Synopsis by Hal Erickson
Rowan Atkinson of Mr. Bean fame was the star of the BBC sitcom The Thin Blue Line. The setting was the tiny British town of Gasforth, where a squad of dedicated, but basically inept police officers held sway. Atkinson was cast as Inspector Raymond Fowler, whose self-absorption was matched by his clumsiness. Other members of the squad included Raymond's former live-in lover Sgt. Patricia Dawkins, chronically depressed Detective Inspector Grim, Constable Maggie Habib, and Constables Kevin Goody and Frank Gladstone. During the second season, two new characters were added to the mixture: Mayoress Wickerham, whose efforts at imposing "political correctness" at all costs only served to make bad situations worse, and CID Detective Boyle, whose efforts to work hand and glove with the squad usually resulted in botched arrests and public relations disasters. All of the episodes were directed by Atkinson's former Mr. Bean colleague John Birkin. Written and co-produced by Ben Elton, who admittedly patterned the program after the classic British comedy-ensemble series Dad's Army, The Thin Blue Line yielded 14 half-hour episodes between November 13, 1995, and December 23, 1996.