[[caption-width-right:320:Jack Cloth and Anne Oldman]]
->'' I hope you've got a strong stomach. It's like a crime scene in here.''

A spoof of dark, overwrought crime shows, written by Creator/CharlieBrooker for Creator/SkyOne. The first two-parter was broadcast in August 2012, but two more were ordered even before transmission. Imagine ''Film/TheNakedGun'' or ''Film/{{Airplane}}'', but instead aimed at dark crime dramas like ''Series/{{Luther}}'' or ''Messiah'' (along with most crime shows on TV) and you are heading very much in the right direction. Very silly and very funny.

Detective Inspector Jack Cloth (Creator/JohnHannah), who quit his profession after his wife was murdered, is called back in to investigate a series of grisly murders in the City of Town and is assigned a new partner, DC Anne Oldman (Creator/SuranneJones). With their Chief Constable, Tom Boss (Julian Rhind-Tutt) breathing down their neck for an unrealistically quick resolution to the case, Cloth and Oldman uncover clues that imply that the case might be quite a bit more complicated than they first thought.
!!This work contains examples of the following, which it generally spoofs mercilessly:

* AbandonedWarehouse: Both Todd's hideout and the "eerie StockFootage and prop warehouse".
-->'''Anne''': What kind of sick mind creates a {{s|talkerShrine}}hrine to [[Series/EastEnders Todd Carty]]?\\
'''[[AsHimself Todd Carty]]''': Oi! What are you doin' in my lockup?\\
'''Cloth''': So this is your lockup?\\
'''Todd''': Yeah, I store chains, art... my scrapbook here.
* ActionGirl: Anne when she chases down a suspect in the first series (though played for laughs).
* AndThisIsFor: Done by Macratty to Jack.
-->'''Macratty''': This one's for Tumbler. *POW* This one's for Bullock--\\
'''Tom Boss''': Actually, ''you'' shot Bullock.\\
'''Macratty''': Do you want me to shoot you [[spoiler:again]]?
* ArsonMurderAndJaywalking:
-->'''Asap''': If they find out you're police, they'll shoot you in the head.\\
'''Cloth''': So what?\\
'''Hairihan''': Or cut your throat open and pull your tongue through the hole so it flops around like a necktie.\\
'''Cloth''': Nothing I can't handle.\\
'''Asap''': Or drive you to Swanage and just leave you there.\\
'''Cloth''': I love Swanage!
* AudibleSharpness
* AudienceSurrogate: Invoked. "Can you explain it like I'm some kind of viewer, guv?"
* BeardOfSorrow: Cloth's PermaStubble becomes a full-on Beard of Sorrow in the second series.
* BiTheWay:
** Anne Oldman. Naturally milked as a RunningGag.
-->'''Cloth''': So you're gay?\\
'''Anne''': Bi, Jack.\\
'''Cloth''': No, don't go, it's none of my business.
** The sequel adds [[spoiler: Jack himself, when he [[LastMinuteHookup inexplicably drives off]] with Tom Boss.]]
--->'''Anne:''' [[spoiler:Didn't he kill your wife?]]\\
'''Cloth:''' [[spoiler:No one's perfect.]]\\
'''Anne:''' [[spoiler:You don't belong with him! You're straight!]]\\
'''Cloth:''' [[spoiler:Bi, Anne. ''(leaves)'']]
* BuryYourGays: [[spoiler:At the end of Season 2, Hope Goodgirl gets crushed to death, and Anne didn't have much of a happy ending either. Jack, on the other hand...]]
* CaptainObvious: In spades, especially from Asap. "Never been found dead before, so this ''is'' out of character".
* CatScare:
** In Series 1, there's a crime scene where Jack is startled by a cat...[[CrossesTheLineTwice jumping out of a corpse]].
** In Series 3, one of the soon-to-be-victims is startled by her own cat approaching her in a man's shoes.
* ChekhovsGun: Towards the start of Series 2, before Jack even gets involved in the case, Tom Boss briefly mentions a pound of heroin that's gone missing from the police station. Jack is later seen giving it to Macratty to gain his trust, and when the obvious PlotHole of [[FridgeLogic how he obtained it]] [[LampshadeHanging is brought up]], Jack insists that he doesn't need to follow the laws of continuity...and to prove it, ''his beard briefly disappears'' then reappears in the next shot.
