Dial 999

1958 | United Kingdom, United States

Billed as the British equivalent to Highway Patrol, Dial 999 was an above standard cops n' robbers thriller starring Canadian actor Robert Beatty as Detective Inspector Michael McGuire. What set this show aside from the standard police series format was that it was made with the cooperation of Scotland Yard, and threw a spotlight on real police methods of the time. Advisor to the series was an ex-Superintendent by the name of Tom Fallon -in fact the very man who had been responsible for setting up the 999 emergency call service for the London area. The series centred around McGuire, a "Mountie" who had been seconded on temporary assignment to "The Yard" to study advanced crime detection techniques. He was assisted by Detective Inspector Winter (Duncan Lamont) and Detective Sergeant West (John Witty). 

This Anglo/American venture was co-produced by ATV and Ziv Television Programmes in America, where it received its first airing. A number of scenes were shot at Elstree Studios, but the show's large budget ($1.2 million) allowed for extensive location scenes in the streets of London and of many provincial cities.

Published on December 7th, 2018. Written by Laurence Marcus for Television Heaven.