Operation Good Guys. Copyright: BBC.

Operation Good Guys

BBC Two sitcom about a police force. 19 episodes (3 series), 1997 - 2000. Stars David Gillespie, Ray Burdis, Dominic Anciano, Mark Burdis and others.

DI Jim Beach

AKA: Detective Inspector Jim Beach.  Played by: David Gillespie

Jim Beach has spent more than twenty years in the police force and has risen through the ranks to position of Detective Inspector. In 1997 he was assigned to head up Operation Good Guys with orders to bring down the empire of major villain Hugo "Smiler" McCarthy. The Commissioner would in time come to regret this decision as Beach managed, with the help of an inept group of officers, to make a complete hash of the entire Operation.

A combination of lawsuits from an England footballer, messed up drugs exchanges and a dodgy accountant led to the funding for Operation Good Guys being lost very quickly. Beach very nearly managed to persuade the Commissioner to give them more funding but unfortunately when two of his officers managed to incinerate the Commissioner's dog, the boss decided enough was enough - Operation Good Guys was cancelled and Beach was sent with his men back to Hendon for retraining much to Beach's disgust.

Following retraining, Beach was sent to Spain with his men for Operation Zorro, which despite a few hiccups went ahead reasonably successfully although the BBC camera crew filming for a documentary were not impressed, and nor was the Commissioner when he saw what the Good Guys got up to in Spain.

Beach was suspended for a few months but before long was back on duty, however as the Commissioner felt that Beach could no longer be trusted with high profile operations, he and the Good Guys went back to every day policing. When not on duty, Beach pursues his interest in J Edgar Hoover and cross-dressing. Beach doesn't seem to have much of a personal life; he lives with his mother and doesn't seem to have a girlfriend, his only real friend is his Sergeant, Ray Ash.

DS Raymond Ash

AKA: Detective Sergeant Raymond Ash.  Played by: Ray Burdis

Ash has been DI Beach's right hand man for many years, and the two have become good friends as a result. Ray admires Beach greatly and sees the pair of them as a team to rival Starsky & Hutch.

The relationship between Ray and Beach is almost like dog and master, Beach is constantly brushing Ray aside and calling him a idiot, but Ray remains very fond of his boss and will always be there to back him up when needed.

Some might say that Ray's friendship with Beach verges on unhealthy obsession as he once had a dream about Beach being all gold like a Buddha saying "Ray follow me" which Ray described as the most beautiful dream he's ever had.

Like Beach, Ray has not had much success with women though this might have something to do with the fact he spends so much time with DI Beach and not enough time trying to find a girlfriend.

During his time with the Good Guys, Ray has managed to run a woman over, arrest an England footballer, have a panic attack in the boot of a car during an observation exercise, get attacked by one of Smiler McCarthy's dogs, and have a close encounter with a randy pig, to name but a few.

Sgt Dominic de Sade

Played by: Dominic Anciano

Dominic de Sade joined the police fresh from the Royal Marines, making him the perfect man for the Armed Response Unit of the force. He soon gained the rank of Sergeant and, in 1997, was assigned to head up the small-armed response team assigned to DI Beach of Operation Good Guys.

de Sade is a reasonably competent officer although he has a somewhat laid back attitude, which Beach finds very irritating.

When the BBC arrives to cover Operation Good Guys, de Sade is very secretive about his home life as it later transpires that he and his missus rather enjoy kinky sex games with leather and whips and all the rest of it.

Although he is a policeman, this doesn't stop de Sade from stripping the commissioner's house of anything he can flog such as copper piping, radiators and even the front door!

Mark Kemp

Played by: Mark Burdis

Operation Good Guys was the first assignment for Mark Kemp after he left Hendon. His inexperience didn't stop him from being Beach's first choice officer (being the Commissioner's nephew had nothing to do with it of course).

Mark proved to be something of a liability to the team. He messed up two drugs exchanges almost as soon as he arrived, and he was also unable to get any information from an informant, as he didn't know how to speak cryptically.

His biggest blunder however was when he and Bones incinerated his uncle's dog, Sherlock. This turned out to be the last straw for the commissioner and he cancelled the operation. Mark was soon back at Hendon barely a year after he'd left the first time. Being the commissioner's nephew worked in his favour though as he was made the instructor's assistant, a position he soon lost when he broke curfew.

Mark was then sent with the Good Guys to Spain for Operation Zorro, however there was trouble before he'd even left England. He was supposed to take his uncle's golf clubs to his villa but he left them unattended at the airport and they were blown up. More trouble came when he told Bones it was okay to go nude in Spain and the two of them got arrested for indecent exposure.

Bones

Played by: Perry Benson

The nickname "Bones" is presumably ironic because Bones is in fact a short, fat man with a very fiery temper on him. Bones sees himself as the Robert DeNero of policing, a method policeman, rather than a method actor.

Bones enjoys his job but sometimes rather too much. Bones has clearly had a disturbed childhood and he suffered trauma at an early age when he lost a testicle, which he still carries round preserved in a jar. In 1997 he was assigned to Operation Good Guys as the expert from Drug Squad.

Going into the operation, Bones claimed to have many years experience in setting up drugs exchanges but unfortunately he never really had the chance to show this as the three drugs exchanges he set up were ruined, one by Ray and the other two by Mark Kemp. Bones was ultimately responsible, along with Mark, for Operation Good Guys losing their funding when they ended up killing the Commissioner's dog (which they were training). This was the last straw for the commissioner who immediately withdrew funding. Bones, along with the others, was sent back to Hendon for re-training, he was then sent to Spain for Operation Zorro but he almost didn't get to participate as he and Mark were arrested the day before for indecent exposure on the beach.

