WPC 56, BBC1, with Jennie Jacques

WPC 56, BBC1, Desk Sgt Peter Pratt (GERARD HORAN), Cathy Sinclair (JUSTINE MICHELLE CAIN), PC Eddie Coulson (CHRIS OVERTON), WPC Gina Dawson (JENNIE JACQUES), DI Jack Burns (KIERAN BEW), Sgt Sidney Fenton (CHARLIE DE'ATH), Chief Insp Nelson (JOHN LIGHT)
Gina Dawson (Jennie Jacques, front) joins the team. Pic: BBC

BBC1 has a new daytime drama running every weekday next week (2.15pm, from Monday, 18 March). WPC 56 follows Gina Dawson, played by Jennie Jacques, the new face starting work as a policewoman in a fictional, 1950s Midlands constabulary. The all-male police team are patronising, but also a little unsure of this novel phenomenon – the WPC. Expect sexism, corruption and racism in a drama offering an unsentimental glance at an era often associated with the comfy Dixon of Dock Green depiction. The Beeb is unleashing the series with very little ballyhoo or publicity material, so you’ll just have to watch it to discover whether it’s any good. Judgments welcome below…

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  1. Just watched the first episode of this 5 parter and was impressed by the quality of the production, acting and writing. A mostly young cast did really well with the material. The 1950’s setting looked authentic, and there are two intriging crime stories running alongside each other; a child’s remains found in an abandoned mine and a serial attacker preying on young women. Although there was a lot of grit in the serious storylines featuring sexism and racism, there were also a lot of good laughs, which probably is a good representation of life as a copper in those days.

  2. its a good series would like to see more than 5 episodes tho and it deserves prime time viewing as good as call the midwife and the indian doctor in content would love to see more of this quality viewing

  3. love this prog, should have a better prime time slot. A lot better than any other rubbish bought in from abroad.more please

    • also love it!! far much better than the series, which are on programme here in germany. looking forward for more of this and the next crime/drama to come on bbc.

  4. Can’t believe the BBC didn’t have enough faith in this programme to advertise it! I found it purely by chance and thoroughly enjoyed it. It is,as someone else said, just as good as Call The Midwife etc , if in a slightly different way. The cast is good although Fenton could stop curling his lip every time he looks at, or speaks to Gina! No-one could be THAT nasty – could they??
    PLEASE make more, and put it on in the evenings so everyone can enjoy it.

  5. Loved it….would be perfect Sunday night viewing……hope they make some more. Cannot understand how it’s been given such an awful time slot!

  6. What a good surprise programme!! Found it by chance as I live abroad. Hope there will be more than just 5 episodes. Well done.

  7. I joined the Police in 1952 and on my first day I was told by the Chief Constable that I was not to fraternize with the Policewomen! They had their own department and you couldn’t fault their efficiency.

    No one in my force would have dared to ‘rubber stamp’ a policewoman. Sadly some Sergeants were just like Fenton but fortunately they were few and far between.

  8. Now this is what makes our TV license value for money.. especialy when Jennie Jacques plays the leading character, prime time for family viewing would be appreciated

  9. What a shame it’s on weekday afternoons rather than Sunday night. Ripper Street was great – but wait, could that be because it was about gritty male policemen rather than a female fighting to be recognised as a ‘real’ copper? Shame on you BBC!

  10. Just watched all the episodes back to back on iplayer – excellent series why oh why didn’t the BBC advertise it?
    Agree with Wirral Blue evening time slot required!