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

BBC One sitcom about the team at a small town police station. 14 episodes (2 series), 1995 - 1996. Stars Rowan Atkinson, David Haig, Serena Evans, James Dreyfus and others.

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

Cast & crew

Regular cast
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

Supporters and subscribers get more

Additional content and tools are available across the site for Supporters and BCG Pro subscribers. On this page you can:

  • Broadcast details of 14 further repeats of this episode

Donate (for fans) BCG Pro

Already a donor or Pro user?