New Tricks,

The Weekend Australian - Review - - Television -

Fri­day, 8.30pm, ABC1 Char­ac­terised by on­screen chem­istry, idio­syn­cratic comic tim­ing and com­radely ban­ter, this so­cia­ble ve­hi­cle for a tal­ented bunch of older ac­tors from clas­sic British TV se­ries ploughs on, still the BBC’s most pop­u­lar drama, though darker el­e­ments are creep­ing in as the sea­sons ac­cu­mu­late. Su­per­in­ten­dent San­dra Pull­man (Amanda Red­man) still heads the Metropoli­tan Po­lice’s un­solved crime and open case squad, aka UCOS. Un­der her watch­ful eye three older de­tec­tives were per­suaded out of early re­tire­ment, seem­ingly years ago, though James Bo­lam, who played Jack Hal­ford, took re­dun­dancy from the suc­cess­ful show at the start of this se­ries. He was the moon-faced, sad-eyed, em­pa­thetic cop­per who, hav­ing been wid­owed, still chat­ted com­pan­ion­ably to his dead wife whose ashes he buried un­der the lawn in his back yard. He was one of TV crime’s great char­ac­ters, the san­est of the UCOS bunch of mis­fits. He’s sadly missed and tonight the UCOS team’s feath­ers are ruf­fled with the ar­rival of Steve McAn­drew (De­nis Law­son), a re­tired de­tec­tive from Glas­gow. He’s brought in to as­sist in the rein­ves­ti­ga­tion of one of his orig­i­nal cases but his polic­ing meth­ods, and per­sonal agenda, raise eye­brows even among the san­guine UCOS cops. The case of 17-yearold Ge­or­gia Wright (Michelle Dun­can), who went miss­ing in Scot­land in 2003, is per­sonal for McAn­drew and he’s de­ter­mined to find her re­gard­less.

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