It wasn't the only moment when you were conscious that television, either as influence or conspicuous presence, might have altered what you were seeing. The construction of this first episode even included that indispensible component of police procedural - the arrival of the rookie, in this case a young constable who was briefed with slightly implausible tenderness. 'People around here are the salt of the earth', said his beaming superior, delivering a brief lecture on fortitude in social adversity that would not have disgraced a miner's gala. 'Those people out there are our customers', he concluded, just to hammer the point home to the audience.
I somehow have the feeling, too, that the arrest of a man wearing stockings and suspenders and nothing else would give rise to more than some stifled giggling and a terse 'Rather an unusual case'. Members of the public also seem to feel the obligation to perform. A young woman tremblingly recounting the details of a bank raid started to say 'They had balaclavas on' before catching herself and delivering something a bit more dramatic - 'They were balaclava'd up' she said solemnly.