* CleanPrettyReliable:
** Oldman tries this on Cloth. He recovers instantly.
** Cloth does it to [[spoiler:Tom Boss]] in the season 2 finale. Setting up the [[BiTheWay odd ending.]]
* ClimbingClimax: At {{Denouement}} Heights, no less.
* ComfortingTheWidow: Parodied. After Jack's wife died he had sex with TheCoroner Natasha... with his wife's body lying next to them.
* CowboyCop: Invoked, and actually discussed by some bystanders as Cloth arrives at the crime scene.
-->'''Youth 1''': This guy looks uncompromising, innit?
-->'''Youth 2''': [[DarkAndTroubledPast Yeah, troubled yeah. All haunted and shit.]]
-->'''Youth 3''': Looks like the type of guy [[ByTheBookCop don't trust his new partner yet]].
** As seen in Series 2, Jack doesn't even obey the laws of ''continuity''.
* CrucifiedHeroShot: [[spoiler:Tom Boss]] pulls a villainous version.
* CymbalBangingMonkey: Played for laughs with Jack Cloth's intentionally {{Narm}}y flashback to his wife's tragic death by murder, which has a random shot of a cymbal-banging monkey thrown in.
* CypherLanguage: Spoofed with Upside-Down Writing. Thankfully Anne has the requisite training to decipher it.
* DeadPersonConversation: Jack's wife appears to give him [[SpiritAdvisor guidance]]. And nag him about the state of the bathroom cabinet.
* DisposableSexWorker: [[spoiler:Katia.]]
* DisneyVillainDeath: Subverted by [[spoiler:Boss not actually dying]].
* DiscriminateAndSwitch:
** Cloth asks a black kid on a bike where to find Crossbo, and the kid answers in what appears to be heavily accented, broken English: "Dat dere yute club." Then it turns out that the name of the place he directed Cloth to is ''literally'' "Datdere Yute Club". [[note]] "Opened by Baron Peregrine Datdere-Yute, 2002" [[/note]]
** Similarly, a discussion between a bunch of chavvy-looking thugs speaking in exaggerated inner-city tones touches on the excellence of Creator/StephenFry, QI, and harpsichord practice.
* DoubleEntendre: The show is absolutely bursting at the seams with them.
-->'''Jack Cloth''': Be warned, this is going to take every ounce of spunk you can muster, Des. If you come, I'll expect you to cover my back, and I mean ''completely'' cover it.
-->'''Des Hairihan''': Had yoghurt for breakfast, Guv.
* DudeNotFunny: In-universe, [[spoiler:Boss has this reaction to the jury laughing at his hilariously [[InnocentInnuendo innuendo-laden]] testimony]].
* DyingClue: Todd Carty writes Macratty's name [[CouldntFindAPen in his own blood]] before dying, but ran out of room and had to scrunch the last few letters up. He also did some doodling ''and'' [[UpToEleven wrote "FIND JACK CLOTH" on a piece of cloth]].
* EaglelandOsmosis: The detectives and most uniformed officers with the City of Town police all seem to carry sidearms, whereas in real life only specialist Authorised Firearms Officers (AFO's) can do so in the UK.
* ExtremeGraphicalRepresentation: Parodied when DC Asap Qureshi shows Jack and Anne a ridiculously graphical supercomputer hologram display in the computer lab, which he describes as "the most melodramatic operating system in the world".
* FauxHorrific: At a crime scene, both Oldman and Cloth nearly throw up when they see a framed photograph of [[TakeThat Piers Morgan]].
* FanDisservice: A total snub to those hoping to see Suranne Jones in the nude. When Oldman gets out of bed in Series 2, her body double below the shoulders is a blatantly overweight and hairy ''man''.
* {{Flashback}}: "I remember it like it were 'appenin' now... in flashback..."
* {{Foreshadowing}}:
** When Tumbler discovers Jack meeting with Oldman when he is undercover, Jack tries to cover himself by saying "Its not what you think, I'm my twin brother!". In Season 3, it is revealed he does have a twin, Terry Cloth, [[spoiler: who is killed in the pre titles opening sequence]].