Following their time in Spain, Bones carried on working under DI Beach despite the number of times the governor had "let them down", in his opinion. When not working, Bones enjoys making homemade butter (which once gave him a severe attack of the runs) and vigilante crime fighting (which he was doing at the time of the butter attack and unfortunately there was no toilet).

Strings

Played by: John Beckett

Although Strings is a copper, he really wanted to be a rock star. He still peruses music in his spare time and still dreams of getting a contract; two of his most notable songs have been Ready or Not and The Baldy Song.

He has worked in drug squad for a good few years and knows quite a lot about dealing with drug dealers. He was assigned along with his colleague Bones to Operation Good Guys in 1997 but he was not appointed the expert (much to his disappointment) so he had to be content with pulling apart Bones' plans and pointing out all the things that Bones has got wrong or forgotten.

Strings and Bones have always clashed and have nearly come to blows on more than one occasion. Although Strings thinks he's a musical genius, not everyone appreciates his art. Bones has been known to take exception to Strings playing his guitar on duty and his neighbours once got him charged for disturbing the peace.

Strings is a perfectionist in everything he does whether it's police work, music or directing the ART demonstration (de Sade and his boys would not take it seriously and, to make matters worse, Gary's wife arrived and ruined the whole thing).

Like the others, Strings was sent back to Hendon and demoted to uniform in Series 3 which meant he had to cut his long hair... but he is still rock and roll through and through, despite the new image.

Gary Barwick (Series 1-2)

Played by: Gary Beadle

Gary has worked all over the country as an undercover copper and has always been very proud of the fact that being a black copper has never interfered with his job, although it did cause problems when he was assigned to a job in Shropshire as it was rather obvious he wasn't local (the broad cockney accent didn't help either).

Gary has been married for a good few years. Although the marriage has had it's sticky moments, things really came to blows with his wife when he was assigned to Operation Good Guys. Gary was spending a lot of time working, as this was the biggest operation he had been involved with but his wife didn't understand this at all. Her continual nagging drove him into the arms of colleague Kim Finch, their affair resulted in her getting pregnant with his child, and unfortunately by the time she told him Gary was back with his wife.

Gary was sent with the others back to Hendon for re-training, however - unlike the others - he did not get sent on Operation Zorro as he decided to take some time out to work on his marriage; he was later reassigned to another unit. It is not known whether Kim had her baby or whether Gary sees it if she did.

Hugo Crippin (Series 2)

Played by: Hugo Blick

Hugo Crippin is a producer who has worked for the BBC for many years on various programmes, but his speciality is documentaries. In 1997 he was told by Alan Yentob (Director of Programmes) and Paul Jackson (BBC Exec) to produce a seven-part documentary about an undercover police squad. Crippin chose the newly formed Operation Good Guys who were on the trail of Smiler McCarthy to be the subjects of his documentary. Despite the high hopes of Jackson, Yentob and Crippin himself, the Operation proved to be complete farce. The series attracted very small audiences, which went down as the series progressed. However Jim Beech, the Detective Inspector in charge of the operation managed to persuade Jackson and Yentob to commission Crippin and his team to produce a second six part series in 1998.

Crippin was promised that this new series, which would show the Good Guys in re-training and climax with Operation Zorro, would be much more to audience taste. However the new series proved to be an even bigger disappointment than the first with Beech and his men making even bigger fools of themselves than they had before.

Jackson however decided to have one last roll of the dice and once again commissioned Crippin and his team to produce another six part series this time following the Good Guys doing ordinary police work. Crippin went ahead, but this series proved to be the ultimate disaster and the plug was pulled on the Good Guys. After the final series, Crippin continued to work for the BBC producing more documentaries. Thankfully Operation Good Guys was just a small blot on his record and he was soon back on form.

Roy Leyton (Series 1-2)

Played by: Roy Smiles

Roy Leyton was hired by DI Beach to act as the accountant for Operation Good Guys and make sure the budget was spent wisely and they kept within it. Leyton was not a popular member of the team mainly because he was so tight with the money; he usually the butt of the Good Guys' practical jokes, for example being soaked by a water bomb and bursting his signed football.

Beach was constantly calling him an idiot and an obnoxious prat. Leyton had the last laugh however when it was revealed that he had been fiddling the accounts and took off to Spain with all the money from Operation Good Guys.

However, this was not the last they saw of him. The following year the Good Guys were sent to Spain for Operation Zorro and they found Leyton working for MI6. He also now owned a chain of hotels and life being pretty good to him; again he had the last laugh.

Kim Finch (Series 1)

Played by: Kim Taylforth

Kim's role for Operation Good Guys was to try and seduce information out of Smiler McCarthy's associates. Although Kim doesn't like the tarty clothes she wears on duty, her off duty attire isn't much better.

During her time with the Good Guys she became involved with Gary Barwick who was having marriage problems. She ended up pregnant with his child, but Gary went back to his wife. It is not known what happened to Kim after Operation Good Guys was cancelled but it is possible that she left the force to become a full time mum.

Smiler McCarthy (Series 1)

Played by: Hugo Blick

Smiler McCarthy is a major gangland villain based in London. There is no criminal activity that McCarthy will not deal in: drugs, counterfeit money, you name it, McCarthy has done it.

McCarthy is known to the police as the 'Tethelon Don' because nothing sticks to him. He is the mastermind of plans but never gets involved with the dirty work. In 1997 the Commissioner of Police decides to set up an undercover operation to bring down the McCarthy Empire in any way possible; he assigns Jim Beach to head up the Operation, code named "Operation Good Guys".

Unfortunately for the police, McCarthy finds out about the operation straight away and, thanks to inside information from Roy Leyton, he is able to foil every attempt the Good Guys make to put him behind bars. It is not known what becomes of McCarthy after the operation is cancelled but the chances are he is still on the loose.