The Cops (TV series)

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The Cops
Title card
Also known as Stanton Blues
Genre Police procedural
Created by Jimmy Gardner
Robert Jones
Anita J. Pandolfo
Written by Jimmy Gardner
Robert Jones
Anita J. Pandolfo
Directed by Harry Bradbeer
Alrick Riley
Kenny Glenaan
Starring Katy Cavanagh
Rob Dixon
John Henshaw
Clare McGlinn
Jack Mardsen
Parvez Qadir
Steve Garti
Danny Seward
Kitty Simpson
Michael McNally
Paulette Williams
Steve Jackson
David Crellin
Country of origin United Kingdom
Original language(s) English
No. of series 3
No. of episodes 24 (list of episodes)
Producer(s) Eric Coulter
Location(s) Bolton, Greater Manchester, England
Running time 60 minutes
Production company(s) World Productions
Distributor Contender Entertainment
Original network BBC Two
Picture format 4:9
Audio format Stereo
Original release 19 October 1998 – 11 April 2001

The Cops is a British television police procedural drama series, made by World Productions, broadcast on BBC Two from 19 October 1998 to 11 April 2001. Primarily filmed in Bolton, the series, set in the fictional town of Stanton in Northern England, was noted for its documentary-style camerawork and uncompromising portrayal of the police force. The first series was so controversial in its depiction of the police force that official police advice was withdrawn for the second series. A total of 24 episodes were broadcast across three series. Although the series featured an ensemble cast, Katy Cavanagh, John Henshaw and Rob Dixon lead the cast throughout all three series.

The third series saw a slight change in the series format, featuring three two-part episodes each loosely tied together with an ongoing story arc. The programme won back-to-back British Academy Television Awards (BAFTAs) in the Best Drama Series category in 1999 and 2000, and was nominated for a third time in 2001, losing out to Clocking Off, despite the first series losing more than three million viewers during its run. The first series was released as a complete box set on VHS on 24 January 2000.[1] Four individual volumes were also made available. Both the second and third series remain commercially unreleased on VHS or DVD.


  • Katy Cavanagh as PC Mel Draper (Series 1—3)
  • Rob Dixon as Sergeant Edward Giffen (Series 1—3)
  • Jack Mardsen as PC Danny Rylands (Series 1—2)
  • John Henshaw as PC Roy Brammell (Series 1—3)
  • Clare McGlinn as PC Natalie Metcalf (Series 1—3)
  • Parvez Qadir as PC Jaz Shundara (Series 1—3)
  • Steve Garti as PC Colin Jellicoe (Series 1—3)
  • Danny Seward as PC Dean Wishaw (Series 1—3)
  • Kitty Simpson as PC Karen McQuire (Series 1—3)
  • Michael McNally as PC John Martin (Series 1—3)
  • Paulette Williams as PC Amanda Kennett (Series 2)
  • Steve Jackson as PC Mike Thompson (Series 1—2)
  • David Crellin as DS Alan Wakefield (Series 1—3)
  • Mark Chatterton as Chief Inspector Newland (Series 1—3)
  • David Prosho as Duty Sergeant Michaelson (Series 1—3)
  • Ken Kitson as Inspector Stowe (Series 1—3)


Series 1 (1998)[edit]

Episode Title Written by Directed by Viewers
Original airdate
1 "Potshots" Jimmy Gardner Harry Bradbeer 6.03 19 October 1998 (1998-10-19)
Probationary PC Draper, seriously hung-over and worse for wear following a night out with her mates, is called to investigate a suspicious death following complaints from a neighbour who notices a foul stench coming from the flat above.
2 "Wasted" Jimmy Gardner Harry Bradbeer 4.24 26 October 1998 (1998-10-26)
Sgt. Giffen attempts to reason with a suicidal man on the roof of a department store. PC Rylands, after rescuing a damsel in distress, finds himself engaging in a bizarre sex game, brought on by the excitement provoked by his police uniform.
3 "Swinging Hammers" Jimmy Gardner Harry Bradbeer 3.53 2 November 1998 (1998-11-02)
PC Draper is disturbed when she meets some of her friends whilst in uniform - and they are obviously uncomfortable about being seen with her, while PC Jellicoe ends up in trouble again after reversing into a minibus full of women on a hen night.
4 "Sticks and Stones" Jimmy Gardner Alrick Riley 3.51 9 November 1998 (1998-11-09)
PC Thompson becomes morose on his stag night when he realizes the depth of his feelings for PC Metcalf.
5 "Fall Out" Jimmy Gardner Alrick Riley 3.23 16 November 1998 (1998-11-16)
PC Metcalf is called to a store selling baby goods where a heavily pregnant woman has been caught on camera stealing a pram. Meanwhile, PC Rylands is called to investigate an alleged missing child. The child's father fears that his daughter is in danger after she is not returned by his ex-wife - a suspicion that is later confirmed.
6 "Top of the Game" Jimmy Gardner Alrick Riley 3.29 23 November 1998 (1998-11-23)
PCs Draper and Shundara are in trouble. Draper has not performed particularly well during her probationary period, and Sgt. Giffen is given the go-ahead to sack her if the need arises. Shundara attends a theft at a corner shop. He recognises the assailant and refuses to chase him down the street. The Asian shopkeeper is not happy and vows to file a complaint. PC Wishaw responds to a disturbance on the Skeetsmoor Estate and gets a serious beating. Despite four radio calls for help, no one goes to his assistance.
7 "Culminate" Jimmy Gardner Harry Bradbeer 3.37 30 November 1998 (1998-11-30)
PCs Draper and Shundera are fooled by a burglar who tells them that they have answered a false alarm.
8 "Walking Disaster" Jimmy Gardner Harry Bradbeer 2.82 7 December 1998 (1998-12-07)
Skillet's funeral turns ugly when PC Rylands berates his fellow mourners.

