'New Tricks - Season 6'
(Amanda Redman, James Bolam, Alun Armstrong, Dennis Waterman, et al / 3-Disc / Not Rated / (2008) 2012 / Acorn Media)
Overview: Recruited out of various stages of retirement are the deeply gifted English character actors James Bolam (playing recent widower Jack Halford), Alun Armstrong (terrific as the obsessive-compulsive Brian Lane, who left the force after a nervous breakdown), and Dennis Waterman (a former sergeant and hothead who likes his liquor and isn't at all sure about having a lady boss). New Tricks is part police procedural--with a deliciously long running time of 90 minutes per episode--as well as a humorous work dramedy!
DVD Verdict: I love this UK TV show! Have done since the very first season and cannot wait for season seven to make its way to DVD over here. And, for those interested also, they have also signed on for seasons 8 and 9 in the UK!
In the first episode, 'The War Against Drugs,' Brian is forced by his wife Hester into an Addiction Clinic, after his alcoholic meltdown at the end of the last season. An old Priory, it is run by Monks still, which freaks Brian out even more, but when an 9 year old murder is unearthed both he and the team set to work. This episode also stars the always-reliable Richard Wilson as the head monk. In 'Death of a Timeshare Salesman,' Brian is back in the fold at work and the case of the death of this salesman from 5 years prior is on their desks. In the midst of the episode there is a great 'aging' scene between Brian and Jack that comes across to very real in its context. The story twists and turns a little, and ends up being about an old gold robbery. It also includes Shane Ritchie ('Eastenders').
In 'The Truth Is Out There,' an old cop friend of Jack's is buried, and after some digging into his death it is revealed that it might have something to do with the crash landing of a UFO! Starring the wonderful Mark Williams ('Harry Potter') as a diehard UFO believer, it also stars one half of '80s cops, Dempsey & Makepeace ie: Glynis Barber - as an American ex-military man with secrets to hide. In 'Shadow Show,' old footage from a 1990's shot-in-black-and-white film shows some beatings on set - to a woman that subsequently went missing, and a man who subsequently was stabbed to death in his office! 20 years after the fact and UCOS get to visit Pinewood Studios, and in particular, the set of 007!
In 'The Last Laugh,' Gerry gets a bday treat from the gang and goes to a comedy club to see an old-time comedian perform. But, as with everything our gang gets involved with, soon the heckling turns to trouble and a missing persons case is revealed! This episode involves AFL (Anti Facist League) and their 2044 clan, AND, more importantly, it brings full cicle the Ricky Hansen and Jack issues! In an episode that could have easily been a season-ender, it is still a very satisfying ending.
In 'Fresh Starts,' a man who knows his wife was killed in a car crash thinks he still sees her on the streets a year later! A story that revolves around illegal immigrants, jealous husands and protective sisters, the ending is a little out there, but acceptable. In 'Blood Is Thicker Than Water,' after a trip to see Strickland's boat in a private marina, the gang get involved in an 8 year old boat crash case that caused the death of five people. As they probe, those that thought they were at fault, and lost everything because of it thereafter, are found to be innocent, and others that weren't associated in the first place with it turns out to be knee deep in it!
In the season ender, 'Meat Is Murder,' an old butcher is found cut up and buried some 30 years after the fact - and is immediately linked to the death of a doctor. Focused on the meat packing district of London, a place Gerry knows only too well given that his whole family (generations) seem to still work there, come the end a HUGE fact is revealed - and it's one that shocks three out of the four of the UCOS team to the core! The Behind-The-Scenes featurette focuses on Sound Post Production, otherwise known as The Foley Artists. A very revealing 19 minutes this, as it also shows us the people that make the music we here behind the words include Brian Bennett and his son, Warren. Oh yeah, Brian is one of Cliff Richard's Shadows from 50 years back! These are all Full Screen Presentations (1:66.1) enhanced for 16x9 TVs.