Road Wars is a British reality television programme produced for Sky One, and now repeated ad nauseam on Pick, that follows a proactive unit of the British Thames Valley Police service as they go about their duties, interspersed with archive footage of car chases from other areas including the United States. As the name implies, most of the officers' duties involve some form of them nicking people on the road, often with a simple stop for a lack of insurance turning into a far worse affair (e.g. possession of drugs, or in one notable case the driver having overstayed on his visa and subsequently prosecuted for such).
Narrated mostly by Mancunian actor Lee Boardman with the exception of the very last series, Road Wars is notable for its light-hearted and Excruciating Pun
filled tone compared to other similar series, which are often presented in a far more dry and serious way. A Spin-Off
called Street Wars
was also produced, also narrated by Boardman, although far darker and more serious in tone and with more emphasis on more violent crime compared to car chases and the like.
You do not have to look at any tropes but it may harm your understanding of Road Wars if you fail to do so:
- Black Comedy: In many respects.
- Blatant Lies: The officers habitually ask anyone subject to a drug search if they have anything on them they shouldn't have. Almost invariably, they answer "no". Just as invariably, they have drugs or weapons on them.
- Breaking the Fourth Wall: The officers tend to talk directly to camera to explain what is happening in a given situation in their own words.
- Drunk Driver: Constantly, and often extremely poor at lying about it.
- Eat the Evidence: Attempted by more than one person. It doesn't work.
- Evil Is Cool: Completely and utterly averted. They are more likely to look like total morons than anything else.
- Excruciating Pun: Lee Boardman's stock in trade.
- Lower-Class Lout: A frequent occurrence.
- Opening Narration: "Road Wars follows an elite unit of the Thames Valley Police... in Road Wars, the unexpected is always just around the corner."
- Out of Order: The series has absolutely no continuity whatsoever, so Pick gleefully show episodes in a random order.
- Pixellation: Generally used on people who are innocent or only accused of minor offences. They don't tend to bother where someone has done something particularly awful.
- Scare 'Em Straight: On the few occasions some younger minors are seen doing something which would otherwise be an arrestable offence, the officers tend to attempt this rather than needlessly upsetting a child and their parents by arresting them.