New Tricks: The Little Brother

“The sky is full of dreams, but you don’t know how to fly.”

The Killers

I’m aware this review is a little late, since the episode in question was broadcast the Tuesday before last. But you know how it is, you wait for a week for something decent to review and about a million things come along at once…

Anyway, I’m getting quite annoyed with New Tricks at the moment. You see, this week Brian Lane, funny, sad Brian, lynchpin of UCOS, was fired, for reasons on which I am still unclear. And, yes, he was in this episode, in what you might call a consultant detective function, but he certainly isn’t in the next episode, and, I suspect, will not be in another episode of New Tricks ever again. At this rate, none of UCOS will be left by October.

I realise that all of that sounded quite angry, and I’m not really sure who I’m angry with, since the actors’ decision to quit is, of course, theirs to make. I think it’s the way that the BBC have, instead of cancelling the show altogether, decided to continue making New Tricks but with new characters. See, I’m sure the show cannot be the same without the character dynamic that’s been built up over the years. It will be like the ninth series of Scrubs. Or the last few series of The Bill when they fired everyone and replaced the old theme tune with that stupid non-music. In short, it will be a disappointment.

I should probably write something about the actual episode. It was, I suppose, rather good for New Tricks: the sacked Brian is asked by a friend of Esther’s to find a missing brother, while UCOS investigates a conman who may be connected to several outstanding cases. Of course, this being Soapland, their paths cross, and soon the case becomes much more interesting.

It was nice to see Esther joining in with the sleuthing (and being rather good at it), and the episode ended on a fairly upbeat note. But, with 50% of UCOS – the original UCOS, I mean, of course, with apologies to Denis Lawson – gone, I am not hopeful for the future of New Tricks.


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