Whilst Maggie (who, as TV critic Hilary Kingsley pointed out, always seemed to be in a bad mood) battled it out in the London manor of Seven Dials in ITV's The Gentle Touch, Jean Darblay, over on the Beeb, faced up to surly, chauvinistic Sergeant Joseph Beck at Hartley Police Station in Lancashire - and a few others who doubted that a woman had what it took to be inspector. And she not only proved her case but was rather less grumpy than Maggie Forbes into the bargain.
By the way, "Juliet Bravo" was Inspector Darblay's call sign.
Back in 1980, when hardly anybody could afford a video recorder (just 5% of UK households had them), almost every TV series was novelised. Sometimes, as was the case with Juliet Bravo, you got a whole series of novels. Great, eh? And the cover of the novel pictured above reveals that the TV series was written by Ian Kennedy Martin, creator of The Sweeney. WOW!
Juliet Bravo was not Sweeney Mark 2 - it was more PC Plod territory, often reflecting the humdrumness of the uniformed copper's lot. Like dear old Dixon of Dock Green.
But this new show was still revolutionary. Jean Darblay was not impossibly glamorous like Police Woman or the heeled and haired ladies of Charlie's Angels. She wasn't infallible, either. She (like grumpy Maggie of Seven Dials and the soon-to-arrive from the States Cagney and Lacey) was far more real. No false eyelashes. No make-up applied with a trowel. No soft-focus camera work. This was definitely progress.
Jean, hubby Tom (David Hargreaves) and the lads at Hartley police station were likeable and believable characters.