The Unsolved Crime and Open Case Squad (UCOS) are back as New Tricks series 10 returned Tuesday night with a two-part special that took them abroad for the first time. The investigation leads the team, headed by DS Sandra Pullman (Amanda Redman), to the port of Gibraltar where they have to work hand in hand with the local police force to solve two separate murders linked by the same gun.
New Tricks 10 facing an uphill battle
While ex-DCS Gerry Standing (Dennis Waterman) will remain in the UCOS, making him the only original cast member still standing, the 10-year old series faces an uphill battle having had to deal with the earlier departure of James Bolam and now, will be faced with both Amanda Redman and Alun Armstrong set to leave during the series’ 10th series.
To combat the losses, Denis Lawson (Bleak House, Holby City) was added to the cast during the ninth series to replace the departing ex-DCS Jack Halford (Bolam). Then, New Tricks 10 will also see the addition of Nicholas Lyndhurst (After You’ve Gone, Goodnight Sweetheart, Only Fools and Horses) as Dan Griffin, a former diplomatic protection officer. Dan is an interesting character with an inscrutable face and an air of mystery surrounding him. While the old dogs, Standing, in particular, are a bit suspicious of the ‘new dog’ early on, he soon proves his worth to the team bringing with him the combination of a smart, analytical brain and a dark and dry sense of humor. One final cast update has Tamzin Outhwaite (Eastenders) replacing Amanda Redman as boss of the UCOS team.
It’s still up in the air as to whether or not New Tricks can survive such a monumental cast changes. While history might dictate that abrupt, major cast changes are survivable (e.g. Doctor Who, Spooks), it’s going to be an uphill battle for the 10-year old series that began last night on BBC One. Fans in the States can look forward to seeing series 10 in 2014 on public television stations nationwide. When the New Tricks UCOS team works its final investigation, lets hope it’s due to the end of fresh script ideas and not that the stellar cast being assembled was never given a chance.