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New Tricks Series 9 [Blu-ray]
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All ten episodes from the ninth series of the BBC police drama. A motley crew of retired police officers - including Gerry Standing (Dennis Waterman) and Brian Lane (Alun Armstrong) - are recruited by Superintendent Sandra Pullman (Amanda Redman) to reopen troublesome cases that were never laid to rest. The episodes are: A Death in the Family, Old School Ties, Queen and Country, The Girl Who Lived, Body of Evidence, Love Means Nothing in Tennis, Dead Poets, Blue Flower, Glasgow UCOS, and Parts of a Whole.
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Top Customer Reviews
The final comments were said in humour, but the unseemly argument had a point as this series dismantles everything I used to love about the show. I've watched all the episodes from the first eight series many times and I still find them enjoyable on the umpteenth rewatch, but the episodes this year were a struggle to watch even once.
The sad thing is, the change is deliberate, converting a fascinating character-driven detective series into a bog-standard plot-driven cop show. The opening few minutes of the first episode sets the scene for the new format. Gone is the teaser, and I assume that's because making an entertaining and often humorous scene that in a few minutes sets up the story requires a skill the makers no longer have. Then, instead of starting with the main cast, the show starts with a flashback showing the murder, and again I assume that's because showing a murder purely through dialogue is a skill this year's makers no longer have. Worse, it demonstrates the focus this year will be the crime and not the people who'll solve it.
What follows is a preposterous story that is unlike any previous episode and which writes Jack out without the emotion his leaving deserves.Read more ›
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. However, to be fair the episodes were a bit mixed this time round, probably more than in previous series, and one or two were quite obtuse.
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.Read more ›
I still find this series 9 entertaining. I felt some of the scripts had been tighter than before, presumably to try and keep the momentum going. Admittedly, the emphasis has shifted to crime solving cold cases with less member interplay. The interaction between the UCOS team has not quite the sparkle, but then again, ideas are difficult to maintain amongst a close-knit team and format ('Hustle' was another casualty). This is still prime-time fun with no other crime force or investigative team to touch it. Some of the scripts have been more reserved yet retain the fun element, some remaining improbable (look at the previous 1-8 series). The more prominent role of Strickland (Anthony Calf) suggested this was the start of a fill in for Jack. He is far more sympathetic to Sandra than his obstructive past. In the 4th episode, Glaswegian Steve McAndrew (Dennis Fisher) is seconded to investigate the disappearance of a girl. His brash approach treads on toes, particularly Brian's, who feels he is jumping into Jack's boots, smoothed over eventually by the lovely, understanding Esther, (Susan Jameson), Brian's wife.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Sad to see such a good series start to go downhill. The departure of Jack Halford, after the very first episode, and introduction of the Scottish guy changed the total 'feel' of... Read morePublished 6 months ago by E.Whaley