The Vice (TV series)

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The Vice
The Vice title card 1999-2003.png
Title card used for the first twenty-two episodes.
Genre Crime drama
Created by Barry Simner
Rob Pursey
Starring Ken Stott
Caroline Catz
David Harewood
Country of origin England, United Kingdom
No. of series 5
No. of episodes 28
Producer(s) Stephen Smallwood
Running time 60–120 mins (inc. advertisements)
Production company(s) Carlton Television
Original channel ITV
Picture format 16:9 (also 4:3)
Original run 4 January 1999 (1999-01-04) – 1 July 2003 (2003-07-01)

The Vice is an ITV police drama about the Metropolitan Police Vice Unit, which ran for five series of varying lengths between 1999 and 2003. It starred Ken Stott, Caroline Catz and David Harewood.

The show experimented with different formats, two series of two-part, one hour episodes; two series of ninety minute episodes, and then a final series of self-contained one-hour episodes.

The Portishead track "Sour Times" is used as the theme music to the show.

Main cast[edit]

Cast member Character Episode duration
Ken Stott Detective Inspector Pat Chappel "Daughters (Part One)" (Ep. 1) - "Hooked" (Ep. 22)
Caroline Catz Police Constable Cheryl Hutchins "Daughters (Part One)" (Ep. 1) - "Lust" (Ep. 28)
David Harewood Sergeant Joe Robinson
Tim Pigott-Smith DS Frank Vickers "Out of Mind" (Ep. 15), "Falling" (Ep. 18), "Hooked" (Ep. 22) - "Lust" (Ep. 28)
Marc Warren Police Constable Dougie Raymond "Daughters (Part One)" (Ep. 1) - "Walking on Water (Part Two)" (Ep. 10)
Rosie Marcel Police Constable Kirsty Morgan "Out of Mind" (Ep. 15) - "Lust" (Ep. 28)


Series 1[edit]

Episode Title Directed by Written by Viewers
(millions) (Source: BARB)
1-2 "Daughters" 10.08
4 January 1999 (1999-01-04)
11 January 1999 (1999-01-11)
Contending with a dead prostitute, a violent turf war and his relationship with a woman having an affair, Detective Inspector Chappel is resolved to help a young prostitute who refuses to help herself by giving a statement to the police, and gets personally involved trying to protect her from her pimp - ostensibly a respectable family man.
3-4 "Sons" 9.30
18 January 1999 (1999-01-18)
25 January 1999 (1999-01-25)
Cheryl's capability is called into question when she blows an undercover operation and Chappel becomes obsessed with saving two rent boys from the clutches of an S&M filmmaker and a paedophile. Meanwhile, Chappel and Christina struggle to keep their relationship professional.
5-6 "Dabbling" 8.98
1 February 1999 (1999-02-01)
8 February 1999 (1999-02-08)
Vice is enlisted to help crack an escort agency working as a cover for a drugs trafficking and prostitution operation, but when Dougie's professional interest in the case quickly dissolves into something more personal, it jeopardises everything.

Series 2[edit]

Episode Title Directed by Written by Viewers
(millions) (Source: BARB)
7-8 "Home is the Place" 9.02
10 January 2000 (2000-01-10)
17 January 2000 (2000-01-17)
A children's home in Sheffield is under investigation when Chappel finds a child from the home working as a prostitute in London. Upon arriving, they are amongst a huge web of lies, deceit, and child abuse, which incorporates not only those living in the home, but those who lived there previous.
9-10 "Walking on Water" 8.28
24 January 2000 (2000-01-24)
31 January 2000 (2000-01-31)

The team investigate an illegal gambling/prostitution den being run out of a pub, with Chappel and Cheryl posing as the thrill-seekers. However, things un-stabilize when they realize the nightclub is frequented by vice squad dropout Dougie, and the squad begin to use his connections to the gang operators, hoping they can use him to expose illicit gambling and prostitution.

Final appearance of PC Dougie Raymond
11-12 "Betrayed" 8.17
7 February 2000 (2000-02-07)
14 February 2000 (2000-02-14)
The team raid a brothel whose young women employees have been smuggled into the country from refugee camps in Eastern Europe. Meanwhile, it appears Joe Robinson's life is going to come crashing down when his wife becomes suspicious of his interactions with one of the girls from the brothel.
13-14 "Lovesick" 8.07
21 February 2000 (2000-02-21)
28 February 2000 (2000-02-28)
A pimp is murdered, and the blame seems to lie on Joe, who had a run-in with the pimp the day before. With Joe's increasing tendency for violence and aggression, it seems to make him the prime suspect, but Chappel thinks otherwise and sets out to find the real killer.

Series 3[edit]

Episode Title Directed by Written by Viewers
(millions) (Source: BARB)
15 "Out of Mind" 8.72 17 January 2001 (2001-01-17)

Chappel's life looks set to be blown apart by secrets brought to light during a chance encounter with his former boss, DS Frank Vickers, in a Soho brothel. As past events threaten to destroy the vice team, he's forced to go in search of his former lover Jane to help him investigate the death of her friend.

