Proof you can’t keep a good cop down
IT may still be the season for repeats but that’s not necessarily a bad thing when you’ve got old friends teaching you new tricks.
Television’s most talented trio of curmudgeonly detectives return with their exasperated boss tonight to demonstrate that while age may weary you, it doesn’t make you any less devious.
For those who have not previously caught this excellent series, Gerry Standing ( Dennis Waterman), Jack Halford ( James Bolam) and Brian Lane ( Alun Armstrong) are former frontline detectives who have returned from retirement to help Supt. Sandra Pullman ( Amanda Redman) uncover the truth behind old cases.
It is a team full of character and foibles. Standing is the bad boy of the trio with a small horde of former wives and an eye for the ladies.
Lane has an obsessive-compulsive personality and the social skills of a brick, but a crack mind for detail and a sharp understanding of facts and figures.
Halford is arguably the most stable of the team, mourning his lost wife and often acting as the straight man to his two wayward colleagues.
Yet even he is not averse to using a few old tricks to collar villains. Overseeing all this, and attempting to herd her outfit at least in the general direction of responsible policing, is successful career woman Pullman. She often finds herself an unwitting accomplice to her team’s formidable arsenal of dodgy deeds, but she is willing to turn a blind if disapproving eye when results are achieved. Or at least that’s usually the case. In tonight’s episode — the first from series three — the shoe is on the
Out of the shadows: Back on the beat with the cast of other foot. Pullman is obsessed with an old case involving the death of a woman in a car crash.
She is convinced the woman’s mechanic husband is behind the crash, and is outraged he has won a long-running court case to get the wreckage returned.
There are compromising photographs of the wife in bed with another man and Pullman is convinced her death was a crime of passion and revenge. The boys are not so sure.
They become increasingly perturbed by Pullman’s single-minded pursuit of the alleged perpetrator and her angry reaction to suggestions there may be other explanations.
A breakthrough comes when Lane spots a tattoo on the backside of the wife’s lover, with some amusing results. New Tricks is humorous, intriguing, well-written and superbly acted. It is a refreshing change from shows populated by pretty young things with perfect teeth, advanced degrees in forensics, and the ability to solve a crime by pushing a button on some hi-tech widget.
After all, isn’t it better to watch a good repeat than be forced to endure an over-hyped, boring first run?