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 3 - Fly On The Wall

A television crew has come to Gasforth to make a documentary about policing. Naturally, Fowler's officers see it as their chance for stardom.

Further details

Under pressure from both his officers and an ever self-obsessed D.I. Grim, Fowler agrees for a BBC film crew to come to the station to film a fly-on-the-wall documentary pilot.

This proves to be a big mistake as his officers go overboard in attempting to define themselves as interesting characters and look good on the telly: Grim spends his entire time pretending to be taking phone calls from people reporting serious crimes; Gladstone begins singing and telling bad jokes; Goody has his hair dyed and begins a ventriloquist act with a sock; Boyle casts himself as a 'cool guy'; Patricia starts tap-dancing behind the front desk; and Habib ends up being mistaken for a prostitute!

This all proves too much for Fowler but before he can demand the crew leave the premises, an elderly gentleman arrives saying he wants to be on TV. As he pulls out a gun and starts waving it in Raymond's direction, it seems the film crew could have some truly remarkable television to capture.

Broadcast details

Thursday 28th November 1996
30 minutes


Show past repeats

Date Time Channel
Tuesday 26th July 2011 9:20pm Gold
Tuesday 26th July 2011 11:20pm Gold
Saturday 26th April 2014 8:10pm Gold
Sunday 27th April 2014 3:10pm Gold
Saturday 5th July 2014 11:35am Gold
Wednesday 13th August 2014 11:40am Gold
Saturday 3rd January 2015 11:40am Gold
Tuesday 24th March 2015 5:40pm Gold
Wednesday 25th March 2015 1:20pm Gold
Thursday 10th December 2015 10:25am Gold
Friday 11th December 2015 7:55am Gold
Thursday 7th July 2016 10:00pm Yesterday
Friday 8th July 2016 8:40pm Yesterday
Thursday 12th January 2017 10:00am Gold
Wednesday 21st June 2017 8:00am Gold
Wednesday 21st June 2017 1:45pm Gold
Wednesday 16th August 2017 3:15am Gold
Monday 28th August 2017 3:15am Gold
Wednesday 21st June 2023 9:00am Gold
Wednesday 21st June 2023 1:00pm Gold
Thursday 14th September 2023 7:00pm Gold
Friday 15th September 2023 1:40pm Gold
Friday 15th September 2023 6:20pm Gold
Friday 13th October 2023 1:00pm Gold
Friday 13th October 2023 4:20pm Gold
Friday 19th January 2024 8:40pm Gold
Saturday 20th January 2024 1:20am Gold
Saturday 20th January 2024 9:00am Gold
Wednesday 28th February 2024 2:40pm Gold
Saturday 2nd March 2024 10:05pm Gold
Sunday 3rd March 2024 12:45am 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
Guest cast
Alan Cox Bob Tough (TV Director)
Trevor Peacock Turnip Man
Dawn McDaniel Nurse Masseuse
Walter Sparrow Mr Rowbotham (Elderly Man)
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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