between the lines

Between the Lines (TV series)

Between The Lines was an acclaimed television police drama series created by J.C. Wilsher and produced by World Productions for the BBC. It was first shown on BBC1 between 1992 and 1994, running for three series.

The show centred around the eventful life of Detective Superintendent Tony Clark, played by Neil Pearson. Clark was an ambitious member of the Complaints Investigation Bureau (CIB), an internal organisation that investigates claims of corruption inside the Metropolitan Police. Along the way Clark had to overcome strong influence from his superiors and problems in his private life, most notably the break-up of his marriage following an affair with WPC Jenny Dean (Lesley Vickerage). Throughout the series Clark was assisted by sidekicks Harry Naylor (Tom Georgeson) and Mo Connell (Siobhan Redmond).

Clark's work as a lead officer in CIB was the focus of the first two series. In the first series his boss was Deakin, a tough Irish policeman. At the end of the first series Deakin was revealed to be a corrupt officer himself. He left the force but remained a recurring character working freelance for the security services and others, sometimes in conflict with Clark and sometimes assisting him. At the start of the third series (after a dramatic shootout at the end of the second) Clark, Naylor and Connell leave the police force and work in the murky world of private security and espionage. The third series ends with the betrayal of Clark and Naylor - the betrayal made by Connell in league with Deakin, their former boss and nemesis. It is unclear as to whether Clark and Naylor have died as the show ended on a cliff hanger.

In 2007 it was announced that there is to be a new series, re-uniting the main characters. This is currently in pre-production.

Between The Lines was one of the first British TV Dramas to include a homosexual character. Maureen (Mo) Connell (Siobhan Redmond) was a lesbian in the series.

The show became a surprise hit for the BBC, winning a British Academy Television Award (BAFTA) for Best Drama Series in 1994. In 2000 it was voted into the 100 Greatest British Television Programmes by the British Film Institute.

In Ontario, Canada the program was retitled Inside the Line because the broadcaster TVOntario already had a current affairs program called Between the Lines and did not want them confused.

Cast and crew

Tony Clark - Neil Pearson. He had previously played the part of Mungo in Chelmsford 123 (1988-90) and, during the same period he was appearing in Between the Lines, also had the regular role of Dave Charnley in Drop the Dead Donkey (1990-98). Since Between the Lines, he has appeared in several British films and television programmes including Bridget Jones' Diary (2001), Bridget Jones: The Edge of Reason (2004), Trevor's World of Sport (2003) and The State Within (2006).

Harry Naylor - Tom Georgeson. Georgeson is a long-established British character actor with notable roles in Boys from the Blackstuff (1982), The Manageress (1989-90), G.B.H. (1991) and Bleak House (2005).

Maureen “Mo” Connell - Siobhan Redmond. Redmond's first major role was as Lucy McGinty in Bulman (1985-87). She has since appeared in The High Life (1995) and The Smoking Room (2004-05).

John Deakin was played by Tony Doyle, another well established character actor. Along with Between the Lines, he is best remembered as Brian Quigley in Ballykissangel (1996-2001). He died in 2000.

Guest stars in the series included many well-known British actors including Daniel Craig, James Nesbitt, Jerome Flynn, Bernard Hill, David Morrissey, Jaye Griffiths, Francesca Annis and Sylvestra Le Touzel.

Executive producer Tony Garnett had begun his career as an actor before becoming a producer in the late nineteen-sixties. His credits included The Wednesday Play and Play for Today. Following Between the Lines, he went on to produce several popular and notable series including This Life (1996-97), Ballykissangel and The Cops (1998-2000).


DVD Release

All three series of Between The Lines have been released on DVD (Region 2) by 2 Entertain/Cinema Club.


External links

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