is a British Police Procedural
series that ran for nearly 800 episodes from 1962 to 1978. It broke new ground in realistic police drama, bridging the cozy Cop Show Dixon Of Dock Green
and the gritty The Sweeney
Recurring characters in the early years included Detective Chief Inspector Charlie Barlow (Stratford Johns), Detective Sergeant John Watt (Frank Windsor), PC "Fancy" Smith (BRIAN BLESSED
), PC Jock Weir (Joseph Brady) and PC Bert Lynch (James Ellis).
In 1967, after a year in hiatus (during which Johns and Windsor moved on to star in the spin-off Softly Softly
), Z Cars
was relaunched with a new format and an almost completely new cast. The only characters to make the transition were Constables Weir and Lynch; Weir left a few years later, but Lynch remained a regular character to the end.
The title of the series refers to the radio callsigns used by police patrol vehicles in the series.Z Cars
had numerous spin-offs, all featuring Charlie Barlow, and many teaming him with John Watt.
No relation to ZZ Top
or the Cool Car
from their videos.
Z Cars provides examples of: