Heartbeat is a British period drama series, based upon the “Constable” series of novels written by Nicholas Rhea, and produced by ITV Studios (formerly Yorkshire Television until it was merged by ITV) from 1992 until 2010. The series is set during the 1960s around real-life and fictional locations within the North Riding of Yorkshire, with most episodes focused on stories that usually are separate but sometimes intersect with one another; in some episodes, a singular story takes place focused on a major incident.
Heartbeat proved popular from the beginning, when early series consistently drew over 10 million viewers, achieving a peak audience of 13.82 million in 2001, and 12.8 million viewers in 2003. Its success eventually led to a spin-off series, titled The Royal, as well as a special episode, and three documentaries. In June 2010, ITV announced the cancellation of Heartbeat after its eighteenth series, following discussions on its future.
Heartbeat is period drama set within the North Riding of Yorkshire during 1960s. Plots for each episodes take place within both the fictional village of Aidensfield and the fictional town of Ashfordly, as well as several other fictional villages and farms in the surrounding moors and countryside. On occasions, plots also include the real-life town of Whitby. Each episode in the series focuses on a set of at least one or two main storylines and a side story, some or all of which would cross over with each other and influence the outcome of their plots. Political tones for storylines, coinciding with the decade the programme was set in, were rarely featured in episodes, though some episodes featured occasional references to the counterculture movement, while others would sometimes delve into a dramatic single storyline concerning a major incident that characters would deal with and sometimes be affected by.
Scripps’ Garage from the series:
The programme’s title was chosen by writers to represent the series’ key characters who worked as police officers and medical staff – “heart” for the medical themes featured regularly in the programme; and “beat” based on the phrase “the bobby’s beat” (“bobby” being British slang for a police officer (from Robert Peel)). Each episode’s set of storylines were inspired from those created for the Constable series of books, written by Nicholas Rhea (the pen-name of former policeman Peter Walker), which were focused on a police constable in the 1960s who came to Aidensfield, in order to serve the local community and solve crimes that took place on his new patch. Much of the characters and locations in the Constable series were directly used for creating the setting and plots in Heartbeat, under guidance from Rhea.
Across Eller Beck to Goathland railway station:
The series was originally intended as a launch platform for actor Nick Berry, following his involvement on the BBC’s soap drama EastEnders, who alongside actress Niamh Cusack, were the prominent main actors of the programme for its first two series. Storylines mainly focused around both their characters, as they offered aid to those around the village and beyond, though the tone of plots were portrayed with grittiness and social realism. From the third series onwards, the role of the village policeman continued to be central to the storyline, but supporting actors were redefined as the programme’s main cast, with their characters elevated in presence, effectively evolving Heartbeat into an ensemble drama that was themed as more cosy and comfortable compared to more modern TV police dramas. The changes were more notable by how supporting actors gained more prominence in the opening titles after being elevated into the series’ main cast – up until the fifth series, both Berry and Cusack were prominently featured in the opening credits, but this changed in later series so that by the beginning of the seventh series, all actors in the main cast were given proper credit for their involvement in the drama series.
After the fifth series, storylines became less centralized around the village constable, focusing on separate storylines that retained a set structure within episodes: one focusing on a crime solved by the village constable and his colleagues at Ashfordly police; one focused on a medical issue that the village doctor and/or nurse would treat; and a side story focused on the programme’s “lovable rogue” character which mainly was designed as comic relief, but sometimes featured light-hearted plots delving into heart-warming moments. In addition, over-arching storylines covering several episodes or even series, provided sub-plots between main characters, allowing for character and relationship development between them, with additional characters added in over time. In time, Heartbeat saw the cast being changed throughout its broadcast history, as new characters were introduced to replace those who left the show after being written out.
Sixties pop music features prominently in episodes, notably from the Beatles and Chuck Berry, forming the backbone of Heartbeat’s soundtrack, although music from other decades sometimes is played in episodes. Some 1970s records appear anachronistically, such as the Hollies’ 1974 song “The Air That I Breathe”, Led Zeppelin’s “Black Dog” (1971) or Pink Floyd’s 1971 instrumental “One of These Days.” The series 17 finale “You Never Can Tell” is accompanied by the Flying Pickets’ 1983 song “Only You”, an episode which featured a guest appearance by the band’s lead singer Brian Hibbard. (wikipedia)
And here´s the soundtrack … with a lot of hits from the Roaring Sixties …
A nice trip in this decade including many rarities like music from The Bachelors, Joe Brown & The Bruvvers nd The Fortunes.
01. Nick Berry: Heartbeat (Montgomery/Petty) 2.15
02. The Swinging Blue Jeans: The Hippy Hippy Shake (Romero) 1.45
03. Sandie Shaw: (There’s) Always Something There To Remind Me (Bacharach/David) 2.36
04. Billy J. Kramer & The Dakotas: Little Children (McFarland) 2.48
05. The Kinks: All Day And All Of The Night (Davies) 2.23
06. Peter & Gordon: A World Without Love (Lennon/McCartney) 2.41
07. The Animals: The House Of The Rising Sun (Traditional) 4.30
08. Lulu & The Luvvers: Shout (O’Kelly Isley/Ronald Isley/Rudolph Isley) 2.53
09. Gerry & The Pacemakers: Don’t Let The Sun Catch You Crying (G,Marsden/ F.Marsden) 2.34
10. Herman’s Hermits: I’m Into Something Good (Goffin/King) 2.34
11. The Searchers: Needles & Pins (Nitzsche/Bono) 2.13
12. The Bachelors: I Believe (Drake/Graham/Shirl/Stillman) 2.06
13. Gerry & The Pacemakers: I Like It (Murray) 2.16
14. Joe Brown & The Bruvvers: A Picture Of You (Beveridge/Oakman) 2.20
15. Acker Bilk: Stranger On The Shore (Bilk/Mellin) 2.49
01. The Hollies: Look Through Any Window (Gouldman/Silverman) 2.18
02. The Moody Blues: Go Now (Banks/Bennett) 3.12
03. The Kinks: Tired Of Waiting For You (Davies) 2.33
04. Amen Corner: Bend Me, Shape Me (English/Weiss) 2.37
05. Georgie Fame: Sunny (Hebb) 2.37
06. The Shadows: FBI (Marvin/Welch/Harris) 2.20
07. The Small Faces: Itchycoo Park (Marriott/Lane) 2.50
08. Dave Berry: The Crying Game (Stephens) 2.45
09. Freddie & The Dreamers: You Were Made For Me (Murray) 2.19
10. Nick Berry: Heartbeat (Montgomery/Petty) 2.15
11. Jeff Beck: Hi Ho Silver Lining (English/Weiss) 2.55
12. Brian Poole & The Tremeloes: Do You Love Me? (Gordy Jr.) 2.24
13. Billy J. Kramer & The Dakotas: Bad To Me (Lennon/MCartney) 2.21
14. The Fortunes: You’ve Got Your Troubles (Greenway/Cook) 3.23
15. The Searchers: When You Walk In The Room (DeShannon) 2.22
16. Spencer Davis Group: Gimme Some Lovin’ (S.Winwood/Davis/M.Winwood) 2.55
17. Manfred Mann: The Mighty Quinn (Dylan) 2.52
18. Donovan: Catch The Wind (Leitch) 2.55
19. Joe Cocker: Let It Be (Lennon/McCartney) 3.32
20. Nick Berry: Daydream Believer (Stewart) 3.18