London's Burning: the Movie
Airdate 7 December 1986
Audience 12.5 million
Writer Jack Rosenthal
Director Les Blair
Producer Paul Knight
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London's Burning: The Movie (also known as the Pilot) was the pilot movie of London's Burning. Written by BAFTA-winning screenwriter Jack Rosenthal, it was first broadcast in the UK on ITV on 7 December 1986. Most of the cast reprised their roles from the London's Burning movie when the first series of London's Burning began two years later in 1988.

Movie SummaryEdit

While Sicknote moans about his toothache, Blue Watch are awaiting the arrival of a new crew member. To their horror, it turns out to be a woman: Josie Ingham, Blackwall's first female firefighter. Most of them are hostile. At her first shout they ignore her completely and leave her to control the crowds. Vaseline gets married for the third time, to a third woman also named Marion, although the ceremony is disrupted when his ex wife Marion turns up.

Blue Watch are called to rescue a 'trapped' man, but to their amusement it turns out he has trapped his private parts in a curtain ring. Josie resolves the situation by suggesting he use ice to reduce his 'swelling'. The incident breaks the ice with the male crew members and they start to warm to her. They try to come up with a nickname for her, but none of them seem to stick. The watch are called to a house fire and rescue three children trapped in a burning house. However, one of them is already dead. Bayleaf angrily rants at the mother when he realises she had left the children alone in the house to go to a disco.

Ethnic is promoted to Leading Fireman at Archway, so Blue Watch plans a surprise leaving dinner for him. The day before his last shift, he takes a day off. Two policemen are patrolling Ethnic's estate when they are attacked by rioters.

As cars are firebombed, the watch arrives and they quickly find themselves under attack. Despite being told to stay together by Tate, Charisma is separated from the rest of the watch and is attacked by a group of rioters. Although off duty, Ethnic decides he can't just stand there and watch, so he rushes to Charisma's defence and fights off his attackers. Labelled a "traitor" by one of the rioters, a concrete slab is thrown at him from a balcony, striking his head and killing him. Charisma returns to find his dead body.

The next day, the watch silently eat what was to have been Ethnic's surprise leaving dinner. Charisma starts to cry but he holds back his tears as the watch is called to roll call.


  • Second policeman - Ralph Brown
  • Video shop proprietor - Steven O'Donnell
  • Man at fire - Norman Warwick
  • Man's wife - Brenda Cowling
  • Mr Grant - Robert East
  • Old lady - Betty Romaine
  • Mrs Lane - Jean Leppard
  • Man with TV - Bill Spencer
  • Pusher - Winston Crooke
  • Policeman - Steve Emerson
  • Registrar - Richard Cordery
  • Doctor - John Joyce
  • First Detective - Clive Shilson
  • Second Detective - Gary Webster
  • Young woman - Marsha Millar
  • Operator - Gavin Brown
  • Neighbour - Reginald Stewart
  • Child at fire - Sammy Blair
  • Child at fire - Joe Blair
  • Mother at fire - Eve Bland
  • Teacher - Leon Davis
  • Dominic - P.J. Nicolas
  • Woman at phone box - Jelena Budimir
  • Man at phone box - Leon Silver
  • Bank teller - Kit Jackson
  • Commander Petrie - A.J. Clark
  • Jean Quigley - Joanne Zorian
  • Snooker referee - Rory O'Connor
  • Club official - George Sweeney


  • Jerome Flynn, who would go on to be a successful television actor during the 1990s, makes an appearance as Kenny 'Rambo' Baines. Rambo is the only surviving member of Blue Watch who did not return for the first series, as Flynn was not available.
  • London's Burning: the Movie was nominated for three BAFTAs (Single Drama, Film Sound, Film Editor).
  • Five year old Jade Goody made an uncredited appearance.
  • Joanne Zorian only character in the Pilot Movie as Jean Quigley and Amanda Dickinson replace Joanne as Jean Quigley from Series 1 to Series 12
  • Marion Cartwright (III) play as Helen Blizard had black hair in the pilot movie, during series 1 to series 5 Marion III wear blond hair instead black.
  • Sandra Hallam play by Kim Clifford appeared from Series 1 through 10. She was played by another, uncredited actress in the pilot movie in a brief, non-speaking appearance at a gathering of the firemen's wives.

Appearances Edit

Blue Watch Members

S.O. Sidney Tate, Sub Officer John Hallam, Mike 'Bayleaf' Wilson, Josie Ingham, Roland 'Vaseline' Cartwright, Bert 'Sicknote' Quigley, Lesley 'Charisma' Appleby and A.D.O. Frank Petrie made first apperances

First/Last Apperances

Kenny 'Rambo' Baines[[Josie (Only Pilot movie) Andreas 'Ethnic' Lewis (Pilot Movie end killed during riot) Lloyd Anderson (Only pilot movie join fire brigade during end credits and not appeared in the series)

Support Characters First appearances

Gerry Ingham, Nancy Tate, Marion Cartwright (III), Sandra Hallam,

Photo Gallery Edit

Blue Watch

Blue Watch Blackwall Fire Station

London's Burning pilot movie Fireman Lewis

Andreas 'Ethnic' Lewis

London's Burning pilot movie Sicknote

Bert 'Sicknote' Quigley

London's Burning pilot movie Malcolm Cross

Malcolm Cross

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John Hallam

London's Burning pilot movie Marions with Roland

Vaseline and Marion Cartwright (III) with Marion Cartwright (II)

London's Burning pilot movie Baines

Kenny 'Rambo' Baines


Roland 'Vaseline' Cartwright

London's Burning pilot movie Bayleaf Wilson
Mike 'Bayleaf' Wilson
London's Burning pilot movie
London's Burning pilot movie first shout

First Shout

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London's Burning pilot movie Tate and Hallam

John Hallam Sidney Tate

London's Burning pilot movie Bayleaf

Mike 'Bayleaf' Wilson


Lesley 'Charisma' Appleby

London's Burning pilot movie police check

Ethnic with two policeman check his Fire Brigade uniform

London's Burning pilot movie blackwall

Blackwall Fire Station Fire engines

Ethnic and Vaseline

Ethnic and Vaseline

London's Burning pilot movie Josie

Josie Ingham join's Blue Watch Blackwall Fire Station

London's Burning pilot movie Josie Ingham

Josie Ingham

London's Burning pilot hamburgers
Malcolm Ethnic and Sicknote
London's Burning pilot movie Mess
Shapeimage 1
Vas and Marion 3