Out of the Blue is a British police drama television series, set and filmed in Sheffield. It was first aired by the BBC over two series in 1995 and 1996. It was described by series script editor Claire Elliot as "contemporary, gritty, urban reality".
Shot on film, its tight script, fast-paced direction and strong cast made for powerful and compulsive viewing. The program gained great reviews but low ratings. Viewers at the time seemed uncomfortable with the hand-held camera work and bleak Yorkshire backdrop. This was no 'Heartbeat', but instead Brazen Gate Police Station was an over-stretched service dealing with the dregs of society. More of an ensemble piece than a star vehicle because writers Bill Gallagher and Peter Bowker were more interested in character development over plot. However the series did not shy away from strong topics including male rape and euthanasia. John Hannah, fresh from the success of Four Weddings and a Funeral, was the most well known face in the show and his character DS Frankie Driscoll was regarded as a tough thief taker who finds his career threatened when he suffers a mild stroke in which battle to hid from his fellow officers. The light relief came from the excellent Neil Dudgeon who as DC Marty Brazil became more and more angry as each week passed as his disillusionment set in. In the second season David Morrissey came in for Hannah before Out of the Blue ended its run.
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