The Vice was a British crime drama that ran between 1999-2003 which centred around London's Vice Unit run by DI Pat Chappel (Ken Stott). The Vice Unit was small, underfunded and generally treated with derision by other forces, while Pat Chappel and his team of young detectives struggled to get a result, largely against the odds. Pat Chappel himself was a conflicted character, whose compassion for the people he worked with daily often led him to become emotionally involved in the cases, quite often with devastating results. Ken Stott left the series in 2003, his role was take over by his former second-in-command Sgt Joe Robinson
Contains examples of:
- Arch-Enemy: DS Frank Vickers.
- Blonde, Brunette, Redhead: The female vice officers in season 5 - Lorraine is blonde, Cheryl a brunette, Kirsty red-haired.
- Despair Event Horizon: Pat has one when he Cheryl is about to be gangraped by prison officers but he cannot react. He later has another when he discovers the child photographer whose home he has infiltrated is abusing and filming his own daughter. He goes into an Unstoppable Rage and nearly beats the man to death before slumping to the ground and going nearly comatose.
- Expy: Pat is very similar to Ken Stott's more famous officer of the law, Rebus as well as the character of Red who he plays in the detective series Messiah.
- Four-Temperament Ensemble: Pat is Choleric, Cheryl is Melancholic, Joe is Phlegmatic, Dougie is Sanguine.
- Good People Have Good Sex: Subverted by PC Dougie Raymond who, despite being a decent character, is shown to have his sexual tastes corrupted by the constant exposure to pornography and ends up trying to get his girlfriend to take part in kinky sex acts.
- Hannibal Lecture: Vickers delivers one of these to Pat Chappel when Pat has framed him for rape with the help of Pat's girlfriend. "I've got to hand it you. I would have just used some tom, but you Pat, you used the woman you love".
- Kavorka Man: Pat is short, stocky and has a less than attractive face, but is constantly hooking up with attractive women. That said, he suffers from a very pronounced case of When He Smiles.
- Pyrrhic Victory: The end results of most episodes that weren't downright failures. If the team managed to get a conviction, it was often only at the expense of losing a greater target, suffering the loss of a team member or playing extremely fast and lose with police procedures.
- Red Light District: The setting for most of the series.
- Wham Episode: The start of series 5 'Hooked'. PC Sheryl Hutchins goes undercover but is caught by a pimp and forcibly addicted to drugs. Pat Chappel goes undercover to rescue her, but ends up murdering the pimp with a video camera capturing the entire act. Pat Chappel ends up in prison and Sheryl spends the rest of the series trying to recover from her addiction