DVD review - New Scotland Yard

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Over the years there have been a large number of television series featuring the work of the police. As more of them are becoming available on DVD, it is interesting to compare and contrast them.

A police series that I had distant happy memories of was one unusually shown on ITV on a Saturday night in 1972. It was called New Scotland Yard and its leading characters were Detective Chief Superintendent John Kingdom (John Woodvine) and Detective Inspector Alan Ward (John Carlisle).

There were three series made with these two characters with a fourth half series starring two new detectives. Kingdom and Ward are both very complex, driven people who are prepared to personally sacrifice a great deal in their pursuit of justice.

Ward with his ‘attitude’ is a character than you are unlikely to forget in a hurry!

Both leading actors are excellent and are both still acting today. Lots of wellknown actors appear throughout the series including Jacqueline Pearce, Stuart Wilson, Windsor Davies, Alun Armstrong, Tony Caunter and Robin Ellis. The cases our detectives deal with are high profile ones and usually involve death. The presence of the Press is also quite prominent in this series, as Kingdom’s brother-in-law Harry is a journalist and he makes frequent appearances often to Kingdom’s displeasure! The emphasis is very much on character and storyline and some of the endings of the episodes are not always what you might have expected. This is particularly true of Perfect in Every Way, The Come Back and Reunion.

The last episode ends rather surprisingly as well. This is studio drama of the highest quality, recorded in the main on colour video tape. The second thirteen episode series is also available from Network DVD with the third season promised later in the year.