Old Dogs New Tricks

Since the pandemic began, I’ve been watching a lot more television and I’ve been drawn to lighter shows with some comedy. After a year at home, it’s becoming harder and harder to find new TV shows with lots of episodes to watch.

Lately we’ve been watching a British crime series that we’ve been enjoying very much. We discovered it on streaming and I was delighted to notice that we have Season 7 on DVD at the library. It’s called New Tricks and stars four great English actors (Amanda Redman, James Bolam, Alun Armstrong and Dennis Waterman).

Three retired English police officers return to work to hunt bad guys in a new unit called UCOS (Unsolved Crimes and Open Cases squad), reporting to a much younger female officer. They use old-fashioned police work and their decades of contacts to solve cases that defeated other squads. The characters are fantastic:

Jack is the executive, suit-wearing type – who has his beloved late wife buried in his back garden! His nightly talks to his wife (with her headstone surrounded by candles) are intriguing.

Brian has a photographic memory and recalls details of every case and person he’s ever heard of, as well as being the team’s computer guy. He has a hard time socializing with actual people but has a devoted wife.

Jerry has been married and divorced three times and has a daughter with each wife – they have formed a close-knit family unit and all regularly have dinner together. He’s the ladies man of the group and has good contacts on the street.

The tone is light-hearted and loyal – and they always solve the case! There are 12 seasons of the show, but the first 8 seasons are the only ones that contain all of the original cast, and these seasons are by far the best.