First appearance of DS Frank Vickers, PC Kirsty Morgan and Jane.
16 "Into the Night" 7.37 24 January 2001 (2001-01-24)
While attending the trial of a prostitute accused of murdering her pimp, Chappel becomes embroiled in the prosecuting barrister's personal troubles - but when Jane loses her new job and returns to prostitution, he soon has problems of his own to contend with. Meanwhile, Joe and new recuit Kirsty start to develop an explosive relationship.
17 "Force of Nature" 8.05 31 January 2001 (2001-01-31)
Chappel goes undercover in a prison for sex offenders to flush out the ringleaders of a prostitution racket, which involves both the inmates and the prison staff. However, it turns out to be a far more sinister conspiracy;posing at Chappel's girlfriend, Cheryl is targeted by the group, while Chappel's behaviour becomes more erratic.
18 "Falling" 7.53 7 February 2001 (2001-02-07)
Chappel hopes to resume his relationship with ex-girlfriend Jane despite her descent into prostitution, but his plans are threatened when the corrupt DS Vickers begins sniffing around her too. Determined to give his enemy the treatment he deserves, he enlists Jane to help him make sure Vickers goes down.

Series 4[edit]

Episode Title Directed by Written by Viewers
(millions) (Source: BARB)
19 "Trade" 7.42 18 February 2002 (2002-02-18)
Chappel gets dangerously involved with a prostitute when several prostitutes are murdered in the financial heart of London, and tries to save her from the clutches of an arrogant financier whom he suspects of the murders, and becomes obsessed with nailing for the crimes.
20 "No Man's Land" 6.43 25 February 2002 (2002-02-25)
A retired prostitute gives Chappel a lead in his quest to prove a former porn baron is still operating in the prostituion underworld. Meanwhile, enthused by her boss' take on the task, Kirsty offers herself as bait in a dangerous honeytrap.
21 "One More Time" Jon East Alison Hume 5.51 11 March 2002 (2002-03-11)
Chappel goes undercover as a lodger to investigate a suspected porn merchant, but when he discovers the house he's staying in is the base for a paedophile ring, he begins in search of evidence of child pornography. Meanwhile, Joe takes control of the team, and Cheryl and Kirsty find their loyalties tested to the limit.

Series 5[edit]

Episode Title Directed by Written by Viewers
(millions) (Source: BARB)
22 "Hooked" Ashley Pearce Barry Simner 6.67 26 May 2003 (2003-05-26)

Disgraced Chappel is transferred to a desk job where he becomes obsessed with finding Cheryl, who has vanished during an undercover operation into a pornographer. Risking everything to save her and under a watchful eye from his enemy, Frank Vickers, now his boss, Chappel finds his colleague, only to see her destroy herself with a powerful drug addiction.

Last appearance of DI Pat Chappel.
23 "Control" Jon East Mike Cullen 5.36 27 May 2003 (2003-05-27)
Joe returns to Vice where he is determined to nail a violent pimp. But when Vickers is recognised by the mother of one of the prostitutes involved, she threatens to reveal their lurid past if he doesn't deal with her daughter's case personally.
24 "Gameboys" Justin Chadwick Ben Cooper 4.49 3 June 2003 (2003-06-03)
The team investigate an amusement arcade manager suspected of recruiting young runaways as rent boys, where Adam is drawn into the deep end. Meanwhile, Joe is led on a wild goose chase by one of the boys involved.
25 "Untouchable" Michael Samuels Alison Hume 4.88 10 June 2003 (2003-06-10)
When Vickers goes undercover in a pole-dancing club thought to be the front for a prostitution racket by the manageress, Joe becomes suspicious of his behaviour after he appears to be colluding with the chief suspect - and using the club's services for himself.
26 "Outcast" Nick Laughland Mike Cullen 4.37 17 June 2003 (2003-06-17)
Kirsty gets out of her depth when she is instructed to assist the Serious Crime Squad to investigate the murder of a prostitute, and Joe is the only one who doesn't fall for her seductive charms, while her new partner is secretly trying to deliberately ruin her career.
27 "Birdhouse" Jon East Shan Khan 4.38 24 June 2003 (2003-06-24)
The least the team expect to find investigating a club owner suspected of dealing drugs is not human trafficking, and while Adam tries to rescue a foreign girl who he has developed an interest for and become involved in the debacle, family man Stuart is struggling.
28 "Lust" Gavin Millar Clive Bradley 4.57 1 July 2003 (2003-07-01)
Vickers is desperate to use Lorraine's relationship with a pimp for his own ends when he realizes if publicly known it would have a deleterious impact on the vice squad, and is determined to sacrifice her while there's still time. Meanwhile, Kirsty's relationship with Vickers becomes treacherous and Joe is quickly catching up with him.

DVD releases[edit]

Region 2[edit]

  • Series 1: 7 July 2003, released in the UK by Carlton.
  • Series 1–3: 20 February 2006, released in the UK by Network DVD.[1]

Region 1[edit]

  • Series 1: 25 March 2008, released in the US by MPI Home Video.
  • Series 2: 24 June 2008, released in the US by MPI Home Video.[2]


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External links[edit]