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.


Grim sells the virtues of marriage to Fowler

Marriage ... is comfort. It's security. I cannot tell you, the peace of mind which me and my Tina enjoy, knowing that things are as bad as they're ever going to get.

D.I. Grim (David Haig) in Series 2, Episode 7
Fowler questions Grim's order of a new water cooler

Raymond, do not interfere with my decisions. I, and me alone, am responsible for the operational fitness of my officers. It is my arse and I will not have you sticking your nose in and sniffing about.

D.I. Grim (David Haig) in Series 2, Episode 7

I haven't got time, Raymond! I am involved in serious police work. If you get in the way, I'm responsible. Your cock up, my arse.

D.I. Grim (David Haig) in Series 2, Episode 6

Being decent and fair and honest doesn't necessarily make a person right, Habib. But if it did, Rolf Harris would be Prime Minister.

Inspector Fowler (Rowan Atkinson) in Series 2, Episode 6
Grim gets a little over-excited

D.I. Grim: "I've been liaising with some geezers at the Met, pooling our intelligence."

Inspector Fowler: "Goodness. Between you, you must've made an imbecile."

in Series 2, Episode 5
Fowler briefs his team ahead of the big football match

Inspector Fowler: "Now our job on match day will be to police the Gasforth crowd. The Metropolitan police will of course be in charge of the Chelsea supporters, and a nasty bunch of ill-mannered yobbos, they're bound to be. I anticipate quite appalling behaviour."

P.C. Habib: "I think you're being prejudiced, Sir. Most supporters are genuine fans."

Inspector Fowler: "I wasn't talking about the supporters, Habib, I was talking about the Metropolitan police!"

in Series 2, Episode 5
The constables police a local football match

Do you think they know they're supposed to get the round leather thing into the big square net-y thing?

P.C. Goody (James Dreyfus) in Series 2, Episode 5
Grim expresses his displeasure with youth culture whilst conducting a drugs raid

Alright! Those who have not been arrested are free to continue to gnaw away at the fabric of society.

D.I. Grim (David Haig) in Series 2, Episode 4
Habib reports to Fowler that Goody is considering coming out

Coming out? Do you mean 'coming out' ... as a Guardian reader would understand the term?

Inspector Fowler (Rowan Atkinson) in Series 2, Episode 4
Habib is less than amused at having to share changing rooms with the men

P.C. Habib: "Constable Boyle! For the final time, if you're going to use my soap, could you please remove your hairs from it ONCE YOU'VE FINISHED!"

D.C. Boyle: "Don't be so squeamish! It's just benign, non-volatile, dead cell matter."

P.C. Habib: "It is benign, non-volatile, dead cell matter that GREW OUT OF YOUR SCROTUM!"

in Series 2, Episode 4
Grim challenges Fowler over his refusal to grant firearms permits

D.I. Grim: "You're supposed to ask questions to find out who's a suitable person to own a gun."

Inspector Fowler: "That's right. And surely the first question must be, 'does that person wish to own a gun?'."

D.I. Grim: "Well of course."

Inspector Fowler: "And if the answer to that is 'yes', then clearly that person is not a suitable person to have one."

in Series 2, Episode 3
The constables discuss the impending arrest of an asylum seeker

Do you think [the Normans] kept their wedding tackle inside their chainmail? No chance. William the Conqueror? More like William the Bonkeror.

P.C. Gladstone (Rudolph Walker) in Series 2, Episode 2
Fowler attempts to brief his constables on avoiding discrimination

P.C. Gladstone: "Oh, I know all about racism, Sir. My mother prepared me for it."

Inspector Fowler: "Ah, she explained to you the sad truth of irrational hatred."

P.C. Gladstone: "No, she beat me and called me names."

in Series 2, Episode 2
Fowler offers a word of wisdom

Appearances, as we shall see, are like bus timetables: often highly misleading.

Inspector Fowler (Rowan Atkinson) in Series 2, Episode 2
Raymond becomes exasperated with Goody's simple nature

I doubt Constable Goody would get it, if it came in a large bag marked 'IT'!

