In the nineties Casualty didn’t air all year long and there was a drama shaped hole in the Saturday night schedule. Bugs was one of the shows made to plug the gap.
It was about a secret team of law-enforcers. They weren’t police and weren’t MI5 but somewhere in between. They used technology to crack down on various bad guys.
The series was probably one of the first to use ‘modern’ technology as the main plot device and perhaps the first recognise cyber crime as being the future for criminals.
There was a pretty strong cast although they all came from soap(ish) series. Jay Griffiths previously in the Bill played Ros, Jessie Birdsall previously in Eldorado played Beckett and Craig MacClaughlan who had been in neighbours played Ed.
As a general rule Beckett was the one who took charge and only got his hands dirty when it really called for it. Ed was the dare-devil who took on various stunts and Ros was the computer nerd who generally used technical knowledge to hack systems and crack codes.
At the time it all seemed fast-paced and cutting edge but if you get the chance to see it now.. as I did when London Live started repeating in – random programming choice!
It doesn’t really hold up. The 90s computers running pre-Windows operating systems is fine but in one scene they were trying to crack a code on a Speak and Spell – ET had one of those in the early 80s! Spraying it silver did not disguise the fact!
Aside from the dodgy technology the programme struggled to gain the audience it needed for a Saturday night. A cliff hanger at the end of the second series was enough to get it a third but the same trick didn’t work for series 4.
Bugs will mostly be remembered for… well it probably won’t be remembered by most at all.