New Tricks – Series Six Rewards Its Audience
Viewers can consider it a gift when a favorite, long-running program continues to entertain, amuse, and surprise. Such is the case with British crime drama New Tricks, as evidenced by the release of New Tricks – Series Six on DVD by Acorn Media. Eight series of New Tricks aired between 2003 and 2011, and it’s been reported that BBC has committed to a ninth and tenth series in 2012 and 2013, each comprised of ten episodes.
New Tricks – Series Six includes eight episodes on three discs and a bonus behind-the-scenes featurette. The show revolves around UCOS--the Unsolved Crime and Open Case Squad—a unit of the London police composed of Detective Superintendent Sandra Pullman (Amanda Redman), and a team of older detectives who were recruited out of retirement to assist in solving cases that have long lain dormant: Jack Halford (James Bolam), Gerry Standing (Dennis Waterman), and Brian Lane (Alun Armstrong).
Each member of the team is somewhat peculiar and idiosyncratic (as many of us tend to be), and these traits enhance them as a team, as well as their contributions to each case. Cases are solved not because they are investigated by detectives, but because they are investigated by these particular detectives. In Series Six, UCOS is involved in an assortment of murder, suicide, and missing persons cases that are much more involved than originally suspected. While Pullman attempts to reign in her three civilian “boys” not bound by official police procedures, she is often frustrated by their conduct and the demands of her superiors.
There are few television series of which I have seen every episode, the only one that stands out is The X-Files. UCOS, in an X-Files-influenced episode, “The Truth is Out There,” becomes involved in a case rife with conspiracy theories, government cover-ups, a suspected suicide, and aliens. Lending assistance to the team is a knockoff of “The Lone Gunmen,” two geeky guys in a small room packed with technology and paranoia. And in true X-Files fashion, the episode ends ambiguously. Every episode of New Tricks is peppered with sly (sometimes wry) humor; “The Truth is Out There” is a special treat for Mulder and Scully fans.
New Tricks – Series Six is indeed rewarding for its viewers and fans. Consistently well-written stories combine nicely with the comfortable performances of the stars, providing the audience with the mystery of a guessing game and the company of some pleasant, old friends. (DVD release date: February 7, 2012.)