I watched this series having already seen Series 3-6, so it was interesting to have a little more background.
At this point, there aren't yet the darker strands to the narrative of Jack's pursuit of the man who he believes killed his wife, or Sandra's concerns about her father's integrity as a police officer. However, Gerry's gambling is uncontrolled enough to land him in serious trouble, and he spends the last few episodes of the series sorting himself out (or being sorted out by Sandra).
This series also marks the arrival of DAC Strickland, who starts out as a peripheral authority figure, to be fleshed out as a character in later series. Interestingly, Susan Jameson plays a larger part in this series than in later ones. She's OK, but I'm not totally convinced by her as an actress, and it may be that compared to the stellar performances of the other core members of the ensemble it was thought that she should take more of a back seat in later series.
The main UCOS team though is as top-class as could be expected, sparking off each other, like nothing so much as naughty schoolboys (and sometimes schoolgirl) trying to get one over the headmaster. Despite the sometimes hard subject matter - after all, in almost every case there's an old murder in question with people still suffereing from the effects - there are enough laughs in every episode to keep you entertained, while never quite falling over into pure slapstick (though I could believe a real-life police officer might have a different opinion!)
The guest performances also deserve a mention, particularly a tour de force by Timothy West in the last episode, where he is reminiscent of Heinz Wolff in his batty professor role. Jane Asher, Stephen Tompkinson and Honor Blackman also all clearly relish the chance to ham it up a bit - in the best possible way.