BBC and Scheduling

Good Cop – the BBC drama with Warren Brown as John Paul RockSavage, the Liverpudlian copper who has taken it upon himself to avenge the murder of his police partner – has disappeared from the schedules. The last episode was due to be aired a couple of Thursdays ago, but was pulled as that same day two policewomen were shot in Manchester. Apparently, real life should not be reflected in fictional life as peoples’ sensibilities are affected.

This has happened many times before, when there have been child abductions or murders in real life news and dramas being shown on tv that have similar stories. For some reason, we’re not allowed to watch these kind of harrowing dramas at that time because they upset our sensibilities, but on any other day we can watch dramas about police murders and child abductions and we’re ok?

I kind of get why the schedulers pull these programmes off the telly. They’re worried about complaints to ofcom. But really how can you complain? The writers, producers, actors and directors etc didn’t produce these programmes to upset audiences or people who might be living through events which are remarkably similar. It’s fiction. People like crime dramas and horror movies – it doesn’t mean that they like murders and deaths in real life – or does it? There’s a wider question about whether there is a public appetite for gory details about crimes, or that we’re becoming desensitised to real-life crimes because we’ve seen them all on tv. But, for now, show the end of a four-part drama and don’t just pull it off the schedules for ever!

So there’s no indication from the BBC when they will show the final episode of ‘Good Cop’. This Thursday they’re started a new serial drama for the next 6 weeks, so it’s not going to be on a Thursday for a while, unless they show it on another day. But then it’s already been 3 weeks since the penultimate episode. The tension has been lost. Audiences aren’t going to remember what happened. So are they going to show the whole series all over again? Or relegate it to BBC Three or BBC Four. Or will they just never show it – or show it in two years time? Whatever, the result, though I have sympathy with the people affected in Manchester a few weeks ago, I don’t think that should mean that I don’t find out what happens to John Paul Rocksavage. Do his colleagues find out about the murders he committed? Does he get reunited with his daughter? Does his father find out? Does anyone get any justice? Answers needed, but not forthcoming right now.

*UPDATE*:  The last episode of Good Cop will be shown on Saturday 13 October at 10.30pm

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