Reaching A Verdict

What a privilege it was to have Edward Kellett’s reviews on The Billaton for a time. From reading his very first piece of work we knew that we wouldn’t be able to keep his talent for long on our little website. The sheer quality of Edward’s writing quite rightly needed to be shared with a larger audience. In Reaching A Verdict, Reviewing The Bill 1983-1989 Edward’s writing has evolved from a thoroughly interesting review of The Bill into a masterpiece.

In this book, The Bill is not seen as a stand-alone police drama. It is put into context, Edward investigates the impact of other police dramas and the role of the Metropolitan Police and changes in legislation.  Not only does this book examine characters and their development in forensic detail, but also writing styles, directors and studio layouts. This in-depth analysis of The Bill of the 1980s is packed so full of information, I have discovered that, myself, a life long fan of The Bill knew so little before reading this. I feel that not only have I learnt more about The Bill in this era, but I have a better understanding of the show’s later years too. Now I have finished reading Reaching A Verdict I want to go back and watch The Bill all over again! Whether you are a fan of The Bill or just have a loose interest in 1980s television, this comprehensive book will fulfil all of your reading needs.

Our Verdict: Stop reading the reviews of this wonderful book, head over to Devonfire books and treat yourself to a copy.

Here is a little more about the book:


In 1983, Geoff McQueen created a pilot for a series that would become a phenomenon. Now on the 40th anniversary of “Woodentop”, REACHING A VERDICT presents an insightful, thorough and fascinating analysis of THE BILL in the 1980s; the groundbreaking programme that held a mirror up to society and changed the landscape of British television forever.

By revisiting all 188 episodes broadcast in the 1980s, our very own Edward Kellett has gained new appreciation for the qualities of “The Bill”, which he considers to be “the single best storytelling format in the history of television” In this book, he explains why as he assesses the scripts, themes, characters, performances, settings, direction, and the social context of the 1980s. This book will leave the reader wanting to rewatch all these episodes again and appreciate them in a completely new way.

Based on the reviews published on the hugely popular The Billaton website, Edward’s celebrated and brilliantly observed reviews have been completely reworked and greatly expanded to create this highly enjoyable 270-page academic investigation into how the series began life as a partially studio-bound pilot, and evolved into the innovative bi-weekly ratings smash that presented an ideal blend of action extravaganzas, chamber pieces, knockabout comedy and exercises in mood that ensured “The Bill” was, is, and always will be, Top of the Cops.