The Bill

Season 4 Episode 1

Light Duties

Aired Tuesday 9:00 PM Jul 19, 1988 on ITV
out of 10
User Rating
6 votes

By Users

Episode Summary

Light Duties
Recently transferred to CID, D.C. Carver is feeling seasick while he and D.S. Roach work on a case on the police launch. The River Police fish the body of a murdered informant out of the Thames, but Roach is furious when the case is taken over by two detectives from Scotland Yard. P.C. Taffy Edwards and Stamp attend an incident with an unconscious elderly man who has a very protective dog. A woman offers to help, but Stamp tells her to move along. Stamp is horrified when the woman arrives at Sun Hill as the new uniformed Inspector, Christine Frazer. P.C. Hollis is running a sweep on who D.I. Galloway's replacement will be - there are rumours it will be D.I. Burnside. At the hospital, a solid gold krugerrand is found on the old man, and W.P.C. Ackland and D.C. Carver realise the body in the river is the old man's nephew, who was grassing on his accomplices in a krugerrand robbery. Sgt. Penny is back at work on light duties, but he is clearly still deeply affected by his recent shooting.moreless

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  • The beginning of the half hour episodes...

    Well here it is, the episode that kicked of the marathon run of 30 minute episodes.

    The episode largely sets the scene for future episodes, introducing Inspector Frazer in particular. She doesn't do much arriving a day early but manages to pull one over on Stamp and Roach. The looks on their faces when they realise who she is are classic - Stamp brushes her off at an incident thinking she is just a member of the public and Roach tries to chat her up in the pub at the end of the episode.

    The only problem is that where we are told Kite and Galloway have left (Melvin putting the winning bet on his choice for DI) we are not told why. A leaving scene or episode would have been good for at least Galloway, a character so integral to the first three seasons and the pilot.

    Penny's return is also well handled seeing him only a shell of the man he was and with no improvement in sight...

    I've waited a long time to see this episode and i wasn't disappointed.moreless
Margaret Lawley

Margaret Lawley

Hospital Registrar

Guest Star

Anthony Dutton

Anthony Dutton

D.I. Corrington

Guest Star

Andrew Secombe

Andrew Secombe

D.S. Dougan

Guest Star

Susan Majolier

Susan Majolier

Chief Super's Secretary

Recurring Role

Trivia, Notes, Quotes and Allusions


  • TRIVIA (2)

    • With the departure of D.I. Roy Galloway, D.C. Carver, W.P.C. Ackland and P.C. Hollis are the only characters to survive from the pilot episode Woodentop. Ted Roach is Acting D.I., and Galloway's successor is rumoured to be the newly-promoted Frank Burnside.

    • Jim Carver is now a fully-fledged detective constable.

  • QUOTES (0)

  • NOTES (3)

    • First use of the new theme music and new opening titles.

    • First appearances of Insp. Christine Frazer (Barbara Thorn) and P.C. Malcolm Haynes (Eamonn Walker).

    • Thames' Director of Programmes, David Elstein, decided that The Bill was a ratings winner for ITV, and revamped the format of the show from 12 hour-long episodes a year to twice-weekly episodes of half-hourly duration, broadcast all year round. The timeslot was also moved from 9.00 p.m. to 8.00 p.m. – pre-watershed, meaning that excessive violence and language had to be curbed - not an easy task with a police drama!