Episode 117 is the 1777th episode of The Bill

Luke is first on the scene of a horrific car crash, but is shocked to hear a familiar voice when his backup arrives - Sun Hill's new sergeant: former PC Dale Smith. Smith takes a huge risk when he and Luke rescue a boy trapped in the car, a fact which does not escape the notice of Gina, who is already well aware of Smithy's reputation from his last posting to Sun Hill. Linking the boy and the car to a local gay nightclub, Smithy believes the club is pimping underage rent boys, but his brusque manner sees a complaint brought up against him by the club's owner. Tony tries to do a good deed and convinces Jim to invite June to his wedding, but he underestimates June's feelings for Jim. Things aren't looking good for Patrick Murphy after the Garda in Dublin supply Debbie details of his form for assault, but Murphy is bailed due to lack of evidence. When one of Des' young snouts finds Murphy's wallet and cab in a warehouse, Taviner and Sheelagh investigate, but Taviner can only watch in horror as his Sergeant is abducted by the suspect.

Dale Smith (Alex Walkinshaw), who was a series regular from 1999-2001, makes a permanent return to the show, on promotion to sergeant.

Dale Smith's promotion to Sergeant is impressive, given his record at Sun Hill and his accidental shooting of Bob Cryer, which his niece Robbie mentions to Kerry, when she warns him off him.

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