New Tricks: Season 9
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"TV's top-rated drama" —The Daily Telegraph (U.K.)
"A 'must' for fans of British mysteries" —Wisconsin Bookwatch
As seen on public television
"Finely crafted" —The Australian
RETIRED COPS SOLVE COLD CASES IN THIS HIT BRITISH SERIES
For eight years, the old dogs of the Unsolved Crime and Open Case Squad—veteran detectives Jack Halford (James Bolam, The Beiderbecke Affair), Brian Lane (Alun Armstrong, Garrow's Law), and Gerry Standing (Dennis Waterman, The Sweeney)—have been a close-knit team. Led by Detective Superintendent Sandra Pullman (Amanda Redman, Sexy Beast), their beautiful, younger boss, they have solved cold cases with classic policing skills and easy camaraderie. Then Jack drops a bombshell: he's quitting. Retiring. And this time, he means it.
Before long, Sandra finds a replacement in retired detective Steve McAndrew (Emmy® nominee Denis Lawson, Bleak House, Star Wars). A chatty, enthusiastic Scot, Steve treads on toes but gives the hit British series a "charm injection" (Huffington Post, U.K.). Season Nine guest stars include James Wilby (Island at War, Gosford Park), Sharon Small (The Inspector Lynley Mysteries), Kerry Fox (Cloudstreet), and Tim McInnerny (Blackadder) as intelligence agent Stephen Fisher.
Contains coarse language
Top customer reviews
We had to wait until Episode 4 to meet Jack's replacement, DI Steven McAndrew played by Denis Lawson. He is a hard headed Glaswegian who has been drafted in to help the team. McAndrew is completely different from Jack Halford, and I think the script writers made absolutely the right decision here and it would have been a mistake to try to clone Jack which would have resulted in the inevitable and constant comparisons.
Apparently James Bolam, who played Jack Halford, wanted to leave as he felt the show had become stale. I would beg to differ as the script writers have continued to come up with some very interesting and varied stories. For example one involves a murder which took place some 160 years ago - a real cold case! The team are as interested in the motives for wanting to solve it in after all this time, as the circumstances of the crime itself. Another is a contemporary case which is not a cold case at all and involves a body turning up in a morgue under a false name. To be fair though, the episodes were a bit more mixed than usual as far as quality went this time round and a couple were quite obscure.
There is a reasonable sprinkling of the private lives of Brian Lane and Gerry Standing, including a particularly hilarious session where Brian has aspirations for his dog to be a star of stage and screen! However, we learn little of the background of the new recruit until the last episode. Certainly seeing the main characters away from the job was one of the charms of New Tricks when it was first released and I have felt that this aspect was rather lacking in some of the other series.
As with Series 7 and 8, this series consisted of ten episodes rather than the eight of earlier series. It is good news that a tenth series of ten episodes has already been commissioned. However, both Amanda Redman and Alun Armstong who play DS Sandra Pulman, and Brian Lane respectively have said that they will be leaving after the 10th series. Thus if the show continues it will be quite different with only Gerry Standing played by Dennis Waterman, remaining from the original team.There seem to be strong hints towards the end of this series that any continuation may be with a new UCOS team in Glasgow, Scotland.
When it was launched, New Tricks managed to break new ground which was quite an achievement as police series have been just about done to death from every angle over the years. I have mixed feelings about whether the show should continue after Series 10. On the one hand it was very much the main characters who made the show what it was, but on the other hand it would be a shame to see the back of a programme which shines out in a TV schedule which is sadly lacking much of the same calibre.
And so is change.
The long-running English crime series featuring three retired detectives and their boss - played by Amanda Redman - went eight seasons with virtually the same cast but in Season Nine that's no longer the case. One of the detectives announces his retirement with virtually no warning just as the team is - under orders from a much-higher authority - about to tackle the ultimate cold case crime; a murder that took place in the 1850s. The reason for his sudden retirement leads to some very poignant scenes to go along with the normal give-and-take between the detectives and Redman.
Down a man, the team takes on new cases and is soon joined temporarily by a fast-talking Scotman, another retired detective who - despite the fact he is no longer on active duty - is searching for a lost girl. She was presumed dead but he - and the girl's father - never gave up hope that one day she would be found.
Denis Lawson plays the "new guy" and he doesn't at first fit in well with the team, especially with former detective Brian 'Memory' Lane, played expertly by veteran actor Alun Armstrong, or Sandra Pullman, Redman's character.
Lawson's character does get on well with Dennis Waterman's roguish portrayal of Gerry Standing, however. Standing was a proper thief taker in his days as a copper, though he was known to break the odd rule or two. Lawson's character is, if anything, even more likely to break the rules in his pursuit of lawbreakers. Together they drive Pullman and Lane to distraction.
I was worried that with a major cast change the quality of this excellent whodunnit would suffer but, thankfully, it did not. To be sure, the Unsolved Crimes and Open Case Squad will never be the same with the addition of Lawson's character but that doesn't mean it will be worse. In fact, it is just as good - and fresher - than it was in the past.
After streaming Series 8, I was so impatient I purchased Series 9 to see what happened next. Naturally, I was devastated to see Jack leave for good but I found his exit to be well written. The interaction between the remaining team seemed diminished so I was looking forward to a new arrival to stir things up. The new guy is OK but I could already see they were going away from the original premise of the show. Dennis Lawson is running and jumping around with ease. I see no reason why he retired from the force.
And suddenly the team is taking on more recent cases. Gone is the idea of working on long-dead cold files. Yes, New Tricks is gradually turning itself into one of the many version of the Law & Order. As such, my interest has waned as each new episode progressed. When I reached the last two episodes and saw how they focused only on Waterman and Lawson I couldn't even watch them. It was then I realized the show I loved was gone for good. It's sad but it was fun while it lasted.
Good luck to the new New Tricks. I will no longer be going along for the ride.