''Heartbeat'' is a [[LongRunners long running]] British drama series set in rural Yorkshire in TheSixties, about the adventures of the local constabulary and medical services of the village of Aidensfield and the larger town of Ashfordly where the main police station of the area is situated.

The series originally began with Constable Nick Rowan and his doctor wife accepting a reassignment from London, which was troubled with considerable civil unrest at the time. As Rowan and comrades keep the peace, they keep a wary eye for the local con man, Claude Greengrass, who is forever looking for the next big score, which is usually just this side of legal to keep them from arresting him.

The series feels much like a police version of ''Series/AllCreaturesGreatAndSmall'' (Johnny Byrne was effectively the showrunner for both series) as small town life proves incredibly lively with numerous crimes to solve and medical problems to treat, usually with a touch of humour.
!!This series provides examples of:

* ActorAllusion: Expect some very knowing dialogue whenever the guest star is anybody famous for something other than acting.
** Gary Barlow appeared as a diamond smuggler some time before the Music/TakeThat reunion, and his dialogue referred to having once been in a band that split up.
** When Brian Hibbard, formerly lead singer of The Flying Pickets, appeared as a guest star, the episode's final scene was accompanied by their 1983 number one "Only You", breaking the show's usual convention of only using music up to the early 70s.
** AdaptationDecay : originally a vehicle for Nick Rowan, at that time a very popular soap actor who made the mistake of believing his own advertising, the show lingered on for many years with ever-slipping production standards, second and third-string casting and less resemblance to its original form of a watered-down version of "AllCreaturesGreatAndSmall"
* BottleEpisode: ''One Small Step'' (aka "the one where they all watch the moon landing").
* TheCastShowoff: Tricia Penrose gets to sing every now and again.
* CharacterizationMarchesOn: Although it's meant to be the same character, David Stockwell's debut as a mentally handicapped man barely capable of doing anything for himself bears very little resemblance to his subsequent goofy but normally-functioning characterization when brought back as a regular.
* ComicTrio
* CryptidEpisode: In one episode, the cops go searching for some legendary big cats that are killing sheep on the Yorkshire moors. They turn out to be incompetent sheep rustlers instead.
* TheDanza: Nick Berry as Nick Rowan.
* DeadpanSnarker: Years of dealing with his brother's harebrained schemes have made Bernie Scripps a master at this.
* DownerEnding: About OnceASeason, either as the result of a main character death, or as the conclusion of one of the occasional DarkerAndEdgier plots.
* DroppedABridgeOnHim: About 90% of the show's main character deaths.
* FakeDefector
* FakingTheDead: Vernon Scripps, twice.
* {{Fanservice}}: Niamh Cusack in a controversial "topless" scene in the [[EarlyInstallmentWeirdness first season]].
* AFatherToHisMen: Blaketon starts becoming this in Series 3/4.
* ForgottenFallenFriend: [[spoiler: Rosie ]], despite being a supposedly a valued friend of many characters, was very suddenly forgotten from the show. A background character that appeared once or twice in the entire show got a bigger sendoff the very next episode.
* FourTemperamentEnsemble
* FriendlyEnemy: One of the main character development arcs in the early series is how Rowan and Greengrass' relationship mellows into this.
* FriendOrIdolDecision
* FrozenInTime: 18 seasons and the series remained firmly in the 1960s. In fact, it was ''specifically 1969'' long enough that one character had two full term pregnancies in that year...
** Oscar's progression from police sergeant, to postmaster, to landlord appears to progress approximately in real time, making this all the more jarring.
* GetRichQuickScheme: Vernon Scripps' favoured way of making a living.
* TheGhost: Mrs. Ventress.
* TheGrimReaper: wanders around in the background shortly before [[spoiler: Oscar Blaketon]] cops it.
* IAmSpartacus
* JumpingTheShark: Vernon Scripps. The original LovableRogue, Claude Greengrass, was an established local with a house he had inherited and various more-or-less credible business interests, and was finally revealed to have a small but sufficient private income. He mostly pursued various obviously self-interested ends, mainly because no-one who knew him would believe anything else in any case. Vernon Scripps was introduced to fill the gap left by the rapid deterioration and death of Bill Maynard, and lacked any obvious justification or indeed, visible means of support.
* LoveableRogue
* NeverFoundTheBody: All they found was a mutilated passport picture of [[spoiler:Rosie]], it is implied that she died.
* NewNeighboursAsThePlotDemands. The introduction of a second female doctor to reprise the romantic arc with Nick Berry's replacement character pretty much sums this up. Peggy Armstrong was obviously introduced to complement Vernon Scripps in filling the various plot holes left by Claude Greengrass' departure
* NothingButHits: On the radio, at least. The soundtrack throws up the occasional oddity, though.
* OldFashionedCopper: Justified, since it's the 60's, most sergeants of the Aidensfield Police have no problem with accepting or outright inventing charges against certain people just because they don't like them (like Greengrass), even if all their underlings suspect something is amiss. Blaketon for example didn't like Claude Greengrass, vagabonds or gypsies - assumed they were criminals just because - and was willing to jail and charge them for slightest of reasons. However most of them mellowed out in the end to be more understanding and less judgemental as time went by.
* OneSteveLimit: Literally averted: When the show introduced PC Steve Crane, they apparently forgot that supporting character Jenny Latimer had a brother called Steve and they ended up appearing in the same episode.
* OopNorth
* OvertookTheSeries: Already a very loose adaptation of Nicholas Rhea' source novels, the show quickly went its own way.
* PlayingAgainstType: Gwen Taylor took the role of Peggy Armstrong as it gave her an opportunity to play a nasty character for once. She later expressed disappointment at Peggy being softened up in her second season.
* PowerTrio
* RealSongThemeTune: "Heartbeat", originally a hit for Music/BuddyHolly which charted in the UK in 1959 and 1960. The TV series used a cover version sung by the actor who played Nick Rowan.
* TrademarkFavoriteFood: Alf's boiled eggs. He always had two, and he banged them toegether to break the shells.
* TrainJob
* SitcomArchNemesis: From the famous words of Sargent Blaketon, "Greengrass!"
* WrenchWench: Rosie