Z Cars

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BBC (ended 1978)

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TheOldBill

User Score: 6144

6.4
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25 votes
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SHOW REVIEWS
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Z Cars

Show Summary

Welcome to the Z Cars guide at TV.com.

This long-running BBC drama series dealt with the goings on of the Newtown police and their Ford Zephyr squad cars or "Z Cars". Eschewing the post-war idyll presented in Dixon of Dock Green, Z Cars reinvented the genre for the 1960s, with an emphasis on personal drama and the day-to-day lives of an ensemble cast, combining police procedural and 'kitchen sink' drama. The show was initially filmed in the studio, but made extensive use of filmed inserts, which brought added realism. Early episodes were commonly screened live.

The new realism excited some initial controversy, but the show became a ratings winner, leading to the commissioning of further episodes to extend the series beyond its planned 13-week run. By the mid 1960s, Z Cars had become a fixture in the schedules, switching to year-round twice-weekly broadcasts in 1967 before reverting to a conventional 50-minute drama format in 1971.

Z Cars ran to 798 broadcast episodes, an unprecedented figure for any non-'soap' that remained unmatched until ITV's own version of the show, The Bill, passed it in 1994.

Detectives Barlow and Watt featured in successful spin-off series Softly Softly and its sequels from 1966 to 1976.moreless
Jeremy Kemp

Jeremy Kemp

P.C. Bob Steele [ 1962 - 1963 ]

James Ellis

James Ellis

P.C./Det. Con./Sgt./Insp. Bert Lynch

Brian Blessed

Brian Blessed

P.C. Fancy Smith [ 1962 - 1965 ]

Joseph Brady

Joseph Brady

P.C. Jock Weir [ 1962 - 1968 ]

Stratford Johns

Stratford Johns

Det. Chief Insp. Charlie Barlow [ 1962 - 1965 ]

Frank Windsor

Frank Windsor

Det. Sgt. John Watt [ 1962 - 1965 ]

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SUBMIT REVIEW
  • I was only little when my grand parents watched this cop show. I remember getting told that they were like real english police men. My grandparents were from england and often love to watch shows from "home".moreless

    6.0
    This was a really great cop show, and one of the first I remember having the odd car chase in.

    My grandparents loved it and never missed an episode. It did not show for very long where we lived about 2 seasons worth and I dont think we were shown every episode either.
  • I can't believe I actually enjoyed this! It's like one of life's guilty pleasures.

    8.0
    I can't believe I actually enjoyed this! It's like one of life's guilty pleasures. You know you're not supposed to enjoy it that much but you can't help enjoying it. I can't believe I'm typing this but long live Z Cars. You have one more (secret) supporter here! My rating for this show is 8.
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