Cast – Dennis Waterman, Alun Armstrong, Amanda Redman
Created by – Nigel McCrery, Roy Mitchell
Running Time – 60 minutes
This weeks must-see TV series is written by Gee who shows that even elderly men can get back on the saddle but also how the show seems to be looking at a entirely new cast.
New Tricks, is one of the BBC’s top rated dramas that see’s three retired police officers drafted back into to work to investigate previously unsolvable crimes, even if not always, done by the book.
Running since 2003 New Tricks has always held on to the high ratings thanks to the new twist on the crime drama with the case, particularly in the first 7 series, often coming the secondary element in the plot with the interactions sub-plots based around the multi-depth characters Brian Lane who played by Alun Armstrong, Gerry Standing who is played by Dennis Waterman, Jack Halford (James Bolam series 1-8), Steve McAndrew (Denis Lawson series 9 onwards) and DSI Sandra Pullman (Amanda Redman) often taking the front seat.
What makes this detective show so unique is not only the rapport of the cast but also the comedy element often supplied by the eccentric character of Brian Lane whose obsessive ways provide some comic relief away from the often hard hitting issues that arise within the cases. The idea of three elderly men being bossed around by the highflying career woman Sandra Pullman also provides humour as often the grown men act childish if they don’t get their own way or are caught collecting evidence ‘the old fashioned way’ and by police procedure. As well as the very obvious sexual tension between Redman and Waterman adds a slight romance element to the shows format but as it is done with so much humour you forget that ‘ladies’ man’ Gerry Standing is at least ten years older than her.
However, as the show has gone from strength to strength, the pressure of ensuring its popularity begins to show in the later series. For example throughout the series the audience is aware of Brian’s constant battle with alcohol addiction but since series 7 it is like that element of the character has been forgotten. We also know how Jack Halford never got over the murder of his wife Mary and in almost every episode you would see him sat in his garden ‘chatting’ to her about the current case and often that triggered the solving of the investigation.
As a fan who has watched it from the beginning, it feels as if the show has lost some of things that made it authentic the humour is injected from time to time but if feels as if you are watching an episode of Spooks or Midsummer Murders where the majority of the content is based on the investigation. Therefore it came as no surprise when Actors Amanda Redman and Alun Armstrong both announced they are to leave during series 10 as the show and the characters have become ‘stale’ following a public row with some of the writers.
So with the casting of Nicholas Lyndhurst to replace Armstrong and only Dennis Waterman who would be the only original cast member left, would it have been best to end the show on a high or let it become a new show entirely?