Porsche 928 on 'The Bill'

This episode of 'The Bill' was transmitted on ITV1 on November 15th 2006

928 maintains it's public reputation!

Porsche 928 stars in The Bill

Karl Neilson, 89 S4

For the past 2 months I've been directing 'The Bill' for ITV1. When reading scripts I have to think carefully about the characters - who they are, how they develop, and their role in the story I have to tell.

One of my scripts had the wonderful character of 'Alec Vincent', an old school, London villain, accused of doing 'one last robbery' before retiring to spain.

My Location Manager and I soon found the perfect house for such a man, a huge detached residence tucked away in South London, with palm trees outside, and a wonderful huge space inside. Finding the right actor was more problematic, but I soon cast Gary Powell, who went on to give an excellent performance.

I decided this 80's criminal needed an 80's supercar, and therefore opted for the Porsche 928. My design team looked nervous, saying they are a very difficult car to source and would be expensive. I dug my heels in though and insisted Alec Vincent would only ever cruise to retirement in the great Porsche V8 supercar.

In the build up to filming, 'Alec Vincent's car' often came up, and it was a choice I had to defend quite a lot. Many people didn't know what a 928 was, and those that did said things like 'that's a bit old" ( missing the point ), and "that's a bit crap" ( ignorant ! ).

Filming day soon arrived, and I got to location at about 8.30 am. Everything was set to go. The house was dressed, the actors were made up, the camera van was ready....but where was the 928?!!!. Convinced a conspiracy was about to deny me my vision, I took the art director aside, only to hear the beep of a horn and the roar of an engine. The 928 had arrived.....

Pic: Karl Neilson

.....on the back of a low loader. That morning all the other cars we needed for the days filming had started fine. No it just happened to be the 928 that wouldn't turn over and delayed me for 15 mins whilst it was unloaded and pushed into position.

We all stood and watched this happen. There were smiles among the many who told me the 928 was not a very good car. But as I told them all, I bought mine as much to look at, as to drive. And when pushed into position it didn't matter that it had an off coloured wing, a bent sunroof, and didn't start. It just looked fantastic, like it does in 'Weird Science', 'Risky Business', 'The Business', and now 'The Bill'!!!! Perhaps Alec Vincent should pay more attention to it's servicing requirements though....

Porsche 928 stars in The Bill

Pic: Karl Neilson