Tim Pigott-Smith (The Vice) stars as John Stafford, a newly promoted Chief Constable, in this police procedural drama series with a difference. The Chief shows a police force undergoing a culture change, as the outspoken and deeply committed Stafford attempts to reform crime-prevention policies and challenge the frequently unacceptable behaviour of his front-line officers. There are always difficult decisions to be made, and often at a professional and personal cost. The cast of this powerful drama series, originally transmitted in 1990, also includes Judy Loe (Ace of Wands) as Stafford’s doctor wife, Elizabeth, and Eastenders stars Tony Caunter and Ross Kemp.
Having appointed Anne Stewart (Karen Archer - Chancer) as his deputy, Chief Constable John Stafford promotes his highly capable colleague to the rank of Head of Crime and Operations at Eastland, East Anglia. The promotion proves deeply unpopular, and, when Anne encounters rampant workplace misogyny, exposes some of the more unpleasant institutional attitudes among the ranks. While Anne faces a wall of prejudice as well as the personal difficulties arising from her son’s drug addiction, Stafford’s strategies for tackling the ever-mounting challenges of modern policing - be they the consequences of an increasingly violent drugs subculture, militant student actions or vigilante gangs - frequently bring him into conflict with his superiors. His high-level adversaries include the Home Office - whose staff watch his actions with interest, and more than a little concern…
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