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Heartbeat: The Complete First Series

Heartbeat - The Complete First SeriesA Sixties treat filmed in the Nineties,
  Heartbeat: The Complete First Series
  takes you back to the days when
  everything was fab and swinging and
  for the young it was the best time
  to be alive

A WONDERFUL CORNUCOPIA OF NOSTALGIA with steam trains, classic cars, unforgettable music and everyone out to have fun, Heartbeat takes you back to the Swinging Sixties where everything was fresh and new and the world was full of colourful characters.

Winning several prestigious television awards, including Best Performing Peak-Time Drama in 1999 (beating Coronation Street) and a number of ITV Programme of the Year awards, Heartbeat attracted a peak audience of 14 million and spawned a highly-successful spin-off, The Royal.

With authentic music from the Sixties, bringing back such notable songs as Do You Love Me (Now That I Can Dance); All Day And All Of The Night; Twist And Shout; The House Of The Rising Sun; She's Not There; Living In The Past; Keep On Running; I'm Into Something Good; Whiter Shade Of Pale and Catch The Wind, this wonderful series includes the music of The Searchers, The Shadows, The Dave Clark Five, Herman's Hermits; The Kinks, The Beatles and Donovan and also features the signature tune Heartbeat, which was a Top Ten hit single for actor Nick Berry.

An enduringly-popular drama that interweaves crime and medical storylines, Heartbeat has earned itself a devoted following, remaining prime-time viewing world-wide. The series is set in the fictional North Yorkshire village of Aidensfield and was filmed on Goathland. The first series stars Nick Berry as PC Nick Rowan and Niamh Cusack as his wife, Dr Kate Roan.

Devised by Johnny Byrne and Derived from the Constable books by Nicholas Rhea, Heartbeat captures the period with great authenticity and poignancy. The nostalgic television drama ran for eighteen series from 1992 to 2009 and became the staple Sunday-night viewing for many British households.

Coming to DVD for the first time, Heartbeat: The Complete First Series follows the lives of Nick and Kate and the villagers of Aidensfield — including main characters Sergeant Blaketon (Derek Fowlds); Dr Alex Ferrenby (Frank Middlemass) and Claude-Jeremiah Greengrass (Bill Maynard) along with regulars PC Al Ventress (William Simons), PC Phil Bellamy (Mark Jordan) and George Ward (Stuart Golland), the landlord of the Aidensfield Arms.

The first series of ten episodes kicks off with Johnny Byrne's Changing Places in which Kate and Nick leave London to find a very different Aidensfield. Nick is thrown in at the deep end, dealing with trouble between local lads and those from Ashfordly, animal worrying by Greengrass's dog and spinster Georgina Fraser (Rosemary McHale) reporting a prowler; all while having to contend with the inflexible Sergeant Blaketon. Kate is called to the early arrival of a baby to the Maskells (Eileen O'Brien and Barrie Rutter) and this gives rise to discussions about the birth control breakthrough of the day: The Pill.

Things hot up for the unflappable Nick as he solves the mysteries of a missing husband, a flasher, sheep rustling, a shopkeeper who may have an unhealthy interest in young boys, the theft of a cashbox from the church and a murder. But there is some friction between Nick and Kate, who will need to decide exactly what they want from their lives.

One episode about a Ban The Bomb demonstration features John Duttine as Paul Melthorn, the "darling of the ban the bomb movement", and Philip Glenister as Julian Cantley, who accuses Nick of police brutality. In another, the magnificent Eleanor Bron plays Maria Lazlos, who arrives with her two sons and her dying husband Joseph (Roy Boyd) in a caravan, causing friction in the village. Also appearing is the wonderful Jean Anderson playing the mother of a woman who is accused of murdering her husband and Nick Moran as hippy musician Rick Parker. Watch out for the antics of the officious cleaner at the police station, the unstoppable Mrs Parkin (a terrific and very funny Shirley Stelfox).

In the final episode of the first series, Nick is offered a job back with the Metropolitan Police. But will he decide to return to London or has he put down roots in Aidensfield? Heartbeat is a fascinating and clever idea that is brilliantly executed. Anyone fancy Living In The Past? [Jethro Tull, 1969 — Ed].

Costume Designer is Brian Castle; Heartbeat Song Performed by Nick Berry; Producer is Stuart Doughty; Directors include: Roger Cheveley, Tim Dowd, Ken Horn and Gavin Theoditis. Writers include: David Lane, Brian Finch and Peter Barwood.

The Complete First Series of the multiple-award-winning ITV Yorkshire Police drama Heartbeat will be available for the first time on DVD courtesy of Network DVD in a three-disc set on 27 September 2010. RRP: 24.99 | Running Time: 500 Minutes approx | Catalogue Number: 7953357.

Disc One: Changing Places | Fruits of the Earth | Rumours. Disc Two: Playing with Fire | Nowt But a Prank | Old, New, Borrowed, Blue. Disc Three: Face Value | Outsiders | Primal Instinct | Keep On Running.

"Heartbeat is a fascinating and clever idea that is brilliantly executed. Anyone fancy Living In The Past?" — Maggie Woods, MotorBar