Dennis Waterman, a.k.a. Gerry Standing, will leave the British comedy/drama New Tricks part way through the long-running series’ 12th season, which will begin filming in November. As the last original member of the fictional Unsolved Crime and Open Case Squad (UCOS) of the Metropolitan Police Service, Waterman has appeared in every episode of the series’ first 11 seasons and will bow out after appearing in two episodes of the upcoming series which will transmit in 2015. The original line-up of Amanda Redman as DS Sandra Pullman, James Bolam and Alun Armstrong left the series over the course of the 9th and 10th series leaving Waterman as the only original member while Denis Lawson, Nicholas Lyndhurst and, now, Tamzin Outhwaite were added to the cast as the “new” old dogs.
Looking back on the time frame when Amanda Redman and others left the series, one had to begin to wonder just how long Waterman would want to hang out with the new kids on the UCOS block. The original cast had been together since the BBC series premiered in 2003 having developed an amazing chemistry over the years which accounts for the fact that the series has been a favorite with viewers not only on BBC1 in the UK and public television in America but in over 25 countries around the world. The newest cast incarnation of New Tricks has continued to keep the series fresh and has held on to the series’ strong audience numbers resulting in it being commissioned for a 12th series. Let’s hope producers will continue to allow Waterman’s singing of the opening theme as it’s a classic.