Heartbeat is set in the 1960s, in the fictional Yorkshire town of Aidensfield. The first seasons focus on the lives of London policeman Nick Rowan, who moves to the village with his doctor wife Kate.
Nick's police colleagues feature in the series, under the leadership of the crusty but kindhearted Sergeant Blaketon. Blaketon's nemesis is Claude Jeremiah Greengrass, poacher and occasional small-time fence. Greengrass is a regular patron of the Aidensfield Arms hotel, run by George Ward and his pretty niece Gina. It's here at the pub that we see much of the day-to-day social interaction in the series. Heartbeat is based on the Constable books by Nicholas Rhea. There have been a load of Heartbeat coppers over the years. They are listed below: Sgt. Oscar Blackton
PC. Alf Ventress
PC. Phil Bellamy
PC. Nick Rowan
Sgt. Nick Rowan
PC. Mike Bradley
DC. Mike Bradley
Sgt. Raymond Craddock
PC. Tom Nicholson
Sgt. Denis Merton
PC. Steve Crane
Sgt. George Mi
Sergeant Miller is suspicious of a former London gangster who comes to Aidensfield to start a new life, Rob gets involved in an accident involving a stolen car, while Peggy's latest scheme causes a salmonella outbreak.
Alf poses as a criminal as part of an undercover operation, but his covert actions only reveal startling information about Miller's ethical beliefs. David eyes up Peggy's room when she applies to be Lord Ashfordly's housekeeper but both are left disappointed when the interview is a complete failure.
A gang of youths push Peggy down a hole while she is poaching but when Miller gives chase, he knocks down and kills an elderly bystander, landing himself in hot water. Peggy then comes up with a new money-making idea and says she will sue for the 'injury' she sustained in the fall. Meanwhile, Gina is attracted to her handsome college tutor.
A gang of elderly villains spot a chance for one last, glorious crime spree when the villagers leave Aidensfield en masse to support Rob in a charity football match. Peg finally gives David a bit of support when it turns out his jury duty is more trouble than he imagined.
When one of Helen's patients suddenly dies, she becomes involved in a suspected case of euthanasia, and the doctor's problems are compounded as she struggles to keep her relationship with Rob hidden. Peggy and David start a strawberry scam but Geoff Younger is confident of catching the culprits red-handed.
The folk of Aidensfield panic when rumours of an escaped killer are confirmed. Rob attempts to track down the fugitive, but his investigations are complicated when Helen gets caught up in the case. David is left reeling when Greengrass's dog Alfred becomes seriously ill, and Peggy speaks to bereavement expert Bernie in the hope that he can lend support to the devastated handyman.
A priceless Manet painting is stolen from a retired German art dealer's home, leaving Miller to suspect Lord Ashfordly's involvement. Peggy tries to convince a pair of visiting bird-watchers that Aidensfield's wildlife includes a rare bird of prey, and David pretends to be an ornithological expert.
Walker investigates when sibling rivalry and greed result in a fatal car crash. A devout couple are faced with money problems when their baby is diagnosed with a life-threatening condition. Meanwhile, Peggy is up to her usual tricks as she frightens some holiday-makers, and Jack and Gina get a scare whilst creating a picture of the moors when it starts to rain.
David helps his friend run away from home, but the handyman inadvertently leaves the young boy with a complete stranger. The Aidensfield Arms offers paintings as well as pints during an art exhibition, and Jack and Bernie take advantage of the artistic atmosphere in an ill-advised attempt to encourage Gina's creative ambitions. Elsewhere, Peggy has a go at dog training.
Blaketon spots local coal merchant Arthur Bolton sharing a kiss with another woman and quickly gives the man's wife the bad news. However, the cheat is found murdered the next day and the former policeman becomes the prime suspect, leaving PC Walker to lead an investigation to clear his name. Peggy fails to back a winner when she buys a greyhound that refuses to run.
Matthew Trent makes an official complaint about Rob Walker, who stayed overnight at Helen's when he should have been on duty. A truck is involved in an accident after passing its MOT at Bernie's garage. Phil Bellamy is becoming increasingly smitten with Debbie.
