Operation Good Guys

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BBC Two (ended 2000)

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Operation Good Guys

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UK, BBC (Fugitive Group/BBC), Sitcom, colour, 1997 Starring: David Gillespie, Ray Burdis, Dominic Anciano A sparkling fly-on-the-wall documentary spoof, ostensibly covering a police action code-named 'Operation Good Guys'. The head of operations, DI Beach, has hand-picked his task squad from across the board, the team including his long-term sidekick DS Ash; armed-response expert Sgt de Sade; undercover drugs-squad man 'Bones'; deep undercover officer Gary Barwick; another undercover man, the 1960s-throwback and would-be rock musician 'Strings'; and naive new recruit Mark Kemp, who just happens to be the Commissioner's nephew. Beach has permitted a documentary unit to film every step of the operation, surmising that the successful outcome of the venture will reflect well upon him. But his faith is misplaced - the team is excruciatingly inept, bungling even the simplest of tasks and, embarrassingly, often embroiling famous faces in their foul-ups (including the Arsenal and England goalkeeper David Seaman, and the businessman Victor Kiam, both of whom appeared in first-series episodes as themselves). The running joke at the start of the second series was that the squad hadn't been telegenic enough in the first and needed to sharpen up their act. They had also been demoted back into uniform following their all-too-public exposure. The third series saw the lads in ever more outrageous situations, the comedy venturing into areas of naked embarrassment - literally so in one edition, when the team were left to fend for themselves on a survival course. Peopled extensively by former alumnus of the Anna Scher acting school in London, Operation Good Guys was a marvellously inventive satire, overflowing with good ideas and memorable characters. Any thoughts that the initial premise might be too thin were dispelled by the creativity of the actors and the strength of the ongoing plot (which could have stood on its own without the fly-on-the-wall-film gimmick). The fact that the dialogue within the structured storylines was mainly improvised also added to the spontaneous, 'real-life' feel of the series. Executive producers Jim Beach and Geoffrey Perkins themselves turned up in episodes, Beach as the Commissioner, Perkins as the Head of Interpol. Production Details Written by: Dominic Anciano, Ray Burdis, Hugo Blick Directed by: Dominic Anciano, Ray Burdis, Hugo Blick Produced by: Dominic Anciano, Ray Burdis, Hugo Blick 3 series, 19 episodes Transmitted: 1997-2000 TV Channel: BBC2 BBC Television Fugitive Group Productions

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Gary Beadle

Gary Beadle

Gary Barwick (Series 1 & 2)

Ray Burdis

Ray Burdis

DS Ash

Mark Burdis

Mark Burdis

Mark Kemp

David Gillespie

David Gillespie

DI Beach

Dominic Anciano

Dominic Anciano

Sgt. Dominic De Sade

Hugo Blick

Hugo Blick

Narrator/ Smiler McCarthy (Series 1)/ Hugo Crippin (Series 2)

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    Comedy