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Series / Bergerac

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John Nettles as Jim Bergerac
Bergerac is a BBC detective series that ran for 9 series from 1981 to 1991. It starred John Nettles in his Star-Making Role as Jim Bergerac, a recovering alcoholic, who acts as a detective in the police force of the island of Jersey. Later on, he becomes a Private Detective.

Has nothing to do with Cyrano de Bergerac.

This series contains examples of:

  • Animal Wrongs Group: Three activists release a bunch of plague-carrying monkeys. Less extreme than some examples; the only people infected are themselves, the death of one (who was dating Bergerac's daughter) is played sympathetically, and another has enough sense to turn himself in and get treatment. The group's leader is slightly more extreme but still non-violent, and surrenders because the police threaten to shoot a dog if she doesn't.
  • Bus Crash: Susan Young (Jim's long time love interest) is killed off 10 minutes into the 8th season premiere.
  • Chuck Cunningham Syndrome: Barry Goddard and Diamante Lil disappear after the fifth season.
  • Downer Ending: A Hole in the Bucket features Jim spending the whole episode protecting a witness from hitmen and correct cops. He is successful. However, the final scene shows the witness returning to the mainland and being gunned down at the airport.
  • Foe Romance Subtext: Jim has heavy erotic subtext with the recurring Classy Cat-Burglar Philippa Vale.
  • Hero's Classic Car: Jim Bergerac's 'maverick' personality was expressed by driving a Burgundy 1947 Triumph Roadster. The producers thought it looked cool but, as many a critic and viewer noted, it was a car supremely unsuited to Jersey's narrow, winding roads and 40mph speed limits. Nevertheless, it inspired a tradition throughout the 1980s and 1990s where any "quirky" police investigator or private detective in a British show would drive some kind of collectible car.
  • Killed Off for Real: Susan Young in the season 8 premiere.
  • Mr. Smith: Bergerac finds a man has checked into a hotel using the name 'James Smythe', which Begerac remarks is nothing more than an upper-class version of 'John Smith'.
  • Paranormal Episode: Starting with the 4th season, the show became well known for having a paranormal episode nearly every season. These include, 'What Dreams May Come?' featuring a murderous black magic ring who may or may not be real, 'Fires in the Fall' featuring a hooded monk, who is either a hideous burned arsonist or a supernatural apparition, grisly seeking revenge, 'The Dig' which sees what could be a Viking Curse at work and 'Warriors' about a cult believing Atlantis is about to rise again.
  • Retool: The last season had Bergerac relocate to the French mainland and become a private investigator.
  • Put on a Bus: Crozier before the final series.
  • Senseless Violins: The tactic of hiding a gun inside a violin case is taken a step further when a character conceals a Skorpion sub machine gun inside a violin.
  • Spiritual Successor: The series was originally created as a replacement for Shoestring, using many of the same elements. Both shows are about an eccentric Defective Detective who has recently recovered from a breakdown, and both shows are set in different parts of the British Islands (the west of England for Shoestring, Jersey for Bergerac).
  • Unexpectedly Dark Episode:
    • "The Dig" is a very disturbing horror episode in which gruesome events start occurring on an archaeological investigation of Norse graves, and it is implied right up to the end that they were due not to a "Scooby-Doo" Hoax but to real evil supernatural forces.
    • The show featured many episodes that were very dark or disturbing throughout such as 110% Proof, Holiday Snaps, Poison, Root and Branch, Crissie, The Assassin, Man of Sorrows and A True Detective. Other episodes would end on a dark or unpleasant note such as A Hole in the Bucket or Offshore Trades. Regular viewers would expect at least a couple of episodes a series would be darker than the rest.