Saturday, 11 September 2010


Preceded by a superb tribute to EastEnders's legendary Peggy Mitchell (Barbara Windsor), New Tricks came back yesterday on BBC One for a seventh series.

Douglas Anderson, a financier based in Hong Kong before retiring back in the UK, died of a heart attack after disturbing a burglar and an ensuing struggle at his home two years ago. When psychic Sebastian Carter (Paul Rhys) reveals to Anderson's daughter (Alice Patten) that there's some unfinished business surrounding her father's death, UCOS reluctantly reopens the investigation. And DS Pullman (Amanda Redman) is stunned when Carter challenges her about her newly discovered brother, Tom (Jo Stone-Fewings).

A suprisingly slow and disappointing premiere. Dead Man Talking is written and directed by Julian Simpson, who yet wrote The Truth is Out There, one of the best episodes of series six. Fortunately Brian's antics save the episode, thanks to the talented Alun Armstrung - who shares one of those wonderful scenes with Susan Jameson (Brian's wife). And there's also a great Sandra/Gerry moment (« Not you, Gerry! The bloody car! ») But guest David Bradley is regrettably underused.

The intrigue itself was Bergerac without the charms of Jersey and the series needs more outdoor location scenes before it starts feeling claustrophobic. We'll see next week if everything is still "alright and OK" or if New Tricks is now the ghost of its former self.

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