New Tricks: The Gentleman Vanishes

“Who watches the Watch?”

Terry Pratchett

Yes, it’s New Tricks again, I’m afraid. An old episode this time, featuring a rather portly Tim McInnerny as Stephen Fisher (you know, the smug British Intelligence guy who turned up again in the most recent episodes) and some not-so-subtle references to The Matrix.

So a physics professor from UCL disappears, and the UCOS team are On The Case. Two of the witnesses turn out to have been dead at the time of the disappearance; there are some cryptic references to Japanese mythology; and, by the way, does cold fusion work?

This is quite an interesting episode, just because of the way Fisher manipulates the team into finding the answers. Although when Strickland asks him what the point of it all was, Fisher returns the highly unsatisfactory answer

This is the intelligence community, Robert. You start worrying about the point of it all, you’ll end up tying yourself in all sorts of knots.

What? That just sounds like the scriptwriters couldn’t come up with a satisfactory answer why British Intelligence was meddling with UCOS at all. There has to be a reason, for heavens’ sake.

Sorry. Where was I? Oh yes, British Intelligence. Well…actually, I can’t think of anything else to say. Some more average telly. And those last few seconds, with the CCTV screen? What was the point of that? A gratuitous reference to The Matrix, no doubt. Don’t get me wrong, I love The Matrix, but this just felt like the scriptwriters were showing off. “Look, we know about The Matrix. New Tricks can be cool too.”

No. No, it can’t.

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