Posted: 06/07/2011


New Tricks

by Elaine Hegwood Bowen

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New Tricks is a long-running, award-winning British television series featuring a brilliant cast, along with compelling drama and dry humor, The Season 4 DVD is available June 7 with eight episodes on three DVDs.

New Tricks stars Amanda Redman (Sexy Beast, Demob), who leads a motley crew of semi-retired detectives investigating cold cases. Also starring are Dennis Waterman (The Sweeney, Circles of Deceit), Alun Armstrong (Garrow’s Law, Bleak House), and James Bolam (The Beiderbecke Affair). The three former detectives thought they were retired, until the lovely and persuasive superintendent Sandra Pullman, played by Redman, recruits them to right the wrongs of the past. Now members of the unsolved crimes unit of the Metropolitan Police, they reinvestigate tough cases no one else can crack.

Their methods are old-fashioned, and they don’t care about the rules because they have little to lose. Gerry Standing, played by Waterman, is thrice divorced; Brian Lane, played by Armstrong, is depressed; and Jack Halford, played by Bolam, is mourning the death of his wife, killed by a hit-and-run driver. But their camaraderie is real, and their skills are still sharp.
In one episode, Casualty, the crew ends up in the hospital after a car accident that appears to be really suspect, but Halford is really after the man who he believed killed his wife in the car accident. Pullman is only slightly injured and after returning to work, she is forced to accept temporary help, as the three men recuperate. However, Pullman suspects that they are being spied on, with their boss trying to figure out about the car accident.

To prove that they are still viable, the men stumble upon the case of a murdered man who was a patient at the hospital 10 years prior. They pump fresh life into old leads that have gone stale, including a bi-polar nurse who was suddenly fired after the murders, even though she had been having an affair with a married doctor. The trail finally leads them to a man who has been abused as a child by the murdered man. The crew finally gets their groove back and solves the case.

Other episodes include God’s Waiting Room, Duck and Diving, Nine Lives, Powerhouse, Buried Treasure, Father’s Pride and Big Topped. New Tricks is a smash U.K. crime series that gives the old guys a new outlook on their professional lives.
New Tricks is available on DVD from Acorn Media Group and from select retailers. For more information, visit

Elaine Hegwood Bowen is an editor, writer and film critic in Chicago.

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