Series 2 (1999)[edit]

Episode Title Written by Directed by Viewers
Original airdate
1 "Walking the Line" Robert Jones Harry Bradbeer 3.19 11 October 1999 (1999-10-11)
DS Wakefield decides to wreak havoc with PC Draper's mind after finding a small quantity of dope in her bedroom - and using it as a blackmail tool rather than declaring it.
2 "Taking Liberties" Jimmy Gardner Harry Bradbeer 2.75 18 October 1999 (1999-10-18)
PCs Brammell and Wishaw have a difficult time trying to track down a youth who has jumped bail.
3 "Fallen Angels" Stephen Brady Harry Bradbeer 2.28 25 October 1999 (1999-10-25)
PC Rylands must face interrogation by psychiatrists to determine whether or not he is fit to return to work. PCs Jellicoe and Thompson disagree over detaining an elderly drunk for his own safety.
4 "The Long Game" Steve Lawson Alrick Riley 2.47 1 November 1999 (1999-11-01)
Sgt. Giffen wants to take action against a group of local dealers targeting the Skeetsmoor estate, but Ch. Insp. Newlands refuses him manpower and asks him to play the long game.
5 "War of Words" Robert Jones Alrick Riley 2.18 8 November 1999 (1999-11-08)
PC Draper is forced to monitor the situation on the Skeetsmoor estate following Debbie Sharpe's funeral, but when word gets round that Reynolds has been bailed, a full-scale riot threatens to break out.
6 "Clifftop" Jane English Kenneth Gleenan 2.63 15 November 1999 (1999-11-15)
PC Draper is accused of 'going native', but has other problems to deal with when she is asked to investigate a known sex offender who has been seen liaising with a 14-year-old girl.
7 "Ignorance and Suggestion" Stephen Brady Kenneth Gleenan 2.51 22 November 1999 (1999-11-22)
Sgt. Giffin is forced to deal with an irate ex-inspector whose wallet has been stolen, while PCs Brammell and Wishaw discover that PC Shundara has been moonlighting as a cab driver.
8 "Deep Water" Robert Jones Kenneth Gleenan 2.53 29 November 1999 (1999-11-29)
Sgt. Giffin is suspended following allegations made by PC Kennett. PC Draper goes undercover to catch a flasher that's been seen stalking young women in the local park.
9 "Hemorrhage" Jane English Alrick Riley 2.75 6 December 1999 (1999-12-06)
PC Draper is caught out when she arrives, plain-clothed, at the scene of Reynolds' house being trashed, but then tries to cover her tracks to avoid having to identify the culprits.
10 "An Act of Revenge" Jimmy Gardner Alrick Riley 2.59 13 December 1999 (1999-12-13)
PC Brammell is brutally attacked in an act of revenge. PC Shundara investigates the assault on Karim Ifraz and discovers that one of his fellow colleagues may be involved - or even responsible. Ellen goes into hospital.

Series 3 (2000—2001)[edit]

Episode Title Written by Directed by Original airdate
1 "Distance (Part 1)" Kath Mattock Kenneth Gleenan 18 September 2000 (2000-09-18)
On the morning after the party celebrating her promotion, Natalie finds herself waking up next to Sergeant Giffen. However, more serious concerns soon come to the fore with the case of a pregnant runaway teenager. Meanwhile, with his wife critical in hospital, Roy has gone without sleep, and finds his career is in tatters.
2 "Distance (Part 2)" Kath Mattock Kenneth Gleenan 19 September 2000 (2000-09-19)
Dean and his brother, Colin, are the victims of an unprovoked attack, and Roy is called in to try to find the perpetrators. Metcalf is anxious to find a pregnant fifteen-year-old runaway.
3 "All Work and No Play (Part 1)" Stephen Brady Alrick Riley 21 March 2001 (2001-03-21)
Mel and Roy are called to an assault at the home of a notorious drug dealer. As it becomes clear that there's a split in the family, Giffen and Wakefield decide to work together to get a result. Giffen also deals with an unusual burglary.
4 "All Work and No Play (Part 2)" Stephen Brady Alrick Riley 28 March 2001 (2001-03-28)
As Giffen, Wakefield and Newland continue their investigation into a notorious drug-dealing family, they are placed in a tight corner regarding a suicide and its potentially damaging consequences.
5 "Small Mercies (Part 1)" Robert Jones Kenneth Gleenan 4 April 2001 (2001-04-04)
Roy struggles to deal with the death of his wife, but the situation becomes even more complicated when he is forced to assist in the eviction of her first husband's sister. Mel's bravery in a dangerous situation surprises herself.
6 "Small Mercies (Part 2)" Robert Jones Kenneth Gleenan 11 April 2001 (2001-04-11)
Mel gets too involved as she tries to establish the motive behind Shona Molloy's attack on a student. Metcalf deals with a disturbed teenager arrested the day before. Roy investigates a domestic which turns out to be rather unusual, and lays some family ghosts to rest.


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