Duck Patrol, 1998
This perhaps forgotten 90’s gem has a real unexpected twist in the story.
Duck Patrol was a British sitcom that ran for 1 series over 7 episodes after an unscreened pilot episode.
The script for the pilot episode ‘Of Ducks and Men’ was re-filmed with some changes to supporting cast and main cast uniforms, and retitled as ‘Flying Colours’ which then became the first episode of the series that would follow.
There’s a twist to this story in that short lived sitcoms usually are that because they fail to catch on. In the case of Duck Patrol it was the opposite. The series unexpectedly proved to be a huge hit for ITV, who hadn’t expected the show to fare so well. As ITV were unprepared for the success there became a huge black market in unofficial t-shirts featuring lines from the series and various other counterfeit merchandise, owing to the lack of genuine articles.
A second series and a possible feature-film were both given the go ahead; however both of these were eventually cancelled after the lack of a repeat for the first series saw the series fade from public consciousness. It would appear ITV missed the boat.
The series was described as a Gentle sitcom about the not-so-glamourous, slow-pace life of the Ravensbeck River Police.
Richard Wilson – PC Roland “Prof” Rose
David Tennent – Simon “Darwin” Brown
Samantha Beckinsale – Gillian “Marilyn” Monroe
Trevor Cooper – James “Ollie” Oliver
Geoffrey Hutchings – Malcolm “Sarge” White
Jason Watkins – Kevin “Taz” Delaney
Craig Fairbrass – Hero
Sue Johnston – Val Rutland
John Biggins – Stan Murdoch
Jan Ravens – Angie Tennant