New Tricks

They say you can’t teach an old dog new tricks – and this tongue-in-cheek crime show has been embodying that phrase for six very popular series. But with 46 episodes and countless convictions to their names, is it time that we took this crime-fighting foursome more seriously? TV’s most curmudgeonly cops are back on our screens with a seventh helping of the show, returning to pry open the lid on more dastardly, unsolved cold cases from yesteryear. There’s Chief Superintendent Sandra Pullman (Amanda Redman), the ever-exasperated sole female presence on the unit. And then there are her three old ‘dogs’: quick-tempered Jack Halford (James Bolam), old school Gerry Standing (Dennis Waterman) and obsessive compulsive Brian Lane (Alun Armstrong). According to show insiders, the new series will be darker than previous runs. The cases – which include the death of a wealthy financier and an undercoveroperation in the London Library – are going to get grittier, and there may be less focus on the personal lives of the team. That said, fans will be hoping for more revelations of the kind that peppered the closing scenes of series six. In the finale, we learned that Gerry was descended from FrenchHuguenots – much to his annoyance, because everyone joked that he was a ‘fake Cockney’. More shockingly, Sandra also discovered that the killer she had been tracking in the latest cold case was none other than her own, long-lost brother. The horror! Keep an eye out for some excellent guest cameos, too – from Being Human’s Paul Rhys to Ladies of Letters star Anne Reid, Sherlock’s Rupert Graves, One Foot in the Grave’s Annette Crosbie and recent Celebrity MasterChef contestant Neil Stuke.