Dixon Of Dock Green, 1955
Perhaps one of the most fondly remembered Police dramas on television. This gentle drama was made by the BBC’s light entertainment department. Despite it’s popularity it’s not been fortunate enough to enjoy a repeat showing among all these digital channels.
The lead character was George Dixon who had first appeared in a 1950 film ‘The Blue Lamp’ where he was shot and killed by a criminal played by Dirk Bogarde (of Doctor In The House film series fame). This was not the only comedy connection (you see comedy does creep in everywhere) as Jack Warner who played lead character George Dixon had been a comedian in radio and in his early film career.
Unlike later police series, Dixon focused less on crime and policing and more on the family-like nature of life in the station (and at home) with Dixon, a warm, paternal and frequently moralising presence, being the central focus where crime was little more than petty larceny. Dixon lived in a small mid-terraced house on a busy road. He liked a drink, as did his police friends.
As television progressed the 1960’s and 70’s brought more realistic police series from both Britain and America. This made Dixon of Dock Green a little to tame, despite the writer always maintaining that stories were based on fact, and that Dixon was an accurate reflection of what goes on in an ordinary police station. However in 1976 it was time to say goodnight all one last time after twenty two series and four hundred and thirty two episodes.
Like many shows of the time there are many episodes missing from the archives.
The series focused on the day to life of a British Beat Bobby – George Dixon. It was always claimed that the stories reflected the real day to day duties of a Policeman.
Starring: Jack Warner
Created By: Ted Willis
Original Transmission Dates: 9th July 1955 – 1st May 1976
In 2005, the series was revived for BBC Radio, adapted by Sue Rodwell, with David Calder as George Dixon, David Tennant as Andy Crawford, and Charlie Brooks as Mary Dixon.
A second series followed in 2006, with Hamish Clark replacing Tennant owing to the latter’s Doctor Who commitments.
The radio series has been repeated on BBC Radio 4 Extra.