Z Cars (pronounced Zed Cars) was a popular and gritty British television cop show that ran from 1962 to 1968. It centered on the mobile police in the northern England fictional town of Newtown. During the show's run of 801 episodes, the shifting cast included over 40 main characters, with actor Stratford Johns appearing in the most episodes as DCI Inspector Barlow for 565 episodes. Among the actors who had appeared over the years were Joss Ackland (40 episodes as DI Todd), John Thaw (perhaps best known today as Inspector Morse; 4 episodes as DC Elliot); Monkee Davy Jones (3 episodes); and a young Judi Dench (who up-staged everyone in an early two-parter).
In the beginning, the show met with some oppsition from the real police, who felt that the portrayals were too realistic. But the long run of the series is a firm indication of its lasting popularity. the original show;s run ended in 1965, with actors Stratford Johns, Frank Windsor, and Robert Keegan were spun off into a new series, Softly, Softly. In 1967, desperate to revive a time slot occupied by a failed soap opera, BBC revived Z Cars and the show continued for another decade.
Of note, Z Cars was one of the last BBC dramas to be screened live.
The episode presented below, "People's Property," two small boys are caught trying to break into a warehouse. Placed on bail (due to a lack of youth institutes), the boys soon get into further trouble and run of to Wales with the police in pursuit.
Aired on May 15, 1962, this episode was written and directed by John McGrath, who ended up directing nine Z Cars episodes but wrote only this one.
The quality of this print is not the best, but I'm sure you will enjoy this episode.
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