Here, in chronological order, are some of our best moments from classic ITV period drama Heartbeat…
Series II Episode 7 “Talent For Deception”
Bellamy organised a talent show on behalf of his football team, and Gina raised the roof with an unforgettable rendition of Shout.
Just The Two Of Us
Series V Episode 3 “Thief In The Night”
Few people will forget this tragic Heartbeat. After the birth of their daughter, Kate and Nick were out for the day when Kate suddenly started to feel ill. It was the onset of pneumonia. Ignoring doctors’ advice to go into hospital, she insisted on staying at home and died peacefully in her sleep. In his grief, Nick struck out at nurse Maggie Bolton at the wake. The close of the episode saw him return with his baby daughter to the spot where he and Kate spent their last day together. He decided to call the baby Katie.
Series VI Episode 1 “Kids”
Greengrass’s new job as school lollipop man was put into jeopardy by a pompous motorist.
Series VI Episode 17 “Charity Begins At Home”
A heavy snowfall in Aidensfield left teacher Jo Weston stranded at her cottage with Nick. They heard a plane crash outside and went out and rescued a heavily pregnant woman from the wreckage. After helping her through the snow, she ended up giving birth in a run-down barn. But Nick discovered that her husband was actually a wanted man who scarpered from the plane wreck when he saw Nick approaching in uniform! Finally, the crook was apprehended and medical help arrived for the newly born baby and its mother.
In The Dog House
Series IX Episode 14 “Full Circle”
Alfred faced a lengthy stretch when Ventress impounded him and some fellow lurchers after a council apparatchik was bitten by one of the dogs. However, the ever-resourceful Greengrass managed to get them off.
Series X Episode 24 “Still Water”
When Mike told Jackie he had booked them a holiday, she finally admitted she has been having an affair with Adrian. Mike was completely devastated when Jackie then tells him that their marriage was over.
Gottle O’ Geer!
Series XI Episode 22 “A Class Act”
David was over the moon after he inherited a ventriloquist’s dummy, but Vernon managed to run it over in his truck. The mistake left Vernon obliged to stand in for the dummy as entertainment at a kid’s party that David had planned – so Vernon is forced to dress up as a clown!
Series XII Episode 10 “Horses For Courses”
Tricia went to a dinner party at Ashfordly Hall after Mike failed to confirm his feelings for her, and she subsequently went on a date with Doyle whom she met that night. Doyle trains racehorses and invites Tricia to ride them. Mike is watching the stables when he realises a theft is to take place and Doyle is the ringleader. He shouts a warning to Tricia who has just returned from riding. Tricia tries to lead the racehorse to safety but her own horse bolts and she falls to her death.
Series XIII Episode 15 “Daniel”
In a particularly moving episode, Gina and Bellamy’s baby was born prematurely and tragically dies. The couple are devastated, and the damage to their relationship proved to be irreparable….
Beyond The Call Of Duty
Series XIII Episode 25 “Little Angels”
Ashfordly Police were called to the scene after a small girl was abducted by her father in the heat of a custody battle. A brave PC Crane stepped in to save the child as she was about to fall from a bridge – and in doing so he plunges to his death.
Kick-Ass TV Heroines: Xena – Warrior Princess
What was not to love about Xena? As Lucy Lawless says: “Xena is a bad-ass, kick-ass, pre-Mycenaean girl.” Evildoers, clearly, must stand down, but not only bad guys (and girls) have Xena-phobia. Even heroes quake when she swings her broadsword.
Originally created as a syndicated complement to Kevin Sorbo’s Hercules: The Legendary Journeys, Xena pretty much kicked Herc to the curb. It was like when the Bionic Woman made us lose interest in the Six Million Dollar Man–only more so.
Unlike Lindsay Wagner’s early half-woman, half-machine, Xena wasn’t prone to frailty. Nor did she need robot parts. In fact, the Warrior Princess never lost. If she’s down, it’s not for long.
Plus, she was in touch with the dark side: This big-boned bruiser had definite moments of blood lust, as well as lust of some other varieties. Garbed in a leather miniskirt and armed with her trademark razor-edged, boomerang-action chakram, we watched Xena single-leggedly kick down entire platoons of Roman soldiers.
Sure, there were murmurings about Xena and her softer female sidekick, Gabrielle (actress Renée O’Connor). So what if they liked to conserve bathwater by doubling up? And what’s wrong with close friends frenching once in a while?
Then again, maybe it was true–and there’s anything wrong with that.
Actress: Lucy Lawless
Show: Xena: Warrior Princess
Classic TV Revisited: McMillan And Wife
Starring Rock Hudson and Susan Saint James, McMillan and Wife was a super cute crime-solving saga from the 1970s made for the NBC’s Mystery Movie series.
Who were they?
Hubby was the debonair San Francisco police commissioner Stewart McMillan.
Sally was a foxy, rather scatterbrained dame with a knack for finding corpses.
Worked down the morgue did she?
Hardly. Sally’s finds were usually in some glitzy mansion which the couple were frequenting for a weekend cocktail party. She also had a habit of getting her life threatened or being kidnapped.
