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  1. #1
    Senior Member Country: England jaycad's Avatar
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    whilst watching 'the rivals of sherlock holmes' last night,it struck me that,apart from the odd inspector such as 'cribb',the victorian police force are generally depicted as bumbling,incompitent buffoons! no doubt this reputation stems from the 'jack the ripper' case-which just happens to be the first big murder hunt covered by the gutter press! considering that there was no forensic evidence and fingerprinting was in it's infancy,i imagine the actual 'detective' skills of the officers were at least as good as those of the modern policeman.

    i honestly can't think of any film or tv in which the victorian police force are given any credit or where they are not assisted by a hero amateur detective!

    does anyone know any examples to the contrary?

  2. #2
    Super Moderator Country: UK batman's Avatar
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    Cribb (link: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0080208/)



    Jack the Ripper (Michael Caine version) (link: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0095388/)



    In Cribb the main character, Sgt Cribb, is a Victorian policeman who is very competent at his job. In Jack The Ripper Insp Abberline and Sgt Godley are shown to be capable detectives.

  3. #3
    Senior Member Country: England jaycad's Avatar
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    name='batman']Cribb

    Jack the Ripper (Michael Caine version)



    In Cribb the main character, Sgt Cribb, is a Victorian policeman who is very competent at his job. In Jack The Ripper Insp Abberline and Sgt Godley are shown to be capable detectives.


    yes,but in both they are surrounded by 'thick beat bobbies' -in 'jack the ripper',apart from michael caine and lewis collins characters,the only other policeman who isn't a brute is the young enthusiastic bobby played by gary love!

  4. #4
    Senior Member Country: UK CaptainWaggett's Avatar
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    There's a long tradition in British literature of the educated classes despising policemen - it goes at least as far back as Much Ado About Nothing and takes in Enid Blyton among others. I don't expect most Victorian writers were any different. IIRC Sergeant Cuff in The Moonstone does a pretty good job though he's hampered by not having the same class background as the family he's investigating and so not winning their confidence. (He's based on the real-life Inspector Whicher who investigated the Constance Kent case)

  5. #5
    Senior Member Country: Europe Bernardo's Avatar
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    name='batman']Cribb (link: "Cribb" (1980))



    Jack the Ripper (Michael Caine version) (link: Jack the Ripper (1988) (TV))



    In Cribb the main character, Sgt Cribb, is a Victorian policeman who is very competent at his job. In Jack The Ripper Insp Abberline and Sgt Godley are shown to be capable detectives.


    Cribb was competant as he got his man but the series did play for laughs and was flippant, he was no Sherlock Holmes was he? Moonstone did it straight though Victorian authors, I suspect, did not perceive policemen, a quite recent addition to Victorian life to merit much attention from their pen. There was a Bow Street Runners series on the box recently that what fairly straight, does that count?

  6. #6
    Super Moderator Country: UK batman's Avatar
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    name='Bernardo'] There was a Bow Street Runners series on the box recently that what fairly straight, does that count?


    The excellent City of Vice. I'm still hoping for a 2nd series of that.

  7. #7
    Senior Member Country: Australia wadsy's Avatar
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    Roland Culver as Inspector Martin does a pretty good patient sleuthing job in



    The Late Edwina Black 1951.

  8. #8
    Senior Member Country: UK CaptainWaggett's Avatar
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    name='Bernardo']Cribb was competant as he got his man but the series did play for laughs and was flippant, he was no Sherlock Holmes was he? Moonstone did it straight though Victorian authors, I suspect, did not perceive policemen, a quite recent addition to Victorian life to merit much attention from their pen. There was a Bow Street Runners series on the box recently that what fairly straight, does that count?


    I would disagree about Cribb. There's a lot of humour in the books (the whole point of them is to explore cliches of Victorian everyday life) and the series (which had some excellent new stories written by Peter Lovesey) but Cribb himself is a serious character with excellent deductive abilities and a deadpan sense of humour. The books are great detective stories with all the information presented fairly to the reader. He's no Sherlock Holmes but then he wouldn't want to be - at least one of the books features a Holmes-inspired private detective who is no match for The Law. Cribb does play a huge part in the history of the detective story as he must be one of the first historical detectives to reach a wide audience (yes, I know there were earlier ones but they didn't get their own tv series!)



    City of vice was very good but if the 1750s count as Victorian we should also be including The Blue Lamp since it's actually nearer in time

  9. #9
    Super Moderator Country: Great Britain
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    There are the splendid McLevy stories on Radio Four, with Brian Cox and Siobhan Redmond. There are few comedic moments in these.



    Nick

  10. #10
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    Sergeant Cork was pretty good in the Sixties

  11. #11
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    What about the superb characterisations in "The Phantom Raspberry Blower of Old London Town". Accurate, sensitive, thoroughly convincing depictions of Victorian Bobbies. What more is there to say?

  12. #12
    Senior Member Country: England mallee59's Avatar
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    name='LukeAFB']What about the superb characterisations in "The Phantom Raspberry Blower of Old London Town". Accurate, sensitive, thoroughly convincing depictions of Victorian Bobbies. What more is there to say?


    OI, I want a word with you......



    You stole my quote.....




  13. #13
    Member Country: Australia
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    I've been through Melbourne a few times and have to say that the Victorian police 'are' baffling bafoons..... oh you meant the other victorian police..

  14. #14
    Senior Member Country: UK CaptainWaggett's Avatar
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    This chap got his man (and the lady!)




  15. #15
    Senior Member Country: Europe Bernardo's Avatar
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    name='CaptainWaggett']I would disagree about Cribb. There's a lot of humour in the books (the whole point of them is to explore cliches of Victorian everyday life) and the series (which had some excellent new stories written by Peter Lovesey) but Cribb himself is a serious character with excellent deductive abilities and a deadpan sense of humour. The books are great detective stories with all the information presented fairly to the reader. He's no Sherlock Holmes but then he wouldn't want to be - at least one of the books features a Holmes-inspired private detective who is no match for The Law. Cribb does play a huge part in the history of the detective story as he must be one of the first historical detectives to reach a wide audience (yes, I know there were earlier ones but they didn't get their own tv series!)



    City of vice was very good but if the 1750s count as Victorian we should also be including The Blue Lamp since it's actually nearer in time




    You put it so much better than I.

  16. #16
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    mallee59,



    It's a fair cop...Guv!

  17. #17
    Senior Member Country: United States Lord Lionheart's Avatar
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    name='CaptainWaggett']This chap got his man (and the lady!)





    You beat me to it, the world famous detective sargeant Bung. I have a freind who looks very like Fenella Fielding

  18. #18
    Senior Member Country: England jaycad's Avatar
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    most of the examples so far are a detective or a detective duo rather than the actual police division-usually the bobbies in the background are depicted in a derogatory manner!

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