide to take a swim fully clothed in the Yarra River having drunk a few beers. What looks like a fun idea at the time has resulted in a tragedy, and a local barman has braved the cold water to help save them.
83 13 12 May 2013
The police in NSW stumble upon a car on its side in the middle of the road. A group of officers hit a house in the hope of disrupting the flow of stolen equipment and drugs in the region.
84 14 26 May 2013
Water police officers carry out some spot checks on commercial crabbers to make sure they're complying with the law in the Northern Territory. Constables from the Farifield Anti-Theft Squad observe three men acting suspiciously.
85 15 2 June 2013
Detectives in Armidale have learnt that two men have been committing serious robberies and are armed with guns.
86 16 9 June 2013
Chinatown's popular night markets are raided by the police because some of the stallholders are selling counterfeit good. Two officers are on duty as they receive a priority 2 call to attend a house that's been broken into by a man they think to be armed with a gun.
87 17 16 June 2013
Detectives attempt to find Roland Riley who's been on the run for more than four weeks. The police have to deal with a road rage incident where a man has been deliberately smashed into.
88 18 14 July 2013
In Western Australia, police officers from the Online Child Exploitation Squad are taking part in Operation Allerton which targets people downloading and distributing images and videos of children on the internet.
89 19 3 September 2013
Officers stop a dodgy looking car whilst out on patrol and find out that the driver doesn't have a license and is carrying a knife. The NSW Fraud Squad investigate a young male who has been using stolen credit cards.
90 20 10 September 2013
Some officers investigate a drug lab with firearms at a property in Meadow Heights. Police are called to the scene of a crash at a busy intersection.
91 21 17 September 2013
At the end of a four-month operation officers are getting ready to arrest two POI's who they think are the ringleaders of a syndicate trafficking more than $1 million worth of illegal abalone.

Season 10

Number
in series
Number
in season
Title Original air date
92 1 16 July 2014
man who is out for revenge steals some petrol as he sets off to seek retribution. Officers are surprised by what they discover in a suspected drug house.
93 2 23 July 2014
A real estate agency in Western Australia is the victim of a 'cyber attack'. A couple of properties are linked to a suspected drug deal.
94 3 28 July 2014
Some police officers get more than they bargained for after they stop a car for speeding. A woman is caught using counterfeit money at a Hungry Jack's.
95 4 6 August 2014
Officers attempt to find the owner growing a marijuana crop in their lounge and also investigate a robbery where a pizza delivery driver is held at knife point.
96 5 13 August 2014
A daring inner city raid is carried out. Two men attempted to rob a young man at knifepoint but are interrupted in the act.
97 6 20 August 2014
A daring inner city raid is carried out. Two men attempted to rob a young man at knifepoint but are interrupted in the act.
98 7 27 August 2014
Detectives attempt to bring down a major drug syndicate in Fairfield. Police show up at a party in Kelmscott that has turned ugly.
99 8 3 September 2014
Officers are on the trail of a man who thought to to have an unregistered gun and has made threats toward his former partner.
100 9 10 September 2014
Officers take a look around a young man's home look trying ti find a semi-automatic handgun that they believe he is trying to sell. In Arnhem Land, officers discover that Cannabis, kava and alcohol is being sold in communities for huge amounts of money.
101 10 17 September 2014
Police are on the trail of a serial armed robber that has caused havoc at service stations in recent weeks.
102 11 24 September 2014
Officers discover a group of youths hosting what could be best described as a nightclub for juveniles.
103 12 1 October 2014
...
104 13 8 October 2014
Officers see a familiar face in King's Cross who is up to no good. A group who are suspected of selling stolen goods are caught.
105 14 15 October 2014
A warrant on a mortgage broker is executed who is suspected of supplying fraudulent home loans.
106 15 22 October 2014
The Intelligence unit find out that a mother and son are operating as drug dealers in the local area.
107 16 29 October 2014
Police are shocked by what they find as they visit the home of a suspected drug dealer. A special CIB team raid two properties to reduce the Adelaide cannabis trade.

Season 11

Number
in series
Number
in season
Title Original air date
108 1 2015
...

Format[edit]

The Force is filmed in metropolitan and regional Western Australia. Small camera crews follow the police around during their daily duties. Field producer Tim Noonan said the only rule in filming was that the camera crews "can't hinder [the police] in any way".[8] As a result, some footage is filmed from police cars or a safe distance away from the police,[6] with wireless microphones used to record audio.[8][dead link]

The Western Australia Police retained the right to veto any material which posed legal problems, such as footage identifying underage offenders or matters before the courts.[7] Techniques such as pixelisation are used to satisfy legal requirements. The program also blurred out the faces of police officers not wishing to be identified on national television.