** When Jack and Anne are chased into the construction site by Tumbler, there's a [[FreezeFrameBonus danger sign]] warning of "Danger of death at end of scene". Guess what happens at the end of the scene?
* FreezeFrameBonus: All over the damn place. Even parodied: see TakeThatAudience below.
* FunnyBackgroundEvent: Multitudes of silly sight gags and things things going on around the characters.
* GagPenis
** We first see Jack Cloth passed out in bed, [[GagPenis with the sheet propped up at least foot high by his erection.]]
** In a flashback, we see that Jack's comedic size is genetic. [[spoiler: Kerry Newblood found out that she was his daughter,]] when his twin brother Terry saw her in jogging pants with a similar [[FanDisservice huge erection.]]
* GoodGuyBar: The Copper Kettle.
* GilliganCut: "[[LeaningOnTheFourthWall Then let's just]] [[MediumAwareness cut to you]] driving the car!"
* GratuitousForeignLanguage: Boss is fond of this.
* {{Homage}}: It's [[WordOfGod no secret that Charlie Brooker is a fan]] of the original ''Series/PoliceSquad'', and it shows.
* HurricaneOfPuns: Especially "Cloth" puns.
-->"Touching, Cloth."
* IfYoureSoEvilEatThisKitten: To get Jack to prove he isn't a cop, Macratty gives him a gun and tells him to shoot Twitch. [[spoiler:Jack pulls the trigger, but the gun isn't loaded. Macratty's is, however]].
* ILikeMyXLikeILikeMyY: "I like my men like I like my coffee. Bitter, and not half-eaten by cats".
* ILoveTheDead: Played for laughs. In the requisite "parents visit their daughter's corpse" melodrama scene, the choir boy in the scene who's singing the somber piece suddenly switches to porno music, [[CrossesTheLineTwice which causes the father to do... things... with his daughter's body]].
* InnocentInnuendo: [[spoiler: Boss and his court testimony]].
* InsaneTrollLogic: The motivation for the serial killer is variously thought to be working his way through [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Messiah_%28TV_series%29 the Apostles]], the ''Twelve Days of Christmas'', hits of TheEighties and favourite ''Literature/MrMen''. A FreezeFrameBonus of TheBigBoard reveals they've already tried [[Film/{{Se7en}} deadly sins]], [[Creator/WilliamShakespeare Shakespeare]] [[Film/TheatreOfBlood deaths]], wonders of the world, books of Literature/TheBible, films of Creator/CaryGrant, egg dishes, Grand National winners, Martin Clunes vehicles, endangered species, plagues of Egypt and [[FunnySpoon types of spoons]].
* InsistentTerminology: Oldman always refers to the rest of the police force as "the boys down the station" (even while standing ''in'' said station).
* ItIsPronouncedTroPay: DC Oldman insists you say it "Anne Old Man".
* KarmaHoudini: Assistant Chief Constable Tom Boss avoids a lengthy prison sentence and is able to resume work after [[spoiler: brutally murdering members of a jury in the first season]].
-->'''ACC Tom Boss:''' "There was a full inquiry, I apologised, and I went on a rehabilitation course, so as far as everyone is concerned, that is the end of the matter."
* KilledMidSentence: [[spoiler:Macratty]]. Well...''shot'' mid-sentence...it takes another 30 seconds or so before [[spoiler:he]] actually kicks the bucket.
* KillerCop: [[spoiler:Tom Boss. Not your usual lowly detective or uniform officer, but the Assistant Chief Constable...]]
* LampshadedDoubleEntendre: Dr. Natasha Sachet talks almost entirely in these. "This isn't the first time I've stood in this room [[ItMakesSenseInContext holding a dripping pussy]], [[BelligerentSexualTension is it, Jack]]?"
* LastBreathBullet: [[spoiler: Tom Boss, lying gravely wounded on the floor, manages to shoot Hope Goodgirl in the shoulder before she can kill Jack. He's then shot ''again'' by Macratty, but he gets better.]]
* LeftTheBackgroundMusicOn: They like this gag. The first episode alone has the music during a chase scene performed by a local band, and the ethereal music during a scene where two distraught parents are brought in to see their daughter's corpse revealed to be sung by a choir boy accompanied by a keyboard player. Another time: "You are listening to Radio 3. And now, 'Requiem For An Unsuspecting Victim' ".
