New Tricks Series Four

ABC DVD / Region 4 / 2 disc set

Featuring Amanda Redman, James Bolam, Alun Armstrong, Dennis Waterman

Unlike most TV detective shows New Tricks (season four of which is released this month) never takes itself too seriously, one of the reasons no doubt (along with its fabulous cast) why it has become so popular in a short space of time. Amanda Redman plays Detective Superintendant Sandra Pullman, who finds herself in charge of a special cold case squad whose staff is made up of ageing former cops who have been persuaded to re-enter the fold.

The trio who make up the team are played by three of the UK’s best talents, James Bolam is Jack Halford, who has never gotten over the death of his wife, Alun Armstrong is the obsessive compulsive Brian Lane and Dennis Waterman is the now ageing lothario Gerry Standing who has a multitude of ex-wives on his back and growing debts – it’s a great chance to see these three sparking off each other that’s for sure.

Initially Pullman is none too pleased to be heading up the team for what she considers a retrograde step in her career but by this fourth season (6 episodes spread across two discs) she realises her team is something special, until that is the whole dynamic of the relationship is threatened when she learns the boys have been holding out on her with a secret from her own past.

Guest stars in this run include two former co-stars of Waterman in the shape of the legendary George Cole (Arthur Daley to Waterman’s Terry McCann in Minder) and the still very lovely Jan Francis (who co-starred in the under rated Stay Lucky with Waterman – a great candidate for a release itself surely) as well as the likes of Waterman’s real life daughter Hannah, Lynda Bellingham, Sheila Hancock, Eric Sykes (still going strong), John Sessions, Roy Hudd and June Whitfield. Class acts all!

New Tricks (as in you can’t teach an old dog new tricks) is a gem of a series and if you haven’t caught up with it yet then what are you waiting for.