Author Topic: Bent Coppers: Crossing the Line of Duty  (Read 885 times)

Fambo Number Mive

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Bent Coppers: Crossing the Line of Duty
« on: April 27, 2021, 08:52:49 AM »
Anyone else watching this? A history of police corruption in the 1970s and the setting up of the A10 anti-corruption unit. Looks at people being fitted up, the first media revelations of corruption and the attempt to stop corruption pre-A10. Interviews with former police officers (including A10 officers), people wrongly accused of crimes and former journalists.

There's one bloke being interviewed in a cinema and they never seem to say who he is. I do hope the documentary doesn't stop with the 1970's.

First two episodes are on the iplayer.

Jockice

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Re: Bent Coppers: Crossing the Line of Duty
« Reply #1 on: April 27, 2021, 10:16:01 AM »
I am. Very good so far.

Re: Bent Coppers: Crossing the Line of Duty
« Reply #2 on: April 27, 2021, 11:09:36 AM »
Loving the 'Charley Farley & Piggy Malone'-style soundtrack that goes with it, but I hope it doesn't stop at the Birmingham Serious Crime Squad, and continues on to cases that can't be illustrated with grainy 16mm film of London streets full of Hillman Avengers and Vauxhall Vivas.

Re: Bent Coppers: Crossing the Line of Duty
« Reply #3 on: April 27, 2021, 11:11:21 PM »
Watched the first one last week and half the second last night but dropped off.

Very good and pretty shocking stuff. Nicely done without being sensationalist. Am unsure if the between scenes animations are distracting or not. For some reason I get the impression the programme makers were really pleased with the look and feel of it all.

Didn't help in the first one that one of the exemplars was called John Simmons[1] and then they interviewed John Symmons[2] but only showed footage of the former (bent and presumably now dead) one right at the end.
 1. or similar
 2. or similar

Ballad of Ballard Berkley

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Re: Bent Coppers: Crossing the Line of Duty
« Reply #4 on: April 27, 2021, 11:30:33 PM »
Yes, it's very good indeed.

I hope it doesn't stop at the Birmingham Serious Crime Squad, and continues on to cases that can't be illustrated with grainy 16mm film of London streets full of Hillman Avengers and Vauxhall Vivas.

I agree. There are only three episodes in this series, all of them set in the '70s, but there's plenty of scope to make some more covering the '80s and beyond. Otherwise it runs the risk of suggesting that systemic police corruption was something that only existed in the sleazy old '70s.

Re: Bent Coppers: Crossing the Line of Duty
« Reply #5 on: April 27, 2021, 11:47:59 PM »
This is effectively the true story of the corruption sub-plot in 'Our Friends In The North'. I think they even kept some of the names the same.

Fambo Number Mive

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Re: Bent Coppers: Crossing the Line of Duty
« Reply #6 on: April 28, 2021, 09:10:00 AM »
Yes, it's very good indeed.

I agree. There are only three episodes in this series, all of them set in the '70s, but there's plenty of scope to make some more covering the '80s and beyond. Otherwise it runs the risk of suggesting that systemic police corruption was something that only existed in the sleazy old '70s.

I agree totally.

Some nasty scenes of police racism in this documentary as well.

Re: Bent Coppers: Crossing the Line of Duty
« Reply #7 on: April 28, 2021, 09:39:26 AM »
This is effectively the true story of the corruption sub-plot in 'Our Friends In The North'. I think they even kept some of the names the same.

IIRC, the Beeb waited until people like T D Smith were dead before proceeding with the TV series.

2nd episode kinda flew by for me, but want to rewatch the whole thing again after tonight.

And Our Friends in the North.

Fambo Number Mive

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Re: Bent Coppers: Crossing the Line of Duty
« Reply #8 on: April 29, 2021, 09:29:53 AM »
Third episode now on the iplayer, now looking at corruption in the City of London police and Operation Countryman.

Does feel like that is the final part which is very disappointing.

Shameless Custard

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Re: Bent Coppers: Crossing the Line of Duty
« Reply #9 on: April 29, 2021, 05:16:22 PM »
This is really good, and as others have said, pretty shocking. Not shocking that corruption exists, more how blasé the corrupt officers were as they went about their dodgy dealings. Like it was merely part of the job

The racism stuff was horrible, especially the story about the incident on the train

It's bleak, but fascinating stuff. Will have to watch the last two this week

Bit rubbish them crowbarring Line Of Duty into the title, but to be fair that probably doubled the audience

Fambo Number Mive

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Re: Bent Coppers: Crossing the Line of Duty
« Reply #10 on: April 29, 2021, 05:30:29 PM »
It was disappointing they only looked at corruption in the London police forces, especially when you consider how the West Midlands Serious Crime Squad was beating confessions out of innocent people at the time.