Inspector Fowler (Rowan Atkinson) in Series 2, Episode 1
Fowler isn't amused by the amount of pornography now on sale at his newsagent

Any day now I expect to find my chocolate frog replaced by caramel private parts! Or a strawberry-flavoured lesbian.

Inspector Fowler (Rowan Atkinson) in Series 2, Episode 1
Grim asks Raymond to break a door down

I am entrusting to you the critical, highly delicate task of front-elevation entry orrifice obstruction displacement.

D.I. Grim (David Haig) in Series 2, Episode 1
Fowler responds to Habib's latest request for uniform Americanisation

It is not the duty of a police officer to look 'sexy'. If it were, Sue Lawley would be Chief Constable.

Inspector Fowler (Rowan Atkinson) in Series 2, Episode 1
Grim is unimpressed with Kray's apparently lax attitude

You seem to forget, Kray. It's my arse on the line, so you'd better pull your finger out!

D.I. Grim (David Haig) in Series 1, Episode 7
Grim instructs Kray and Crockett on the importance of their work

This is a very important operation. Now it's my arse, and if you stuff it I'm going to end up very red in the face.

D.I. Grim (David Haig) in Series 1, Episode 6
Grim advocates a hard-line approach to policing

I'm not having you disgracing this station with a load of wishy-washy, diddums, half-cock, up your social worker, foldy-roll 'blame it on society', psycho-sicko-socio-claptrap crap!

D.I. Grim (David Haig) in Series 1, Episode 6
Fowler responds to Grim's proposal regarding young offenders

If it were illegal to be sex-mad, tone deaf and impossible to understand, we should have to arrest the entire population of France!

Inspector Fowler (Rowan Atkinson) in Series 1, Episode 6
Fowler responds to Habib's request for longer truncheons

The traditional truncheon is more than adequate. Personally, I've always felt more than satisfied with 14 inches hanging down inside my trouser leg.

Inspector Fowler (Rowan Atkinson) in Series 1, Episode 6
The station receives report of a previous trouble-maker

P.C. Gladstone: "Sir, another petition from Lavender Close about the loud sex noises."

P.C. Habib: "Ah, the noisy nympho at number 9!"

Inspector Fowler: "Great balls of steaming ouja. Is that woman still at it? I suppose we'd better bring her in."

D.C. Kray: "No good asking her to come quietly, I suppose."

in Series 1, Episode 5
Grim attempts to explain a spate of car thefts in Gasforth

D.I. Grim: "Local delinquents nick the cars and flog them on to Mr Big. He's out there, somewhere. A fat cat, spinning his web with his tentacles in every pie."

D.C. Kray: "Shouldn't be too difficult to spot then."

in Series 1, Episode 5
Grim reacts to a terrorist threat

Look, this may be a hoax, it may not be. All I know is, if it is genuine, my arse will be on the line and I don't want a cock-up.

D.I. Grim (David Haig) in Series 1, Episode 4
Goody is a little confused when a shiny new Royal Crest arrives for the station

Inspector Fowler: "Well if you knew that this crest represented the authority of Her Majesty the Queen, what in the Devil's briefcase did you imagine 'E.R.' stood for?"

P.C. Goody: "'Er in the palace."

in Series 1, Episode 3
Fowler responds to one of Dawkins's jibes

I cannot be expected to make love willy-nilly every fortnight!

Inspector Fowler (Rowan Atkinson) in Series 1, Episode 2
Grim is in his element planning a raid on a suspected terrorist

Christ, I haven't been so excited since they introduced the American-style siren.

D.I. Grim (David Haig) in Series 1, Episode 2
Fowler refutes Habib's suggestion of homosexual undertones in his favourite literature

The point of Biggles, and of Sherlock Holmes, is to solve crimes and kill Germans - and by Heavens that should be enough for any man!

Inspector Fowler (Rowan Atkinson) in Series 1, Episode 1