Called Wolcott the miniseries was ground-breaking for being the the first British TV show to feature a black actor in a leading role.
Rik Mayall starred in one of his first roles as the virulently racist PC Bonham.
The series was nearly wiped from TV history, when Rik Mayall’s untimely death last year brought it back to the fore when one of the writers of the series (Patrick Carroll) wrote the following to the Guardian:
“My abiding recollection of Rik Mayall is of his straight-acting turn as the virulently racist PC Bonham opposite George Harris as the black DC Wolcott in the 1981 ITV police drama serial of the latter name. Other cameos by Comedy Store alumni in that opus included Alexei Sayle as a Socialist Worker party-type street orator being heckled by a National Front yob in the person of Keith Allen. Although Wolcott – the first UK production to be broadcast in the mini-series format – has been rather airbrushed from the history of British television, I tend to remember it because, with Barry Wasserman, I co-wrote it.”
The letter caused a clamour of fans of the actor to demand it’s DVD release and now the series is being made available on release for the first time courtesy of Network DVD who currently have a 40% off discount sale on many other Rik Mayall releases.