Although the documentary was very good, it could give the incorrect impression that police corruption only took place in London and in the 1970s - of course incorrect on both counts. I do wonder if it could be regarded as "copaganda" for that reason.

Rizla

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Re: Bent Coppers: Crossing the Line of Duty
« Reply #11 on: April 29, 2021, 05:32:46 PM »
Loving the 'Charley Farley & Piggy Malone'-style soundtrack that goes with it
The soundtrack and the silly animated bits were enough to make me switch off after a few minutes. It tells me that the programme makers are basic, unimaginitive cunts when they do that sort of thing. "What shall we do soundtrack-wise for our serious look at police corruption?" "Well, the head-slappingly obvious thing, the phoning-it-in solution would be to pay some cunt to do a load of wah wah guitars so it's like the Sweeney or whatever. The Sweeney was about corrupt cops wasn't it?" "Eh...dunno, never really watched it. Is that the one with Lewis and Collins or whatever?" "Dunno." "Cool, wah wah it is. Moustaches and flares LOL". Can't be doing with it. Telly cunts are incapable of turning out a decent documentary these days, they just piss about on nonsense like this, insulting the viewers, most of whom have forgotten or never knew what a good doco looks like.

And before you ask, YES I DO WANT DR BRONOWSKI OR BERNARD LEVIN DRONING ON ABOUT THE SUBJECT, THAT WOULD BE BETTER, YES.






Brundle-Fly

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Re: Bent Coppers: Crossing the Line of Duty
« Reply #12 on: April 29, 2021, 06:42:31 PM »
The soundtrack and the silly animated bits were enough to make me switch off after a few minutes. It tells me that the programme makers are basic, unimaginitive cunts when they do that sort of thing. "What shall we do soundtrack-wise for our serious look at police corruption?" "Well, the head-slappingly obvious thing, the phoning-it-in solution would be to pay some cunt to do a load of wah wah guitars so it's like the Sweeney or whatever. The Sweeney was about corrupt cops wasn't it?" "Eh...dunno, never really watched it. Is that the one with Lewis and Collins or whatever?" "Dunno." "Cool, wah wah it is. Moustaches and flares LOL". Can't be doing with it. Telly cunts are incapable of turning out a decent documentary these days, they just piss about on nonsense like this, insulting the viewers, most of whom have forgotten or never knew what a good doco looks like.

And before you ask, YES I DO WANT DR BRONOWSKI OR BERNARD LEVIN DRONING ON ABOUT THE SUBJECT, THAT WOULD BE BETTER, YES.

I must be an unimaginative cunt then because I reckon the presentation is great. I'm sick of watching dry crime docs where it's endless close-ups of cassette players whirring away in interview rooms and the same limited amount of mugshots and grainy photos at hand that they show over and over again, accompanied by a moody synth wash.

It's library music from the seventies that's being used in Bent Coppers and I think it evokes the era and subject matter perfectly. It would've been far more stock if they'd scored it with pop/ rock songs from that time with the lyrics echoing the action. ie:-

"We had to get across London quickly before they twigged we were onto 'em". Cue Crosstown Traffic.

BlodwynPig

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Re: Bent Coppers: Crossing the Line of Duty
« Reply #13 on: April 29, 2021, 06:42:40 PM »
The soundtrack and the silly animated bits were enough to make me switch off after a few minutes. It tells me that the programme makers are basic, unimaginitive cunts when they do that sort of thing. "What shall we do soundtrack-wise for our serious look at police corruption?" "Well, the head-slappingly obvious thing, the phoning-it-in solution would be to pay some cunt to do a load of wah wah guitars so it's like the Sweeney or whatever. The Sweeney was about corrupt cops wasn't it?" "Eh...dunno, never really watched it. Is that the one with Lewis and Collins or whatever?" "Dunno." "Cool, wah wah it is. Moustaches and flares LOL". Can't be doing with it. Telly cunts are incapable of turning out a decent documentary these days, they just piss about on nonsense like this, insulting the viewers, most of whom have forgotten or never knew what a good doco looks like.

And before you ask, YES I DO WANT DR BRONOWSKI OR BERNARD LEVIN DRONING ON ABOUT THE SUBJECT, THAT WOULD BE BETTER, YES.







Post of 2021. No finesse, no class.

BlodwynPig

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Re: Bent Coppers: Crossing the Line of Duty
« Reply #14 on: April 29, 2021, 06:43:43 PM »
I must be an unimaginative cunt then because I reckon the presentation is great. I'm sick of watching dry crime docs where it's endless close-ups of cassette players whirring away in interview rooms and the same limited amount of mugshots and grainy photos at hand that they show over and over again, accompanied by a moody synth wash.

