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Tuesday, 1 May 2012


Have you been as taken by ITV's new cop series as I have. "Scott and Bailey", the tale of two feisty detectives in Manchester.

Although if I had my way I rename it "Scotch and Bailey's"  such is the intake of alcoholic beverage. These lassies solve crime like it's going out of fashion. Just think what they'd do for the crime statistics if they stayed sober! But really it is an extremely entertaining programme. Sort of "Coronation Street" meets "The Bill".

The Archers, that long running story of country folk, initially was a propaganda programme aimed at the farming community.  Nestling in the stories of incest and bestiality were tips on how to get the most from a field of winter barley or how to tell if your daughter was up the junction. Under the guise of an everyday story of country folk the Archers educated the artisans in all manner of social policy matters.

Now when someone complains about a story line in "Corrie", "Eastenders" or "Emmerdale", we're told that it reflects what's happening to, and experienced by its audience. Who can forget the lesbian kiss in Brookside or the body under the patio.

 I always thought modern housing developments were unhealthy.

You don't get that sort of thing happening amongst the back to backs of "Corrie" - electrocution, mysterious disappearances yes, but not patio burials, never. If only because no one knew what a patio was.

Getting back to the two women detectives. I realise that there is no way they could be portrayed as sober, up standing citizens. We just don't expect our telly police to be like that. When was Rebus last seen sober, or Morse without a pint in his hand. When alcohol's missing you can be sure the detective is a boring, useless fart. Barnaby, for example, only drinks in moderation with his wife and daughter at home or in a bistro pub run by a reformed rapist. Miss Marple drinks tea and sweet sherry and Lewis a pint or two of Newcastle Brown if he's not having lustful thoughts about the pathologist.

You have to go back to the good old days of "The Sweeney" for real hard drinking cops. Lunch times were lunch times then when one wouldn't return to the office ... usually because you were so pissed you'd forgotten where you worked.

I'm often worried about Paul Temple. I know he's not a policeman as such, but he spends a lot of time helping them out. He and that very up tight wife of his, Steve, were constantly at the juice, in their flat, at the restaurant, in the club. They'd arrive home after a night at some seedy night club in post war London and their butler would have two large tumblers of "French" ready as a night cap.

Dear old Dixon of Dock Green let the side down of course. Only tea passed his lips, we had to wait for Z Cars to hear the slurp, slurp of a pint of light and bitter or mild.

Good on ya, Scott and Bailey. You're upholding a long tradition of boozy cops - and boozy ladies.An intoxicating amalgam of  Minnie Caldwell and Ena Sharples, Charlie Barlow and John Watt.

Move along now.


Steve said...

I couldn't get into Scott and Bailey (notice I didn't say Scott or Bailey) but I wanted to. I really rate Suranne Jones as an actress but I just found series 1 unconvincing script-wise. It didn't grab me.

The Sagittarian said...

Ah yes, who can resist the distance in the coppers eyes as he gazes into the fire place at the end of a long hard day of squirrel bashing, slurping into his whisky and thumbing his temple!

Softly Softly said...

What a trip down memory lane!

The health fanatics in Whitehall have a lot to answer for. We were all much safer in our beds when PC Plod was on the piss!

Marginalia said...

Dear Steve, oh dear! But then you were brought up on "Softly, Softly".

Marginalia said...

Dear Sag, "squirrel bashing"? Que?

Marginalia said...

Dear SS, here's mud in your eye!

The Sagittarian said...

Kiwi piss take on coppers thumping their suspects!