Softly, Softly is a British television drama series, produced by the BBC and screened on BBC 1 from January 1966. It centred around the work of regional crime squads, plain-clothes CID officers based in the fictional region of Wyvern, supposedly in the Bristol area of England. The series took its name from the proverb 'softly, softly, catchee monkey', and was designed as a vehicle for Detective Chief Inspector Charles Barlow and Detective Inspector John Watt from the police series Z-Cars, which had just finished its original run. Joining them in the early series was Robert Keegan as Blackitt, the police station sergeant from Z-Cars, now retired and acting as a freelance helper. The series introduced characters like Sgt Harry Hawkins who would become very popular and well known. Promoted to Detective Chief Inspector, Hawkins stayed with the show for its entire run. Shorter-lived regular characters in the series early years included Alexis Kanner as DC Matt Stone. Although popular with audiences, Kanner appears to have alienated cast and crew with erratic behaviour during live recordings, and the character was dropped after only nine episodes. He later played the recalcitrant Number 48 in The Prisoner.