21 second sample from episode 1 of The Force

30 second sample from episode 2 of The Force

Audio samples from The Force showing its use of narration and background music.

Problems playing these files? See media help.

Episodes of The Force comprise three or four individual stories featuring police officers going about everyday duties, including burglaries, drug-related cases, traffic cases and murder investigations.[6] The choice of stories is usually balanced to include action-oriented stories as well as lighter stories such as family disputes.

Response[edit]

Ratings[edit]

Seven Network promotions for The Force advertised the program's high premiere ratings.
Ratings trend for The Force

The premiere of The Force was popular with Australian viewers, receiving 2.295 million viewers in metropolitan areas, making it highest rating Australian premiere in 2006.[9] The premiere was the second highest rating program of the week behind Border Security (2.298 million), although The Force outrated Border Security in both Sydney, New South Wales and Perth, Western Australia.[10] The program rated particularly high in Perth due to the program's focus on Western Australian crimes, and a local marketing campaign which emphasised this fact.

Commenting on the program's top ratings, Tim Worner, director of programming and production at the Seven Network, said The Force had surpassed expectation and described the program as one of Seven's "hit shows".[9] The second episode maintained the program's high ratings, achieving an audience of 1.956 million viewers.[11]

The Force experienced a significant drop in numbers following its move to Wednesday night. Critics blamed the lack of lead-in from Border Security and tough competition from Network Ten's Thank God You're Here for the lower ratings.[12] The first series averaged 1.453 million viewers across metropolitan markets, making it the 19th most watched regular program in 2006.[13]

Critical reviews[edit]

Television critic Robin Oliver (The Sydney Morning Herald) claimed that The Force "achieves some of the best reality television of its kind. There is no sense of playing to cameras and it has an element of surprise that catches both officers and camera crews wrong-footed." Oliver did criticise the show, however, of being "too fast... jumping from one story to another in irritatingly quick succession."[14]

Graeme Blundell (The Australian) noted the tabloid nature of the program, and that "issues are rarely explored beyond the simple events in the frame." He continued that despite being "sophisticated TV", The Force often felt like "a corporate training film for clean-cut police units in the WA police force."[15]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Millar, Roxanne (22 August 2006). "A new force in reality TV". News Corporation. Retrieved 18 January 2012. 
  2. ^ "Seven Announces New Reality Police Show" (Press release). Seven Network. 23 November 2005. Retrieved 23 August 2006. [dead link]
  3. ^ "Seven unveils first phase of 06 programming" (PDF) (Press release). Seven Network. 8 December 2005. Retrieved 23 August 2006. [dead link]
  4. ^ "True Blue". Seven Perth 2006 Preview Magazine (Seven Network). 24 January 2006. p. 11. [dead link]
  5. ^ "The Force" (Press release). Seven Network. 19 June 2006. Retrieved 23 August 2006. [dead link]
  6. ^ a b c d Ganska, Helen (20 August 2006). "Drama on the Beat". The Sunday Times tvguide. 
  7. ^ a b Ghandour, Rania (21 August 2006). "Show of Force". Sydney Morning Herald. Retrieved 30 August 2006. 
  8. ^ a b Thom, Greg (23 August 2006). "Gripping frontline TV". Herald Sun. Retrieved 24 August 2006. [dead link]
  9. ^ a b "Seven's Force: Behind the Line" (Press release). Seven Perth. 23 August 2006. Retrieved 23 August 2006. 
  10. ^ Dale, David (27 August 2006). "The ratings race: Nine bequeaths its curse". The Tribal Mind (Sydney Morning Herald). Retrieved 27 August 2006. 
  11. ^ Dale, David (30 August 2006). "The ratings race: Enough dancing? No stars left?". The Tribal Mind (Sydney Morning Herald). Retrieved 30 August 2006. 
  12. ^ Dale, David (7 September 2006). "The ratings race: comedians kill cops". The Tribal Mind (Sydney Morning Herald). Retrieved 7 September 2006. 
  13. ^ "Seven dominates television in 2006" (PDF) (Press release). Seven Network. 3 December 2006. Retrieved 2 February 2007. [dead link]
  14. ^ Oliver, Robin (21 August 2006). "The Force – TV Reviews". Sydney Morning Herald. Retrieved 23 August 2006. 
  15. ^ Blundell, Graeme (19 August 2006). "True Blue". The Australian. Retrieved 23 August 2006. [dead link]

External links[edit]