A critically acclaimed drama series from the early '90s, The Chief shows a police force under change and the friction generated as attempts are made to reform outmoded policies and challenge the often unacceptable conduct of front-line officers.
Tim Pigott-Smith stars as John Stafford, an outspoken and deeply committed officer who has been newly promoted to Chief Constable at Eastland, East Anglia. Not one to shy from difficult decisions, his appointment of the highly capable Anne Stewart as his deputy proves deeply unpopular and exposes some of the more unpleasant institutional attitudes among the ranks. In later series, Stafford moves on and is replaced by Alan Cade (Martin Shaw). While no less capable than his predecessor, Cade finds that the challenge of frontline policing continues to be eclipsed by pressure from both his Home Office superiors and the local government agencies that are increasingly taking over many police roles.
Forthright and, at times, controversial, The Chief does not shy from tackling the ever-mounting challenges of modern policing – be they the consequences of militant student action, vigilante gangs, bombings, extreme activism, witness intimidation, the exploitation of migrant workers, and dealing with death in the line of duty.
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