* LimitedAdvancementOpportunities: It turns out this is why [[spoiler:Boss killed Cloth's wife, so that Cloth would fall off the wagon and wouldn't be promoted ahead of him]].
* LineOfSightName: Unfortunately for Jack, he's in a scrap metal dealership, and as names for a undercover policeman go "Copper" is a pretty poor one. He gets away with it by [[ItIsPronouncedTroPay insisting it be pronounced "Copére"]]. When he gets Des to join him on the team later, he also chooses a painfully obvious one for an undercover cop; "Sargeant".
* LiteralMinded: When people aren't BreakingTheFourthWall or ComicallyMissingThePoint, they're this.
-->'''Jack Cloth''': I haven't laughed since my wife died.
-->'''Anne Oldman''': Why did you laugh when your wife died?
** Happens again in the second season when Mike Macratty is going over the security movements for the museum heist.
-->'''Mike Macratty''': 20:04, bends down to pick up a discarded bag. Now thats when you come in.
-->'''Jack Cloth''': We'll never fit into that bag.
** And again in the third season when Des and Kerry arrive at her flat after a date.
-->'''Kerry Newblood''': Normally I'd invite you upstairs, but...
-->'''Des Hairihan''': It's alright, I understand. This car hasn't got an upstairs.
* LudicrousGibs: [[spoiler:Hope Goodgirl explosively decompresses after being crushed by a rather lightweight falling pillar]]. This being A Touch of Cloth, [[UpToEleven the gibs truly]] ''[[UpToEleven are]]'' [[UpToEleven ludicrous]].
** Also when Tumbler is killed.
--->'''Cloth''': [[HypocriticalHumor What kind of monster would do that?]]
* MakingLoveInAllTheWrongPlaces: Spoofed when a woman recalls the steamy sex she had with her lover at a town hall meeting - right there on the desk in front of everyone.
* TheManBehindTheMan: Macratty is in fact taking orders from a boss known as "the Big Man". It turns out to be [[spoiler:Hope Goodgirl]].
* MeaningfulEcho: "Owls die."
* MediumAwareness: ''Every single character'' exhibits it, even minor characters.
* MetaCasting: John Hannah has played brooding detectives before, most notably John Rebus of ''Literature/{{Rebus}}''. And Suranne Jones is better known as DS Rachel Bailey in the police procedural [[Series/ScottAndBailey Scott & Bailey]].
* MisterSandmanSequence: Parodied when a woman who's being interrogated unveils information about the killer's background to the detectives for something that happened in 1996, but the screen actually shows a litany of pop culture, fashion, events, and people iconic to the 1980s much to the confusion of the cops. It turns out she was watching a nostalgia program on the telly during her flashback.
* MrExposition: Asap's ''raison d'etre'' is to be the character that {{infodump}}s the details of the crime whenever Cloth arrives on the scene.
* NoCelebritiesWereHarmed: Aiden Hawkchurch, a foul mouthed celebrity chef who is murdered in the first season, is an obvious parody of Creator/GordonRamsay.
* NoCommunitiesWereHarmed:
** The series takes place in the City of Town and surrounding areas in the also fictitious county of Placefordshire.
** The bank that Macratty's gang rob in Season 2 is called "Banklays", an obvious parody of Barclays.
* NoFourthWall: One character comments that they've been told to make their way to a crime scene during the ad break. They don't entirely know what that means. We then go to an ad break.
* NoodleIncident: Amongst others, the other four times when Cloth's action resulted in the deaths of everyone in an entire building.
* NordicNoir: What the busload of Danish tourists in the Funtcuck pub are said to be visiting the UK to get away from. Of course it doesn't go well when DI Cloth enters and causes a scene, throwing people to the ground and eventually drawing his sidearm.
* NormallyIWouldBeDeadNow: [[spoiler:Tom Boss gets shot twice by Macratty, then three more times. He lives, while other characters are killed with a single bullet.]]
* ObviouslyEvil: Played with in {{Flashback}} with [[spoiler:Boss asking Oldman to help lick the blood off his sword and explaining the motive for his killing spree]].
