The Wire Series 1

The first season of The Wire concentrates on the often-futile efforts of police to infiltrate a West Baltimore drug ring headed by Avon Barksdale and his lieutenant, Stringer Bell.

Unlike many “cop shows” that have a new story each episode, The Wire digs deep into the story, the characters and the politics of the police and the street.

The 13 episodes give the plot time to extend and the characters develop.

Book a day off, close the curtains, turn off the phone, grab some food and drink and sit back for 13 episodes of gritty, intense, inner city realism.

The Wire Series One

D'Angelo Barksdale in courtThe story starts with Baltimore Homicide Detective Jimmy McNulty dropping in on the murder trial of a young drug dealer named D’Angelo Barksdale. Sitting at the back of the courtroom, McNulty observes who is there and is himself observed by associates of Barksdale and by the presiding Judge Phelan. The court case takes an unexpected twist and D’Angelo is acquitted of the murder.

After the trial, McNulty is called into see Judge Phelan who wants to know why he’s attending a trial that does not involve him. McNulty tells him that D’Angelo’s uncle Avon Barksdale and his partner Stringer Bell, are reigning terror in the high-rises and are thought to be behind as many as a dozen unsolved murders a year. Whilst McNulty is on his way back to his office, the Judge calls McNulty’s boss Major William Rawls who order McNulty to have a full report on Barksdale for him by eight the next morning.

DAngelo Barksdale and Bodie at The PitAcross town, when D’Angelo shows up to oversee the drug trade at the Towers the next morning he is told by Stringer he has been reassigned to one of the less prestigious low-rise projects, affectionately called The Pit.
Omar Little, a legendary shotgun-toting, stick-up artist steals Avon’s stash and one of D’Angelo’s boys is shot in the process.

Furious at being robbed, Avon and Stringer put a bounty on the heads of Omar and his gang.

The new Major Crime UnitAfter McNulty files his report, Lt. Daniels from Narcotics is called to head the new Major Crime Unit but apart from his own Narcotics team and McNulty he is given other department’s rejects.
McNulty is inspired at a meeting with FBI Special Agent Fitzhugh and has the idea that the Unit can mix old-fashioned police surveillance with new technology … The Wire (tap).

Knowing that solving the numerous murders thought to have been committed by Barksdale and his crew could be linked with drug assassinations, McNulty and his team re-work the cases. They get a break when they re-visit the file of Diedre Kresson, a former girlfriend of one of the Barksdale crew. The team get enough information to support a wire tap and start to build their case.

Prez and Kima in the squadroom As the story develops, Lester Freamon, a thoughtful detective banished to the pawn office over a decade earlier; and Prez, a disastrous detective who is the son-in-law of a police Major, form a successful partnership.

Together they break the Barksdale crew’s code and translate the street slang.

After weeks of hard work, the Unit is now able to keep tracks on the gang.

Omar LittleMeanwhile, Omar and the Barksdale’s are at war and Omar steals from them at every opportunity.

After stealing one of Avon’s re-ups, Omar bargains with one of Avon’s drug rivals, Proposition Joe Stewart. He swaps the stash for Avon’s pager number and a code. Omar uses the pager and code to attack Avon and his bodyguard.

The cops continue to build a case against Avon, Stringer and their crew … but not as water-tight as they hoped.

Todays 10 best online prices from

If you are new to The Wire why not sign up for a free trial with Lovefilm and rent it … you’ll be hooked!

Click here to read about The Wire Series 2 at