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This is the second episode of the second season of Taggart and was
originally shown on February 9th, 1986.
Taggart and Peter Livingstone are called in to investigate when a woman's body is found weighted down with her own luggage at the bottom of a loch. She was last seen with her husband and a suitcase full of cash preparing for a flight to Switzerland.
This is not a brilliant episode of Taggart, particularly after the previous episode "Knife edge," which was outstanding. The writers often took 6 months to research and write the script often basing the story on real life events. So the disappointing end came as a surprise.
Taggart is credited for kick starting the careers of a number of big name actors. In this episode Alan Cumming is given a chance to show his potential. He later moved to Hollywood and appeared in Saturday Night Live and X men 2.
At the end of the day Mark McManus is Taggart and that is a good enough reason to watch this show.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
When it comes to classic Taggart I think the last ten minutes of Death
Call is the most vivid memory (multiple scenes from Nest of Vipers
apart that is.)
Taggart and Livingstone are called in to deal with the murder of Eva Russell, a beautiful German woman and wife of a wealthy landowner, she'd been strangled and dumped in the River Clyde. Prime suspect is young Jamie McCormack, a shop assistant who's spent time with her just before her disappearance. An old flame of Peter's Helen Mendoza reappears the Russell's solicitor and complicates matters for both Peter and Taggart.
It's a little slow in parts I guess, but there are lots of things going on, interesting questions are asked, attitudes have changed so much since then, but this provides an interesting snapshot of 1986 attitudes.
I like the mayhem Helen Mendoza causes for both Peter and Taggart, I think this episode left a few questions unanswered, did Taggart....? Kenny's deceit is also very interesting, and his discovery is very well acted, even better knowing that he wrote lots of Taggart episodes.
For my money Glenn Chandler wrote the best Taggart episodes and this is up there with Knife Edge and Nest of Vipers.
Notable performances from a young Julie Graham and a young Alan Cumming, this show was especially good at seeking new young talent.
As I mentioned at the start though this episode is all about the last ten minutes, nearly thirty years on it's still a really dark and nasty bit of TV, you would never have seen it coming! I won't give away the identity of the killer, but talk about chilling, 'you find ways of dealing with those little problems, don't you.'
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