-->'''Oldman''': [[EurekaMoment Now it all makes sense...]] [[IdiotBall I just didn't]] [[TravellingAtTheSpeedOfPlot put it together until now!]]
* OffscreenTeleportation: Spoofed when Jack Cloth is working undercover and the boss of the criminal operation calls him up to get over there and explain himself. Cloth says that he'll "be there right away", then immediately walks through the door when the shot switches locations again.
* OneWomanWail: In "Undercover Cloth" as [[spoiler: Todd Carty is shot during the bank robbery]].
* OnTheNext: Parodied. The "next episode" montages feature completely non-existent plots. For instance, the one for the third series had an AlienInvasion and ghost banshees (in a show that spoofs gritty cop dramas).
* ParrotExposition: Most gratuitously with [[MrExposition Hairihan]] endlessly repeating himself when talking over the phone to forensics about the murder weapon.
* PermaStubble: Despite constantly shaving, Cloth always has stubble.
* PerpSweating: Of the feed-the-blood-of-the-victim-to-the-suspect variety.
* PocketProtector: [[spoiler: Cloth's portable electric razor]].#
* PoliceAreUseless: After realising the police department is compromised, Jack and Anne rush to the safehouse to evacuate the jurors before they are killed. However they end up arriving too late, as they ''stopped at Nandos'' on the way there.
* PoliceBrutality: Apparently they were able to raise money for charity through a Sponsored Brutalithon.
--> '''Tom Boss''': We threw a suspect down the stairs for seven hours.
* PsychoLesbian: [[spoiler:Hope Goodgirl.]]
* PunnyName
* PunBasedTitle: A parody of ''Series/ATouchOfFrost'' that alludes to "touching cloth", a euphemism for [[CallingYourBathroomBreaks desperately needing a toilet]], to the point of almost soiling oneself.
* TheReasonYouSuckSpeech: Parodied in Touch of Cloth III when Jack gives Oldman a deconstructing speech until he's literally just frothing spit in her face.
* RedemptionInTheRain: Combined with a RousingSpeech as spoken by CaptainObvious which results in Cloth FiringInTheAirALot.
* RedHerring:
** In the Season 2 finale, [[spoiler:Tom Boss is set up as the "Big Man", complete with flashbacks á la Season 1...turns out [[NotMeThisTime he really was just]] [[ItMakesSenseInContext looking for the toilet]]]].
** In the Season 3 finale it is strongly suggested that [[spoiler: DC Asap Qureshi]] is the killer, as he is seen putting on the same biker gear the culprit is seen wearing. It is later revealed to simply be his uniform for his second job: delivering pizzas on a motorbike.
* RhetoricalQuestionBlunder: At the first murder scene:
-->'''Cloth''': (to a dead body) What happened to you, Albert Stafford?
-->'''Anne''': He can't tell you. [[CaptainObvious He's dead, sir.]]
* RhymesOnADime: Jemima Symes from the Rhyming Times.
-->'''Jemima Symes''': Were the victims gored, with a type of sword?
-->'''Jack Cloth''': Well, that's one line of enquiry...which you can put in your diary.
* RuleOfFunny: The entirety of this.
* RunningGag:
** Oldman's ringtones are all lesbian-related songs and/or performed by lesbian artists, like "I Kissed a Girl", "Constant Craving", and "All the Things She Said".
** "Guv? I think you might want to see this..." [Cue the cops looking at something like a woman undressing in front of a window or a pile of porn mags in the corner of the room] "Keep looking."
** Cloth has a once per-episode habit of dramatically ramming his gun into his neck and threatening to kill himself, usually due to some mundane revelation or other. This is extensively lampshaded in Season 3, [[spoiler:when it's revealed that he's passed the habit on to his daughter, amongst other people.]]
** Oldman constantly refers to other officers as "the boys down the station". [[UpToEleven Even when she's in the station.]]
** Various cops retching after seeing a photo of Piers Morgan.
** Tom Boss dressing down Cloth, Cloth interjecting, and Boss repeating the last sentence, followed by "Cloth." Invariably the end of the statement and "cloth" form a phrase like "table cloth" or "cheese cloth". (Boss occasionally changes it up with "Jack" instead, with exactly the same results.)
