New Tricks

The Weekend Australian - Review - - Television - Justin Burke

Satur­day, 7.30pm, ABC1 The old dogs of the Un­solved Crime and Open Case Squad re­turn for a 10th sea­son of New Tricks. This BBC hot favourite po­lice pro­ce­dural might more ac­cu­rately be called old tricks, since the cen­tral con­ceit is hoary de­tec­tives us­ing their ex­pe­ri­ence and world­li­ness to solve cases oth­ers couldn’t. This is no less true of the ac­tors them­selves. Dennis Water­man and Alun Arm­strong (pic­tured) and Denis Law­son bring wit, range and sheer lik­a­bil­ity to their off­beat char­ac­ters. Amanda Red­man pro­vides the glamorous foil as De­tec­tive Su­per­in­ten­dent San­dra Pull­man, try­ing to keep her charges in line but barely suc­ceed­ing. This first part of a two-part spe­cial takes the team to Gi­bral­tar, seek­ing to un­ravel the mys­tery of two mur­ders com­mit­ted years apart with the same weapon. The Falk­lands War serves as a his­tor­i­cal back­drop, re­viv­ing the era’s slang, in­clud­ing ‘‘ squad­dies’’ and ‘‘ Ar­gies’’, though con­tem­po­rary themes such as on­line gam­bling are also in­tro­duced. Se­ri­ous is­sues in­clud­ing al­co­holism, pro­fes­sional re­gret and the fear of re­tire­ment are bal­anced with the gen­tle age-based hu­mour this show does so well. It’s wise not to take shows this long in the tooth for granted. One much-loved char­ac­ter will not sur­vive the sea­son.

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