NEW TRICKS (2010) Series 7

Produced by: Wall to Wall Television.
Producers include: Mike Dormer, Alex Graham, Gina Cronk.

Created by: Roy Mitchell and Nigel McCrery.
Written by: Julian Simpson & Roy Mitchell and Nigel McCrery,

J. C. Wilsher & Roy Mitchell and Nigel McCrery,
Lisa Holdsworth & Roy Mitchell and Nigel McCrery

Directed by: Julian Simpson, Martyn Friend, Philip John

Starring: Alun Armstrong, James Bolam, Amanda Redman, Dennis Waterman, Anthony Calf, Susan Jameson...

Genre: Crime drama (on-going series)

Available on DVD (Only PAL format)

Reviewed by Cherie Jung

NEW TRICKS is a popular BBC police drama following the London Metropolitan Police Department's UCOS squad (the Unsolved Crime and Open Case squad), now in its 8th season.

Detective Superintendent Sandra Pullman (Amanda Redman) continues to lead the UCOS squad. Her colleagues are former detectives, now retired, Jack Halford (James Bolam), Brian Lane (Alan Armstrong), and Gerry Standing (Dennis Waterman).

Season 8 of NEW TRICKS is now showing in England. Season 7 is available for those who have a non-regional DVD player.

Season 7 is comprised of ten episodes.

"Dead Man Talking": An unsuccessful burglary combined with a clairvoyant who claims the dead father of the burglary victim is giving him messages for her raises Sandra's suspicions about the burglary, the clairvoyant, and the death of the wealthy father some years earlier.

"It Smells of Books": In 2007 Richard Symes, a lecturer, fell or was pushed off the roof at the university where he taught. Brian doesn't believe the man committed suicide and goes undercover in the library to prove his theory.

"Left Field": A recently released pedophile admits to killing a 5-year-old who disappeared during a peace march he was attending with his parents in 1985. Sandra doesn't believe the man's confession and sets out to prove what really happened to the child. She suspects the parents had something to do with the disappearance, whether through malice or neglect, she isn't certain.

"Dark Chocolate": A sexual assault in a cake shop is identical to at least two unsolved rapes which occurred ten years earlier at a chocolate factory.

"Good Morning Lemmings": Danny Tyler (Flak), a famous graffiti artist, was killed four years earlier. Now new graffiti is appearing around London claiming, "I killed Flak."

"Fashion Victim": 8 years ago, Ritchie Levene, a clothes designer, was murdered — stabbed in the neck with a pair of sewing scissors. For years, his ex-wife has wanted the case re-opened. There are plenty of suspects including Ritchie's second wife.

"Where There's Smoke": The team is asked to re-investigate a deadly fire that occurred 14 years ago. What was thought to be a terrible accident may have been arson.

"Coming Out Ball": The teen-aged daughter of a wealthy arms manufacturer was kidnapped but not returned although the ransom was paid. Sandra believes it was an inside job and tries to find out what really happened to Barbara. Only one person knows the whole truth...

"Gloves Off": A young boxer was shot and killed in 1999. The main suspects all had alibis, including his boxing rival. Now the murder weapon has finally been found and the team must re-investigate the murder. New information indicates the fight may have been rigged.

"The Forth Man": Detective Inspector Frank Paterson temporarily joins the team to re-open a 30-year-old bullion robbery after he believes he's finally tracked down the get-away car. During the robbery, two guards were killed. One of the gang members has never been accounted for. Paterson thinks the evidence also implicates deputy assistant commissioner John Flesham. Flesham sees this as his chance to disband UCOS.

Unfortunately, the quality of the unsolved cases has drastically diminished. I found all of these episodes to be dull and rather uninteresting. Even the dynamics between the team members seems stale. I hope the next season will have regained the momentum, vitality, and humor of the early episodes.

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