NEW TRICKS (2012)

Season 9

Produced by: Wall to Wall Television.

Directors: Various

Created by: Roy Mitchell and Nigel McCrery.
Writers: Various

Cast: Alun Armstrong, James Bolam, Amanda Redman, Dennis Waterman, Anthony Calf, Susan Jameson, Denis Lawson...

Runtime: aprox. one hour each episode

Genres: Modern British TV Crime drama (on-going series)

Reviewed by Cherie Jung

This long-running crime drama about retired police detectives working as civilians to solve cold cases for the Metropolitan Police Department (London) has undergone a series character change. Jack Halford (James Bolam) left the series after appearing in the first episode of this season (Season #9) titled "A Death in the Family." A case is brought to the team by an arrogant and politically connected civil servant who demands they solve a murder that occurred in 1851 — yes, 1851 — and they have one day to do it. It was fun to watch the team squirm as they tried to refuse the case then became so involved in it that they refused to give it up.

As with any long-running series, when you start making major cast changes, you may alienate longtime viewers. Will the new mix have the dynamic to pull off the change? I'm not sure it works in this case. Jack's replacement isn't introduced until the fourth episode: "The Girl Who Lived." Retired police inspector Steve McAndrew (Denis Lawson) brings new evidence to the team relating to a case from 2003 when a 17-year-old girl disappeared in Scotland. Blood evidence suggested she was dead. The actor's heavy Scottish accent and rapid fire speech pattern were distracting and difficult to follow. Unless he slows down in future episodes, I think many in the American audience will have trouble warming to him, especially since Jack was such a beloved character.

There are ten episodes in this set.

If you are already a fan of this series you may find the addition of the new character to the team jarring. The only thing I can say is time will tell. I miss Jack. I've tired of the new character after only a few episodes, regardless of his accent. If you are new to the series, you won't know what you're missing. You don't get a real sense of the Jack Halford character in just one episode.

As I've mentioned in previous reviews of this series, the episodes in the later seasons were a bit uneven, some to the point of being boring. So far, the cold cases in this season (#9) have been interesting. We'll have to wait and see how things develop next season...

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