This chapter explores how Juliet Bravo (BBC, 1980–1985), The Gentle Touch (ITV, 1980–1984), and The Bill (ITV, 1984–2010) use video cameras and the rhetoric of melodrama to negotiate the disconnect thought to exist between the British police force’s increasingly militaristic practices and the public’s favouring of community policing. The analysis considers how each series interacts with contemporary rational-actor models of criminology in relation to this socio-political disparity. Moreover, the chapter determines how each series intervenes in debates surrounding class identity and gender roles in relation to Thatcherism: the political philosophy committed to reasserting Victorian values and displacing the responsibilities of the State on to individuals to decrease Government spending.
This introduction presents an overview of the key concepts discussed in the subsequent chapters of this book. The book considers memory as a specific framework for the study of popular film, intervening in growing debates about the status and function of memory in cultural life and discourse. It examines the relationship between official and popular history and the constitution of memory narratives in and around the production and consumption of American cinema. The book explores the political stakes of cinematic discourse in its production of national memory. It also examines the discursive and institutional apparatus that has come to support the memory of Classic Hollywood in British cultural life. The book also considers both the presence of music and colour in nostalgia films of the 1990s and the impact of digital and video technologies on the representational determinants of mediated memory.