Who was in it?
Tragic Hollywood star Rock Hudson no less. He took on Stewart McMillan in his first TV role, after years as a matinee idol with movies such as Giant.
Fans of the lantern-jawed star were dismayed when he went public about having Aids. He had long kept his homosexuality secret. He carried on working in ’80s glam drama Dynasty, but make-up could not disguise the deterioration of this once-statuesque man. He died in 1985, aged 59.
What about Sally?
That role fell to raven-locked Susan Saint James. The Ali MacGraw lookalike was previously in shows such as Alias Smith And Jones and The Name of the Game.
A vital ingredient to McMillan And Wife was sharp-tongued housekeeper Mildred, played by Nancy Walker. Somebody needed to keep the place tidy while they gallivanted about solving crime.
Famous guest stars?
The couple’s conception?
Like Hart To Hart, the idea was borrowed from Dashiell Hammett’s Thin Man books of the ’30s.
Gritty crime drama?
Hardly. These were cosy whodunnit cases, where the brutality of murder was never portrayed. The show was more about the interplay between McMillan and Sally.
Had viewers arrested?
Certainly in the US. It was the fifth highest-rated show in 1972 and 1973.
Fate of the golden couple?
Susan Saint James quit in 1976 over a contractual dispute. Nancy Walker also packed away her duster as housekeeper Mildred.
The dame’s exit was a fatal blow?
Certainly for the character of Sally – she was killed off in a plane crash. But Rock soldiered on with new assistant Sgt Steve DiMaggio (Richard Gilliland). The show became McMillan.
Audiences dwindled and the plug was pulled.
Cosy pillow talk, cocktail parties, Rock Hudson, pyjamas and numerous corpses.
Let’s go to bed. Turn the light out, darling.
Must you eat toast in bed, darling. Apologies, but I’ve got terrible flatulence. Separate bedrooms.
Not to be confused with
My Wife Next Door, Harold Macmillan, The Merry Wives Of Windsor and Mr And Mrs.
Classic TV Revisited: The Royal
The Royal was an ITV drama commission and was inspired by its sister programme Heartbeat.
The lowdown: This nostalgic family drama is set in the swinging 1960s and centres on the staff of a cottage hospital in Yorkshire. Newly qualified doctor David Cheriton (Julian Ovenden) is determined to make a difference to the world and arrives at St Aidan’s Royal Free Hospital in Elinsby full of big ideas. But he clashes with the hospital’s secretary TJ Middleditch (Ian Carmichael) who is determined to run things his way. Then there is the Matron (Wendy Craig) who rules her nurses with a rod of iron and tries in vain to stop them being distracted by the handsome arrival.
Memorable moments: Watch out for former Heartbeat favourite Bill Maynard who crosses dramas and continents as Claude Jeremiah Greengrass. Greengrass has returned from a Caribbean holiday with a mystery illness but that doesn’t stop him trying to earn a fast buck. It doesn’t take long before Claude attracts Matron’s ire.
Trivia: The Royal is a family affair for real life husband and wife Robert Daws (Ormerod) and Amy Robbins (Weatherill). No fewer than seven members of their clan have appeared in the series including their daughters and stepson.
Michelle Hardwick, who played receptionist Lizzie, says her favourite moment in the whole series didn’t come on screen but in the actors’ green room. She says: “I was sitting in there with Wendy Craig and Honor Blackman and we were having a lovely conversation. I sat back and thought ‘Wow, this is great, I can’t wait to tell my gran’.”
A modern day set version called The Royal Today aired 7 January – 14 March 2008.
First broadcast: 2003
Starred: Wendy Craig, Ian Carmichael, Michael Starke, Robert Daws and Julian Ovenden
THIS JUST IN
California Split (Columbia 1974, Elliott Gould, George Segal)
California Split is a movie about the adventures of two card players, and it stars two of 70s-era Hollywood’s most...
China Moon (1994, Ed Harris, Madeleine Stowe)
A top notch cast raises the temperature of tight, modern noir China Moon in which homicide detective ED HARRIS becomes...
More to View
TV3 months ago
My Christmas Prince (Lifetime 2017, Alexis Knapp, Callum Alexander)
Previews3 months ago
How To Spend It Well At Christmas With Phillip Schofield Episode 2 (ITV 5 Dec 2017)
Previews1 month ago
Father Brown: The Dance of Death (BBC-1 9 Jan 2018, with Diana Kent)
Previews2 months ago
Father Brown: The Angel of Mercy (BBC-1 4 Jan 2018, with Wanda Ventham)
Previews3 months ago
Great Canal Journeys: Portugal Premieres Thurs 30 Nov on Channel 4
TV2 months ago
Runaway Christmas Bride (ION 2017, Cindy Busny, Travis Milne)
Previews2 months ago
Spy School Series Premiere Sun 7 Jan on CITV
Previews2 months ago
Extraordinary Teens: Young, Gifted And Broke – Shane Thomas airs Tues 19 Dec on Channel 4