New Tricks has to be one of the most charming and comforting programs on the telly at the moment. Unlike the fashion in most crime dramas there is no blood and gore which is a plus (although that doesn’t stop me from watching Bones). However, it is the actors which make it a worthwhile hour of my time on a Friday night at the moment. Amanda Redman is just right as Sandra Pullman, the real policewoman in charge of her three mildly unruly and eccentric retired coppers. Together they are a slightly inefficient crime-solving machine. Although, I must admit these later series are not quite as narratively tight as the early episodes, it’s Jack, Jerry and most of all Brian who steal the show every week. Dennis Waterman is spot on as Jerry, the aging womaniser who loves a drink, a smoke and a good time. James Bolam is lovely as Jack, widower and elder statesman of the group. It’s Alun Armstrong though as Brian who steals the show. With a sometimes precarious grip on reality, Brian is a computer whiz with a knowledge of all things wild and wonderful, who can join random dots together to solve a case.
Last night’s Banksy inspired episode was the usual stuff, but more interesting for the fact that Brian joined Twitter in the opening scenes. His frustration at his inability to condense his morning’s activities into 140 characters was delightful, as was his glee when his followers reached double figures – 11. Sadly though, no-one (cast or writers) had much time for Brian’s growing twitter addiction and he deleted his @TopCop999 account after @DavetheFish said he was dull. What I was really waiting for was Brian’s twitter account to somehow save the day in the investigation of the cold case murder. That would have awesome, and a great trick indeed. Unfortunately, it was relegated to minor, amusing subplot that went nowhere. Perhaps Jerry could join Facebook in a few weeks time. I’m sure that’s fodder for plenty of hi-jinks.3 Comments »