* SeriesContinuityError: A ''deliberate'' one, at that. The pound of heroin that Jack uses to gain Macratty's trust went missing from the vice squad tuck shop ''before'' Jack was ever involved in the case, so him having it, [[LampshadeHanging as Asap]] [[NoFourthWall points out]], violates all rules of continuity. Jack promptly rants that [[CowboyCop he doesn't obey laws, not even the laws of continuity]]...and to prove it, ''his beard briefly disappears'' then reappears when the camera angle changes.
* SheFu: Anne has this in spades.
* ShoutOut: The ice-cream van that plays the theme tune to ''Series/TheSweeney''.
* SourceMusic: Averted; the tense drumbeats during a chase scene are actually provided by a handy percussion group who happen to be nearby. They even take dramatic pauses at suspiciously apropos moments.
* TakeMeInstead: [[spoiler:Jack says this after Katia dies.]]
* TakeThat: In the first episode Anne is fine at a comically violent murder scene, but starts retching immediately after seeing a photo of Piers Morgan.
* TakeThatAudience: A [[FreezeFrameBonus brief shot]] of a hospital sign reveals a ward for "Pause Button OCD".
** Another one in Season 2: a poster in the police station that reads, "Keep Watching and Stop Pausing".
* ThereIsNoKillLikeOverkill: Throughout the second part of Season 2. First Tumbler is crushed by a bulldozer, then Twitch is shot ''twelve times'' by Macratty, then to top it all off, [[spoiler:Hope Goodgirl is crushed by a falling piece of the telethon set and explodes into LudicrousGibs]].
* TokenMinority: DC Asap Qureshi
* UnresolvedSexualTension: Cloth and Oldman are seen holding a case file called "Sexual Tension". It's stamped "Unresolved".
* ViewersAreGeniuses: Boss refers to a suspect that he insists on having locked up "as innocent as [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Derek_Bentley Derek Bentley]]". Bentley, one of the last people to be hanged in the United Kingdom, was famously convicted under "Joint Enterprise" for the murder of a police officer since the person who actually pulled the trigger was a minor and therefore couldn't be punished.
* VisualPun: Whenever Des says "You might want to take a look at this" in a serious tone, he is usually just looking at something sexual and completley unrelated to the investigation.
* VoiceoverLetter: Parodied/subverted when Anne comes home to find a letter written by her girlfriend telling her that she's leaving because Anne is always so focused on work. Turns out she was simply standing offscreen.
* VomitingCop: Although the gagging is due to pictures of [[TakeThat Piers Morgan]]. This is a ShoutOut to a very similar gag in ''Series/PoliceSquad''.
* WalkAndTalk: Spoofed in ''A Touch Of Cloth III'' where a sequence of walking-and-talking is constantly lampshaded by the characters as only being to make this fairly boring {{Exposition}} scene look more exciting and they aren't actually going anywhere. Also, as they walk through the police station, it actually ''[[WraparoundBackground loops]]''. In a later scene, posters on the walls even display images fitting what they're talking about as they go past them.
** Watching Cloth approach the scene of the crime, bystanders comment that they bet "he'll do a little skip", and Cloth does. In the DVD Extras, it's pointed out that this sometimes happens in walk-and-talks as a result of actors realising they've more ground to cover in order to hit their mark than they have dialogue to cover the walking.
* WaxingLyrical: This exchange, consisting of Music/NeilYoung lyrics:
-->'''Cloth:''' Old''man'', look at my life!
-->'''Oldman:''' I'm a lot like you were!
* WhoMurderedTheAsshole: Parodied with the first episode's second murder victim, 'sushi despot' Aiden Hawkchurch. This walking turd was '''so''' despised that his featured magazine covers had headlines like "Enemymaker" and "Someone kill him already!". Even random radio broadcasters celebrate his death right after the protagonists muse that there must be a million suspects.
* WhosOnFirst: Relentlessly, with Anne Oldman and the murder victim, an old man.
* WorldOfPun: For beginners, lots of fun is had with Cloth and Oldman's last names.
* WouldHurtAChild: In the spoof "Next episode..." segment, we see Cloth attempting to strangle Arthur Killer... a 10-year-old serial killer.