The police are on high alert when a mysterious visitor arrives at Ashfordly Hall, and a runaway boy causes trouble in the village. Blaketon and Peggy are at loggerheads once again when a festive conflict of interest results in a Santa showdown.
Convicted murderer Henry Stoddard's release from prison coincides with a spate of vandalism, and locals presume he is responsible for the petty crime. But when the former jailbird insists he did not kill PC Machin all those years ago, Walker reopens the case and races to stop Machin's son exacting revenge. Meanwhile, Peggy sees the chance to make some money when her birth certificate suggests she is related to Lord Ashfordly.
Local boy Barry Dyson is accused of a series of arson attacks and his clandestine relationship with a former employer's daughter complicates his plea of innocence. Peggy's latest money-making scheme with old friend Denzil creates an eyesore, forcing Jack to use his artistic flair to rectify matters, before he and Blaketon resort to more drastic, and illegal, measures.
A runaway heiress accompanies her crooked boyfriend on a series of armed robberies. But when they get into trouble they kidnap Helen, who attempts to persuade the teenager to ditch her partner in crime. Meanwhile, Peggy suggests David should take over the funeral parlour while Bernie is away.
The police are called in to investigate when a local judge is the target of a series of mysterious attacks, but the case takes a sinister turn when the prime suspect is found dead on his own doorstep. Peggy is delighted when David's new radio starts picking up police broadcasts, but a news reporter does not share her enthusiasm.
Younger begs Rosie to teach him to drive, Lord Ashfordly's behaviour changes after eating some of Peggy's mystery mushrooms and a strange old man turns up who claims to be the presumed dead husband of a local woman.
Lord Ashfordly's niece comes to stay after the breakdown of her marriage but the trouble does not stop there. Her champion horse is stolen and held to ransom. A gang of bikers comes to town and there is love in the air for Rosie. And Bellamy's stepdaughter Jane is promised to be made into a star by a photographer.
Following his father's death, Colin, a local farmer, loses everything he owns in an auction. However, when his estranged brother turns up and acts suspiciously, he realises that he might be able to earn some extra money for himself. David is in bother, with a trap full of tourists and an obstinate pony. Bellamy's wife Debbie gets into trouble for drink-driving.
Bernie becomes the target of a series of violent and mysterious attacks and this worries Rosie. A stranger from Helen's past arrives in town and turns her world upside-down.
A dead body is found in the river. This puts Debbie Bellamy under suspicion as witnesses describe her fleeing the scene. David and Peggy are invaded by hippies. Rob and Helen attempt to make friends again and patch things up. Rob proposes to Helen.
Miller's old Army friend arrives in town and he is delighted. Debbie is away in rehab and Jack gets very jealous with the amount of help and support that Gina is giving Bellamy. Phil's stepdaughters are entertained by Peggy with some coaching impoaching. Jack creates a naked portrait of Gina which she came up with she idea.
It is Helen and Rob's wedding day and Rob does not know that his sisters have organised a surprise reception with the help of the local community. There are persistent noisy neighbour complaints and the police are called in. However, things soon take a nasty turn when the complainant's mentally ill wife decides to take the law into her own hands. Gina discovers that Jack's nude painting of her is to go on public display, she gets help from Rosie to burn the portrait, Jack therefore apologises to Gina but she tells him its too late and its over between them.
The police are baffled when many sheep are stolen. An elderly woman is found dead in the river and as her son is struggling to deal with the consequences, Helen is called in to help. Two eco-warrior newcomers have built their own slurry-powered generator.
When a woman is involved in a hit-and-run following a local dance, Miller finds himself racing to discover the identity of the culprit. Meanwhile, David decides he has had enough of Peggy's miserly ways and walks out on the taxi service.
A jailbird gets out to assist on a hidden agenda. Debbie changes her ways as a known person reunites in her life. A local child acts spiteful at the death of his pet. He creates a bomb and plants it in the Aidensfield Police House. The bomb explodes which kills Helen leaving Rob devastated by her death.