It's library music from the seventies that's being used in Bent Coppers and I think it evokes the era and subject matter perfectly. It would've been far more stock if they'd scored it with pop/ rock songs from that time with the lyrics echoing the action. ie:-

"We had to get across London quickly before they twigged we were onto 'em". Cue Crosstown Traffic.

From what I saw it was 'endless close-ups of (animated) cassette players whirring away in the boot of vehicles'

Brundle-Fly

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Re: Bent Coppers: Crossing the Line of Duty
« Reply #15 on: April 29, 2021, 06:47:31 PM »
They were animated though. Makes all the difference.

Ballad of Ballard Berkley

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Re: Bent Coppers: Crossing the Line of Duty
« Reply #16 on: April 29, 2021, 06:58:32 PM »
Post of 2021. No finesse, no class.

What did you specifically think of the programme? Don't just snark. Fair enough if you thought it was shit, but explain why you came to that conclusion.

Rizla

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Re: Bent Coppers: Crossing the Line of Duty
« Reply #17 on: April 29, 2021, 07:14:09 PM »
What did you specifically think of the programme? Don't just snark. Fair enough if you thought it was shit, but explain why you came to that conclusion.
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Ballad of Ballard Berkley

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Re: Bent Coppers: Crossing the Line of Duty
« Reply #18 on: April 29, 2021, 07:16:41 PM »
Gene Hunt in a government-funded yurt.

pigamus

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Re: Bent Coppers: Crossing the Line of Duty
« Reply #19 on: April 29, 2021, 07:22:06 PM »
What did you specifically think of the programme? Don't just snark. Fair enough if you thought it was shit, but explain why you came to that conclusion.

Oh, I thought he was agreeing with Rizla tbh

Small Man Big Horse

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Re: Bent Coppers: Crossing the Line of Duty
« Reply #20 on: April 29, 2021, 07:35:15 PM »
I've only watched the first two episodes and it's often really fascinating, and seeing London in the seventies is really interesting too, but the amount of repetition really annoys me, as does the overly dramatic narration, so I'm not sure I'll bother with the third episode.

Fambo Number Mive

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Re: Bent Coppers: Crossing the Line of Duty
« Reply #21 on: April 29, 2021, 08:01:33 PM »
I didn't find the narration as annoying on the third episode as I did with the first.

BlodwynPig

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Re: Bent Coppers: Crossing the Line of Duty
« Reply #22 on: April 29, 2021, 08:04:06 PM »
What did you specifically think of the programme? Don't just snark. Fair enough if you thought it was shit, but explain why you came to that conclusion.

Half way through the first episode. It's content is interesting but its presentation feels a bit cliched as Rizla eloquently pointed out. Look, no offence, I know your uncle produced it and he's done good stuff before.

BlodwynPig

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Re: Bent Coppers: Crossing the Line of Duty
« Reply #23 on: April 29, 2021, 08:05:45 PM »
I've only watched the first two episodes and it's often really fascinating, and seeing London in the seventies is really interesting too, but the amount of repetition really annoys me, as does the overly dramatic narration, so I'm not sure I'll bother with the third episode.

Looks like Gillingham, the distinct lack of tall buildings apart from BT tower and St. Pauls.


Ballad of Ballard Berkley

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Re: Bent Coppers: Crossing the Line of Duty
« Reply #24 on: April 29, 2021, 08:12:26 PM »
Half way through the first episode. It's content is interesting but its presentation feels a bit cliched as Rizla eloquently pointed out. Look, no offence, I know your uncle produced it and he's done good stuff before.

Yes, my non-existent uncle the BBC producer. You're such a tedious fucking tentacle. No offence.

I really shouldn't bother, I know.

Re: Bent Coppers: Crossing the Line of Duty
« Reply #25 on: April 29, 2021, 09:02:34 PM »
I thought it really waned in the final episode, after a promising start.

They really eked out what material they had with a lot of silence and animation where there should have been exposition and interviews. I mean, how many angles do I need to see Godalming Police Station from, fascinating example of brutalism though it is? And why didn't they even say that Operation Countryman moved out to Godalming because Met officers were tampering with their records and evidence at Camberwell Nick? I had the feeling that, because only one copper had ever been prosecuted, they couldn't really say anything about the others that hadn't been brought to book.

It's a shame, because I enjoyed the presentation, in that I thought it was going to be ironic 'Life On Mars' juxtaposition to the actual events, and that coppers weren't cuddly just-the-wrong-side-of-the-line Gene Hunts. But it seems they just decided to isolate the part of the ongoing corruption story they thought looked the 'coolest', and consequently avoid dealing with anything nearer to the present that might possibly be difficult to get the people involved talking about.

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