The Bill started as a one-off drama for ITV's Thames Television series Storyboard; which was a short season of one-off dramas from Thames Television, the company behind some of ITV's most important dramas in the 1970s and 1980s. Five of these dramas were picked up as a full series including a police drama entitled Woodentop; this pilot show starred Mark Wingett as P.C. Jim Carver and Trudie Goodwin as W.P.C. June Ackland on Carver's first day on the beat at Sun Hill police station. It was originally devised by Geoff McQueen, and it impressed ITV so much that they decided to make a series out of it.

Storyboard: Woodentop
Woodentop ~ PC Carver - WPC Ackland.jpg
W.P.C Ackland & P.C. Carver

W.P.C Ackland & P.C. Carver

Episode No.   Series
0 (Pilot) 1983x000
Original Airdate
16th August 1983 FlagIcon UK small.png
Written By
Produced By
Directed By
Episode Chronology:


It's the first day on the job at Sun Hill police station for probationary P.C. Jim Carver, but by no means an uneventful one. On his first 'puppywalk' with W.P.C. June Ackland, they discover the body of an elderly woman who has died in the bath. Later, whilst on patrol with P.C. Litten, Carver gives a young suspect a clip around the ear, causing his supervising sergeant to call in a favour with D.I. Galloway to appease the boy's father, who as it turns out was quite content with Carver's action.


(Episode Cast: in credits order)


This episode was repeated on October 30, 2003 by ITV1 in celebration on The Bill's 20th Anniversary.


This episode was released in the UK on VHS by Thames under the name 'The First Ever Episode - Woodentop VHS. It was also included in UK Thames VHS 'Originals VHS Series' along with Funny Ol' Business - Cops & Robbers. Lastly, the episode was released on the Series 1 DVD Boxset released by Network in the UK in 2005. The Series 1 DVD Boxset was released in North America in 2007.


Preceded by:
(Episode Chronology)
Succeeded by:
1984 Episodes /
Series 1 (1984-85) Episodes

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