The 1990s
Transitioning from film to digital
in You’re nicked
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This chapter examines Prime Suspect (ITV, 1991–2006), A Touch of Frost (ITV, 1992–2010), and Cracker (ITV, 1993–2006). Each programme utilises the visual iconography of the horror film to capture a rising dissatisfaction with the criminal justice system’s continued adoption of rational-actor policy. Then, the chapter explores how each series uses horror-film stylistics to depict perceived threats to society, including the underclass of Prime Suspect, middle-class femininity in Frost, and Cracker’s working-class ‘masculinity in crisis’. Lastly, an examination of The Cops (BBC, 1998–2001) determines how digital, handheld cameras combine docudrama’s emotional realism with the ‘horizontality’ of contemporary social realism to embody the precariousness and existentialism of Anthony Giddens’s ‘new individualism’, whilst critiquing New Labour’s adoption of ‘left realism’ criminology.

You’re nicked

Investigating British television police series


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