The Thin Blue Line. Image shows from L to R: D.I. Grim (David Haig), P.C. Habib (Mina Anwar), Inspector Fowler (Rowan Atkinson), P.C. Goody (James Dreyfus), D.C. Boyle (Mark Addy), Sergeant Dawkins (Serena Evans), P.C. Gladstone (Rudolph Walker). Copyright: Tiger Aspect Productions
The Thin Blue Line

The Thin Blue Line

  • TV sitcom
  • BBC One
  • 1995 - 1996
  • 14 episodes (2 series)

Police sitcom about fastidious Inspector Raymond Fowler, his array of uniformed officers, and the oafish CID Inspector Grim. Stars Rowan Atkinson, David Haig, Serena Evans, James Dreyfus, Mina Anwar and more.

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Episode menu

Series 2, Episode 1 - Court In The Act

Fowler is pleased to get his name mentioned in the local paper following the successful raid by CID on the home of drugs dealer Harry the Spike. Harry has a good defence counsel however and Fowler is nervous of meeting him.

Further details

Employing Goody's services as model, Fowler is briefing his constables on the latest proposed changes to uniform. Habib prefers a more brash, 'sexy' American style, but Goody himself is quite taken with the new design.

CID, meanwhile, are on the trail of drug dealer Harry the Spike. Frustrated on countless prior occasions and now desperate to get his man, Grim goes along with Boyle's plan to set Spike up. He enlists the help of Fowler and his officers to raid Harry the Spike's home. During the course of the search, Goody finds some drugs behind the cooker.

Back at the station, Raymond hears that Harry has enlisted the services of the most fearsome QC in the country, Algernon Sourgravy, and so begins rehearsing and preparing Goody for the grilling he can expect in court - unfortunately he keeps bursting into tears.

When Harry the Spike's barrister arrives, however, it transpires that Sourgravy has been taken ill and replaced by none other than local Mayoress Christabel Wickham, a commanding woman whom Fowler has fancied ever since his school days. Meanwhile, Grim is having a crisis of conscience about his part in the set-up raid and Goody tells Habib and Gladstone that he was sure the drugs hadn't been behind the cooker when he first looked.

Habib relays her concerns to Fowler, who is outraged at the apparent corruption. He is frustrated in obtaining a confession from a still shaken Grim, but when pressed by a Wickham, who believes she is to be squarely defeated, Raymond reveals the truth - that Goody was still wearing the as-yet unofficial new uniform during the raid, and thus his arrest was illegal.

Unfortunately for Fowler, his conversation with the Mayoress has a rather potent alternative connotation, taken out of context...

Broadcast details

Thursday 14th November 1996
32 minutes


Show past repeats

Date Time Channel
Thursday 17th April 2014 3:00pm Gold
Saturday 5th July 2014 10:15am Gold
Wednesday 6th August 2014 12:20pm Gold
Tuesday 17th March 2015 5:40pm Gold
Wednesday 18th March 2015 1:20pm Gold
Friday 15th May 2015 6:20pm Gold
Tuesday 8th December 2015 10:55am Gold
Wednesday 9th December 2015 7:05am Gold
Thursday 30th June 2016 10:00pm Yesterday
Friday 1st July 2016 8:40pm Yesterday
Tuesday 10th January 2017 10:00am Gold
Monday 19th June 2017 8:00am Gold
Friday 8th September 2017 3:20am Gold
Monday 25th September 2017 3:10am Gold
Monday 19th June 2023 9:00am Gold
Monday 19th June 2023 1:00pm Gold
Tuesday 12th September 2023 7:00pm Gold
Wednesday 13th September 2023 1:35pm Gold
Wednesday 13th September 2023 6:15pm Gold
Wednesday 11th October 2023 1:00pm Gold
Wednesday 11th October 2023 4:20pm Gold
Thursday 18th January 2024 8:40pm Gold
Friday 19th January 2024 1:20am Gold
Monday 26th February 2024 2:40pm Gold
Saturday 2nd March 2024 8:50pm Gold
Saturday 2nd March 2024 11:25pm Gold

Cast & crew

Rowan Atkinson Inspector Fowler
David Haig D.I. Grim
Serena Evans Sergeant Dawkins
James Dreyfus P.C. Goody
Mina Anwar P.C. Habib
Rudolph Walker P.C. Gladstone
Mark Addy D.C. Boyle
Lucy Robinson Mayoress Wickham
Guest cast
Gabrielle Blunt Spike's Neighbour
Writing team
Ben Elton Writer
Production team
John Birkin Director
Geoffrey Perkins Producer
Ben Elton Producer
Peter Bennett-Jones Executive Producer
Steve Tempia Editor
Charlie Fawcett Editor
James Dillon Production Designer
Howard Goodall Composer

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