You know, I recently sat back in front of the screen and watched the few surviving episodes of Dixon of Dock Green… Some 22 episodes from 1973 to 1976, and I guess, I felt that these had stood up well to that Test of Time. The series started in 1956 featuring Jack Warner and Peter Byrne, in Ted Childs BBC productions. I found the story lines were still very strong, offering not too differing and absorbing scenarios that have appeared and been applauded in latter years.
I guess, these episodes would have been shown early on Saturday evenings, as far as I can recall. My parents and I would sit and watch the opening introduction from a uniformed Sargent Dixon and with his opening invitation of “Good Evening all” and raised salute.
These were comfortable family shows, and you knew the villains would get their come-upence at the end. The series was based on an earlier full length Cinema feature entitled “The Blue Lamp” featuring Jack Warner, for the first time, as ‘Dixon’ and yet, it’s rather sad that non of the founding early black and white TV shows were saved for posterity, then, who really had a crystal ball. As a young man in those days of early TV colour productions with the BBC opting for the German PAL system, I can clearly remember the immense popularity of the series. By 1976, I guess, it was time for ‘Dixon’ to hang up his helmet, just perhaps, by now, he was a bit long in the tooth. Now… It’s happy memories and something to take to bed, with a glass of Scotland’s finest. “Goodnight All” …’Goodnight George’ was our chorused response.