'New Tricks: Season Two'
(Alun Armstrong, Amanda Redman, Dennis Waterman, James Bolam, et al / 3-Disc DVD / NR / 2010 / BBC Video)
Overview: The second season of the BBC's comic whodunit, New Tricks, arrives on DVD 1/19! They might not look like a team of crack detectives, but once veteran coppers Lane, Standing, Halford, and their bullish boss Pullman get their teeth into their cold cases, things heat up pretty quickly. With old-school detective work and a little state-of-the-art forensics, the veterans unearth a range of baffling crimes.
DVD Verdict: The tag lines for this British TV show all seem to say, 'Who says you can't teach an old dog new tricks?' Hmmmm, well, having just watched this entire second season straight thru - and having been a fan of the debut season too - I can say these guys may well be 'old dogs,' but it's their old tricks that they are using to catch the criminals!
Back for another spin on the circuit, 'New Tricks' second series is now on DVD, the same rock-solid procedural police drama - albeit at a slower pace and a lot more aches and pains - as before!
'New tricks' features some great actors, clever writing and excellent stories make for an entertaining (near) hour of TV. The show has a serious side but the focus is on the very subtle comedy these four people - the three aged former detectives (James Bolam, The Likely Lads; Alun Armstrong, Little Dorrit; and the always-brilliant Dennis Waterman, The Sweeney) and their (still) very sexy, yet also old(er) female boss (Amanda Redman, Sexy Beast) - convey on screen.
In the first episode, lots of old school BBC faces are openly brought to the fore within the first couple of minutes. After having been out of the country for 16+ years it was great to see these famous, cozy faces once more - albethey on aging bodies, of course! The sub plot of how much each of the three guys earn over each other runs wild through this episode though, and sure, the series takes half an hour to get started due to it, but the end result of the episode was not too expected; thank God!
The Indian-themed second episode is a slow, slow, slooooow burner of a show, but features a great one-liner: when the new Indian PC is brought in to the squad to aid, he states his name as Parkard Carr ... which he then quips with, 'which is Indian for Skoda'! Bloody hilarious, well done the writers of the show; very funny moment. He also quips again later on that his ex had a 'face like a box of frogs' and then later again, another ex as having a face 'like a crushed crab'! Episode three pulls another plodding start out of the gate, but with a plot that changes direction 15 minutes in; and starring old UK fav actor Nicholas Ball (Hazell) you know you're in for some fun.
Episode four stars the always frickin' beautiful Honor Blackman (Avengers) as a restaurant owner that might have killed her gay husband some 30 years back! Blackman's acting chops are still in good form and she controls this entire episode - although Redman's mickey take on her deep voice halfway thru is spot on; spot frickin' on! That said, sadly the ending is abrupt and leaves you wanting to know more answers. The fifth episode is all about a 15 million (GPB) red diamond and a traditional underworld crime caper. Again, starring a great old-time British actor in the bad guy role, Anthony Valentine (Raffles), the show keeps you guessing until its final (cute) reveal.
The sixth episode surrounds Gerry's gambling problem, and how it suddenly connects to the reopening of a cold case file. This dog napping tale is a great yarn, features some nicely spun out inner circle team turmoil, and has a great ending! The seventh episode has a very interesting storyline; one that features Gerry (again) trying to quit smoking - which always adds up to some in-house gags! A fishing tale this is not about the one that got away, but the one that got caught!
And finally, in episode eight, the last of the second season, we get the acting abilities of the always-lovely, always-so-posh red-haired Jane Asher. She's been around for simply years and yet still looks in her mid-thirties! She's at the center of a Woman Eaten By Boar cover-up and has some quick thinking to accomplish to keep this tale from becoming boaring; which she manages perfectly. The season wraps very cleanly, and knowing there are five (5) more seasons to go yet, well, I just can't wait for season 3 on DVD! This is a Full Screen Presentation (1.77:1) enhanced for 16x9 TVs, but (sadly) does not comes with any Special Features.