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 2 - Ism Ism Ism

Faced with arresting a failed asylum seeker ready for deportation, Fowler trains his staff in equality by pretending to be a Martian dissident. Meanwhile, Grim has been turned down by the Freemasons and is now trying to become a member of the Order of Todgers.

Further details

The Mayoress tells Fowler to start an equality initiative to combat "-isms" in the force in preparation for their arrest of a failed asylum seeker.

Whilst Grim prepares for his upcoming initiation ceremony, Fowler sets about instructing his officers ahead of their detaining the immigrant. It's to be a particularly sensitive operation as they will be observed by an official from the EU. Raymond attempts to demonstrate the need to see past a person's appearance by roleplaying a Martian dissident, Constable Zog. The lesson is somewhat lost on Constable Goody...

Grim, meanwhile, having being turned down by the Masons, is about to join the Todgers. He has a curious initiation ceremony to practice procedure for, with a little help from Boyle. When a camp Detective Sergeant arrives to speak to him, there's an horrendous mix-up.

Later, Fowler and his officers make the arrest. However, once again they make a mistake and manage to detain the European Commissioner for Human Rights, the very man who was supposed to be monitoring the operation! Fowler is in big trouble.

Just when he thought his day couldn't get any worse, it does. Reviewing CCTV security tapes from the town centre, Sergeant Dawkins notices what appears to be a woman receiving a savage beating in a nearby property. The truth, as it turns out, is far more disturbing.

Broadcast details

Thursday 21st November 1996
36 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
Melvyn Hayes D.S. Quentin Courvoisier
Colin McFarlane European Commissioner
Writing team
Ben Elton Writer
Production team
John Birkin Director
Geoffrey Perkins Producer
Ben Elton Producer
Peter Bennett-Jones Executive Producer

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