You’re nicked

Investigating British television police series

Author: Ben Lamb

You’re nicked is a genre study of police series produced by UK television from 1955 to the 2010s. It considers how the relationship among production practices, visual stylistics, and resultant ideology has evolved over the past sixty years, and how this has had an impact on changing cultural definitions of the police series genre.

To chart the development of the genre each chapter focuses on a particular decade to examine how key series represent the changes that gendered identities and social-class demographics were experiencing economically, socially, and politically in light of the disassembly of the postwar settlement. Depictions of the police station, domestic scenes of criminals, and the private lives of police officials are examined to unearth the complex ideology underpinning each series and to determine how the police series genre can be used to document socio-economic changes to British society.

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‘…this is the first television studies work to include all six decades of the television police series and the exhaustive scope of the monograph is just one of several outstanding features.’
The British Journal of Criminology
May 2020

‘‘The way in which Lamb links representations of crime to criminological theory could be a valuable resource to anyone teaching courses on media and crime, as a means of exploring with students how criminological theory is not only produced in the academy, but also through popular culture.’’
Marianne Colbran
The Howard Journal of Crime and Justice

‘‘You’re nicked could be used either as the core textbook for a module on UK police drama or as the source of further readings on any television histories course.’’
Richard Hewett
Critical Studies in Television

‘‘Its perspective is generally innovative, and it covers a lot of ground in writing a genre history that simply did not exist before.’’
Mareike Jenner
New Review of Film and Television Studies

‘‘Lamb’s account is insightful and engaging, providing an invaluable contribution to our understanding of this most significant of television genres and its connection to the wider landscape of British socio-political history.’’
Joseph Oldham
Historical Journal of Film, Radio and Television

‘‘One could not hope for a more comprehensive treatment of the subject.’’
Rafe McGregor
British Journal of Criminology

‘‘The book manages to cover a huge amount of ground, in detail, and with reference to a repertoire of relevant series and iconography, to offer an insightful commentary on political and social change in the United Kingdom.’’
Michelle Addison
Journal of Popular Television

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