Just like watching the detectives don’t get cute, just like watching the detectives, I get so angry when the teardrops start, But he can’t be wounded ’cause he got no heart. – Elvis Costello, Watching the Detectives
And with apologies to the Poet Laureate of New Wave.
But it’s not the bespectacled one but the new run of Line of Duty, shot in Belfast, which has got me thinking.
About my favourite detectives in the cities they are associated with.
So here are seven deadly detective shows, their music and their cities.
Van’s the man
Can I be trusted on a bike? In Amsterdam
Van der Valk, Amsterdam: So good they kept a sample of the Simon Park Orchestra’s original score ‘Eye Level’ for the reworking of the original series.
And even then purists lambasted the modern version and Marc Warren’s ‘Piet’ as opposed to Barry Foster’s.
And don’t you just love the cluttered narrow bars they all drink in.
Hutch more New York
Starsky & Hutch, New York: Starsky & Hutch was the breakthrough police show for young people more used to oldie cops.
Good, yes, like the lollipop-sucking Theo Kojak. And, yes, we loved you, baby, too!
As did the Stiller and Wilson remake with Snoop Dogg as Huggy Bear captured the excitement and warmth and music of the original.
Glasgow is No Mean City
Taggart, Glasgow: And who would have thought they could have made grey post-industrial Glasgow cool in the Eighties?
But they did and you knew you were in for something different when the credits rolled.
And Maggie Bell gave us a smoky, bluesy No Mean City, a homage to a gangster novel about Twenties Gorbals Glasgow.
London, you’re nicked
The Sweeney: Regan and Carter were the Line of Duty of their day, the water-cooler show before water coolers.
Again another they made a remake of, with only Ray Winstone able to reprise John Thaw, while Plan B took on Dennis Waterman.
The Winstone opening scene had a car chase around Trafalgar Square while Thaw’s played out more on wasteland.
Maigret, Paris: And it was always going to require us to make a shift to see Mr Bean as Monsieur Maigret.
Mais oui, Rowan Atkinson pulled it off, with that brooding sense of contemptuous arrogance we so love about Parisians.
And who doesn’t love an accordion?
Naturellement, you would want to show off the City of Lights if you set your show here.
Which is why it was shot in Budapest with Szentendre doubling for the Montmartre.
Across the Channel
Bergerac, Jersey: And a little bit of sun came into our lives in the Eighties.
In the only part of the UK where they get sun… in Jersey, on the doorstep of France.
As none of us can identify a Jersey site from a Jersey cow then their first image was a map of the island.
Before we get action clips of dunes and John Nettles running after high-end crooks.
Old at the time, Johnnie then retired to Midsomer.
Nylon Pool, Tobago
Death in Paradise, Guadeloupe: No mon, it’s not Saint Marie, but Guadeloupe.
It lies halfway down the eastern Caribbean chain between Dominica and Antigua.
And it has some of the features you’d expect in a West Indian island, a volcano, sandy beaches obvs and a rainforest.
All good and varied locales for misdemeanour and murder.
And all set against an uplifting score and, if you know your stuff, homages to the film The Harder They Come.
So to cheer your day up here’s some Jimmy Cliff ‘You Can Get It If You Really Want‘.