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james-20016,443 posts since 13 Sep 2015
Central (East) East Midlands Today
Slightly o/t but first 5 series of The Bill are coming to UKTV Play.
https://www.facebook.com/uktvplay/posts/2992343750847874


Explains why clips from them appeared on an advert a while back, then. And Series 5 being the one they pulled with about 5 days notice back in 2017, skipped ahead 10 years and we never got to see. Hopefully we get to see the rest of the 1990-98 run. 1989-97 was the peak of the show, after a shaky start to the half hour episodes- the first few months worth we saw on Drama in 2017 were a bit iffy, rushed and ended abruptly, but they'd improved by the end of 1988.
Last edited by james-2001 on 16 April 2020 2:12pm - 2 times in total
james-20016,443 posts since 13 Sep 2015
Central (East) East Midlands Today
Noticed this tweet which provides an answer- one series a month until Series 9:





Only takes us to the end of 1993 though. Hopefully we'll still get series 10-13 and the half-hour epsiodes of 14 that were also skipped over in 2017.
james-20016,443 posts since 13 Sep 2015
Central (East) East Midlands Today
According a a reply on Twitter, it won't be available through the UKTV Play content on Virgin Media, sadly. Makes me more glad I bought that Roku box last month, so i'll be able to watch it through the TV rather than stuck on the computer. Though it does mean it will be stuck at 25p, whereas the UKTV catchup & boxset content that is available through Virgin is 50i.
james-20016,443 posts since 13 Sep 2015
Central (East) East Midlands Today
The first 5 series of The Bill have appeared on UKTV Play in the last half hour, online and on the app at least, sadly not on Virgin's on demand service. Series 5, episode 40 appeared last night though, on its own.

I'm going to start from the beginning again rather than go straight into series 5, seeing as it's nearly 3 years since Drama suddenly dropped them it's worth catching up again. The hour long episodes from the first 3 series were high quality anyway, they struggled with the first few months worth of half hours though before they finally got the hang of the shorter episodes.
james-20016,443 posts since 13 Sep 2015
Central (East) East Midlands Today
I've only seen the first episode so far, but it looks like they're running the same cuts made for both ads and time that were made for Drama back in 2017.

Someone who's looked through says those edits run through to episode 22 of series 5, then it's pretty much uncut after. Which suggests they'd edited them that far for the aborted 2017 Drama airings. Showing they had bought series 5, started preparing it for transmission and the 10 year skip ahead really was last a minute decision.

Also look like they've included the first 46 episodes of series 6 as part of "series 5". I'm wondering if they've done that so they can release an even number of episodes each month between now and September, as otherwise they'd be releasing 50 more episodes in September than in June-August. Doing that means they can release 106 episodes all but one of those months (and 105 the other month) which keeps it even, and is pretty much the number of episodes there were in series 6-8 originally (104 in 6 and 105 in 7&8 ).

Can't believe how poor the picture quality is though, they've clearly just done a straight removal of every other field with no blending or interpolating, so there's a lot of jagged lines and very jerky and juddery movement. Even if they can't offer 50fps playback (which it feels like there's little excuse for these days, especially when the iPlayer can do it, and so can the ITV Hub on some platforms), they could at least de-interlace better. Just blending the fields together would look a lot better with both the resolution and the movement. Even other streaming services that only play 50/60i content as 25/30p usually manage a reasonable job of the de-interlacing, so it's not too jagged or jerky. It doesn't really seem good enough when this is the only way we're going to be able to see these episodes (though I admit people who aren't geeks probably don't mind).
Last edited by james-2001 on 1 May 2020 10:22pm
james-20016,443 posts since 13 Sep 2015
Central (East) East Midlands Today
Not sure if this is the most relevent thread, but Tony Scannell (Ted Roach in The Bill) has died:





Also, on another Bill related thing, can anyone remember ITV repeating some 1997 and 98 episodes during the daytime in 2001, or is it just me?

Also UK Gold's 20th birthday weekend in 2004, which had specially filmed links with the several members of the cast in character (and even a few former characters turning up) reminiscing, accompanied by several key episodes. They also strangely that weekend ran a load of random 90s half-hour episodes, with the opening titles and end credits cut off, and not accompanied by any newly filmed links. The last time any of the half-hour episodes (bar the 1988 ones on Drama in 2017) have been repeated in the UK.
Last edited by james-2001 on 28 May 2020 3:08pm - 2 times in total
kez1927 posts since 13 Apr 2020 new member
STV North Reporting Scotland
I'm enjoying seeing The Bill from series 5, followed it originally on Drama before the skip (I can now understand the reason), curious question did The Bill air in the 80s at 8pm? As I noticed on some of the episodes on UKTV Play they do come with a warning ie strong language, I noticed on one or two episodes they are words you couldn't broadcast these days (be edited out at least)
james-20016,443 posts since 13 Sep 2015
Central (East) East Midlands Today
Not sure if it was 8PM, but it was pre-watershed from the move to half-hour episodes in 88 until the 2009 revamp. These things do happen though as times change, the first episode of EastEnders for example also has Nick Cotton using a word you wouldn't get away with pre-watershed these days either.

I haven't quite reached series 5 yet, still working my way through series 4, almost at the end though. Of course their "Series 5" also includes around half of Series 6, and I won't be suprised if Series 6, which they're due to release tomorrow, includes a large chunk of series 7.

Admittedly the grouping into series was pretty meaningless after the move to half hour episodes really, it's just a 22-year long continuous flow of episodes, it's just a way of splitting the years they were broadcast in. Pretty much every change that was made to the show (i.e. new title sequences and theme tunes, moving back to an hour long format, going widescreen, the ditching (and then re-introduction of) episode titles, even the 2009 revamp) took place mid "series". The only exception I can think of was the new title sequence and the move to three times a week which took place on the first episode of "series 9" (also the first episode aired after Thames went off air, and started being commissioned through YTV). Even the 1998 revamp didn't happen until the 3rd episode of "series 14".
Last edited by james-2001 on 1 June 2020 12:38am - 3 times in total
Steve Williams3,172 posts since 1 Aug 2008
Not sure if it was 8PM, but it was pre-watershed from the move to half-hour episodes in 88 until the 2009 revamp. These things do happen though as times change, the first episode of EastEnders for example also has Nick Cotton using a word you wouldn't get away with pre-watershed these days either.


Yes, pretty much every half hour episode of The Bill, apart from those shifted for sport, was at 8pm between 1988 and 1998 (though it was on Saturdays for six months in 1993 when it flitted around between 7.30 and 9pm, and the Friday episode was at 8.30 for the last six months in 1998). When it became an hour long show again it would shuffle around between 8pm and 9pm for a while, but it was always made with an 8pm slot in mind.

I do remember watching it with my parents in the early nineties and being shocked to hear swearing. As you say, things change in terms of what's acceptable at what time.