For those not au fait with this show [maybe outside the UK], it was ‘required’ viewing in 1992 where I came from – everyone I knew was in front of the tele watching when it came on – like a soap but not only:

A few years later, I left for Russia and had my tele stolen – that was the end of TV watching for me, forever. Nick Berry, lead character, moved on in 1998.

Not being an emotional person in the soppy department, it shocked me yesterday when I almost became teary watching the episode above.

Why? Because of the setting – the dry stone walling, the hills, just life there. It’s ok where I am here in the northwest, don’t get me wrong, but there’s just something about what I left behind over there.

And it wasn’t even my Riding. Our family were more around Haworth, Halifax, through to Keighley but somehow the North Riding gets under the guard more, it’s just across the way there. May as well be on Mars.

The more I think about the 90s as well, the more I see now that it was our last hurrah in the west, it then went downhill.

Meanwhile, I’d moved to the east, living it up over there while the country disintegrated here under Blair.

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5 comments for “Heartbeat

  1. I didn’t discover Heartbeat until I was looking after my mum, about 2009. I was instantly hooked. The episodes I saw were post Greengrass and Nick, the ones with that ex Corry actor. It was that era which got to me, the last hurrah for Englishness and England. Similarly with Last of the Summer Wine. My bt box is full of recordings of early LotSW, I can watch them back time and again.

  2. Andy, that timing is highly significant. This post and the one tomorrow morning which also relies heavily on the year it happened.

    In fact, it now makes sense why the episodes you saw were better.

    I’m now going to ruin the mood you see. I’ve just come to the computer to write an update after watching a horrible episode: 04-11, from Nov 13, 1994, and the name of the episode is good advice – Treading Carefully.

    Isn’t it the way these days that the moment we give something praise, it then lets you down? Question is whether to keep shtum and not mention it or whether to mention it and bring the mood down.

    Think you know the answer to that.

    I was looking at the date of episodes and realised the last ones I watched had to be the second series, just before heading for London. Never saw the show again, don’t know why. Until now of course.

    So my memories of it were as yours were of later days when they’d obviously recovered from what happened.


    In the first episode and first series, she who had come from N Yorks came up north, or back home, with hubby who is a Londoner because he’s offered a good job in N Yorks.

    By the end of that series, a London superior offers him a promotion, a job back in London and she’s cut up. ‘I thought you wanted back in London,’ he says to her.

    ‘And you just accepted.’

    ‘No, I said I had to speak with my wife.’

    So she puts on the stroppy, pouty mood and stomps about. Turns out that in London, he saw some corruption, reported the superior, was immediately stomped on from above [shades of 2020]? So he gives her her wish after all, which is to stay there.

    At this point, all the caveats need to be laid out – Niamh Cusack is a great actress, he’s not bad. There are writers writing these things. Because the early episodes were realism as it was seen at the time, they were hugely popular with the young and old, e.g. your mother. And as a great actress, she plays a right bitch very well indeed.

    Important we don’t attack the real life actress herself – you’ll see why further down.

    In series 3, there’s an episode, 03-10, where she’s ok with everything but she gets a phone call from a doctor in Whitby, a short distance away, offering her a job with all mod cons, equipment etc. and she suddenly realises that that’s what she wants for herself, to ‘fulfill herself’ as a doctor. After all, the only purpose of a marriage is for the husband to make the new woman feel fulfilled.

    He of course is stuck where he is, having turned down that London offer. She goes on about how this new doctor treats her as an equal – after all, she’s just as good as any man – and you know how this goes.

    All of series 4 is the slow downwards spiral to the inevitable, when she splits with him and moves in with the doctor.

    Now a word about this doctor – he is much older, his wife died, there are two adolescent children, he doesn’t seem to do anything naughty with her, he’s portrayed as decent – after all, the only thing she wants is to proves she’s as good as any man s a doctor.

    In 04-11, the pathos is laid on where he, alone at home, gets into trouble for unironed shirt, being late, losing the plot, whilst she’s miles away with the doc. And she’s pregnant.

    Now this is where I was not prepared to wade through any more episodes, to find out, so let’s assume the doc has not done the nasty and it is Nick’s child.

    Therefore, their break up or ‘trial separation’ because in a marriage, as she explains, each develops in her own way and can’t be held back [gritting my teeth here] must have occurred in the episode before.

    The good doc tells her to go back and tell her hubby about the baby. She’s furious because, as she said, the last thing she wanted was a baby at this stage, just as her career is really taking off – career being the most important thing in the world to the new woman.

    End of 1994 is this episode.

    So, she does go back and irascibly tells hubby, who is delighted but she’s not. She won’t abort though, even though as she says, she’s all for abortion [it must not interfere with career], but in this case, she just doesn’t want – phew, how lucky for the baby, eh? Sarcasm with a trowel.

    That’s how it ends. One commenter wrote this below [check for yourself]:


    Brendan Wienand
    2 days ago
    What a dreadful woman

    Imdb has this:

    Both Nick and Kate Rowan have difficulty coping with her working in Whitby. He has a hard time dealing with both domestic chores and his police work, while she appreciates being needed and respected as a doctor, but discovers that she is neglecting her patients in Aidensfield. Furthermore she finds it hard to tell Nick that they are having a baby.


    Director: Catherine Morshead
    Writers: Johnny Byrne (devised by), Lizzie Mickery

    OK. Following this, she has the baby but also discovers she has leukemia and she dies. The series resets.

    He eventually meets a schoolteacher, they marry and go to Canada.

    In real life, she was actually married to a hubby she loved, plus she really was pregnant, and so she chose to leave the series. This is why we must look, not at her in real life but at the writers and director who made her that bitch in the series.

    The troubles which were descending upon the west from the late 70s on perhaps were now really starting to bite, with values like this put on a devoted audience of young people and the elderly.

    Wiki on Niamh Cusack:

    Cusack is married to the actor Finbar Lynch. They met when rehearsing in Dublin in the theatre production of Three Sisters in 1990. They have one son, Calam (born 1994) who is an aspiring actor.

    • During the early days of my TV viewing there seemed to be an unwritten rule that wholesomeness was the order of the day. Crime never paid and nasty people got their comeuppance or were redeemed at the end. The family unit was the norm and celebrated. It was around the time you mention, mid nineties, that I started to prejudge programmes. Sleaze was creeping in, criminals became lovable rogues, chat shows were warts and all – I mean all! James Whale had a late night show which was downright porn.

      Fast forward to ten years ago when Call the Midwife came out. My mother loved the first series, I had already prejudged it as woke claptrap. One or two episodes into the second series my mother mentioned that it wasn’t like that in those days, she had seen the underlying message of misandry. That was when her dementia was getting pretty bad, I was so happy that some things hadn’t escaped her notice.

      My viewing habits now are mostly sport, football, rugby, baseball, snooker and darts. The kneeling business is annoying but I have noticed some players, both black and white seem to be uncomfortable about it when the camera zooms in. I avoid TV dramas because I just know they are going to be giving me a message, how to live my life, what to believe in, how horrid a person I am if I disagree. This is all channels, even the purely commercial ones. As for the commercials, what can I say? Advertising agencies must have received a memo from somewhere. I used to joke about the number of mixed race couples in ads, why don’t I see many around town? They’re all making commercials, that’s why. Ads which portrayed men as stupid and women as clever, we talked about this noticeable change in the pub a year or so ago, even the girls agreed. It’s got worse.

      • Yep, I know ladies who see this misandry and don’t feel it does them any favours as a species but I also know females who keep on with man-bad, woman-good. Feminazis really knew how to prey on women.

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