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Taggart: Ends of Justice (2010)
The end ... maybe.
28 years is a long time in show business.
The final episode ties up the loose ends and leaves the series open for another movie.
Jackie finally receives the promotion she deserves. Burke appears to move upstairs to community liaisons. Robbie Ross falls off the rails but is saved when his mates rally around.
Niall Greig Fullerton returns to play villain and puts in a brilliant performance. Why haven't we seen more of him?
It is a pity that Taggart did not stick to its original format. The one hour episodes did not work. The stories came to an abrupt end. Character development suffered.
But all good things must come to an end. Taggart is to be congratulated. It managed to change with the times but stay true to its theme. Glasgow was always the central character. From the opening scene of the very first episode until the very end - the streets and people of Scotland's largest city were the theme of the show.
So its goodbye Taggart. Thank you for the memories.
Taggart: Bloodsport (2010)
Taggart has a gambling problem.
This is a sub-standard episode of Taggart. However, Jackie and Robbie finally manage to light up the screen with a pash.
D.I. Robbie Ross is finally confronted with the truth of his addiction. While investigating the murder of a cage fighter the team discover Robbie has been betting on the results.
The one hour format has not allowed for the development of these personal story lines, which is a pity. Now that the series is drawing to a close we have some interesting developments. Jackie is due for a promotion. Burke is under pressure to move up and Ross's life is in chaos. What's the point?
Taggart: Fallen Angels (2010)
Taggart has a heart.
This is a quality episode that could have been drawn out by another half hour.
The apparent suicide and murder of a family gives our characters opportunity to show case their acting skills. Although Alex Norton still feels the need to grind out every thought.
The producers should have given thought to creating three or four feature length episodes per year. Taggart wasn't broken. It just needed to pace itself.
In the end this episode is a winner. If the series is to end after nearly three decades I'm glad its going out on a high.
Taggart: Silent Truth (2010)
Taggart and the refugees
This is Taggart at its best. The way it used to be.
The episode opens with a horrific attack on an Iranian refugee. The victim's family is scheduled to be deported. The team first suspect a taxi driver who turns out to be a Gulf war veteran with questionable views. A corrupt immigration official and a crime figure complete the cast of characters.
In the final scene Burke and his team manage to find the common link that ties the characters together.
In the end I couldn't help wonder about Taggart's eventual demise. If it had been able to sustain this level of script writing and acting the series could have had a future.
Taggart: Abuse of Trust (2010)
Taggart verses the union.
In this episode DCI Burke takes on a union leader caught up in a long running strike. DI Bobbie Ross turns up with a new convertible claiming he paid for it from the proceeds of horse raising. No doubt we will see his integrity brought into question in upcoming episodes. DCI Burke is asked to consider a promotion and his commitment to the job will become an issue also.
Unfortunately Burke's Mr Angry routine is now just tiresome.
Perhaps the most redeeming feature of Taggart is Glasgow itself. The camera frequently lingers on its historical buildings and street scape. Taggarts original concept was to make the city the central character. Perhaps this is why it has lasted for no long.
Taggart: Bad Medicine (2010)
The case of the dead doctor.
When Taggart first appeared in 1983 it quickly became one of my favorite shows because it was so unpredictable. No matter how hard I tried I could never pick the murderer.
How things have changed.
In BAD MEDICINE you know who the bad guys are the moment they appear. First of all they are English. This is a Scottish show after all. Secondly, they are policemen. This is a formula that has been used before. Finally, they are sneaky. Moretti and Casey turn up in all the wrong places and are even caught rifling through DCI Burke's files.
Taggart looks tired. The shorter format and faster pace have not worked to breath new life into the long running show. Burke's angry glare is now just annoying.
Perhaps it is time to put the old girl out to pasture.
Taggart: Local Hero (2010)
Taggart gets community minded.
The unstated star of Taggart has always been the city of Glasgow. The Allerdykes Estate is the focus of tonight's episode which deals with tensions between the occupants of an urban project.
The show opens with a victim hanging from a children's playground. The park is often used by drug addicts and prostitutes. But as the team investigates they discover tensions within the community watch committee. In particular a father and son team who have been expelled from the project who had every reason to be angry with the victim.
This episode centers on DS Jackie Reid who falls hard for the youth officer - Harry Wallace. DCI Burke makes life hard for the love starved police woman when he accuses her of losing objectivity.
Unfortunately the detectives discover that Wallace has changed his name and is hiding a violent past.
This is an ordinary episode and feels like we have seen it all before.
Taggart: The Rapture (2010)
Taggart joins a cult.
Alexander Morton returns to Taggart for the third time as the leader of a cult at the centre of a murder investigation.
DCI Matt Burke is called to investigate when a father and son team are found murdered and their bibles are highlighted in blood. DC Stuart Fraser displays his knowledge of theology by commenting that the underlined passages refer to the second coming of Christ.
Unfortunately the congregation refuses to co-operate with the police causing Burke to come into conflict with the church's leader - James Hardie.
Meanwhile, DS Jackie Reid (Blythe Duff), begins an investigation into the disappearance of the daughter of an old friend, Eileen Mulray (Rachel Ogilvy). When the body of a young woman is found, links begin to appear between the church and the woman's death.
The murderer becomes obvious before the conclusion of the show. However, it is a pleasing episode with excellent performances all round.
Taggart: Fact and Fiction (2009)
Taggart meets Cold Case
While investigating credit card fraud, Reid and Ross raid a mobile shop for cloning cards and come across a mobile phone that belonged to James Melville, who was murdered three years previous.
The phone was sold by Brian McFarlane on Ebay. McFarlane points the investigators to Phyllis Wade, who claims the phone came from lost property at the University. However, we see that the phone came from Mark Joffe who is having an affair with Wade. Joffe has also written a novel that details a murder identical to the cold case the team is investigating.
The original detective, DCI Wilson, believes Joffe is a serial murderer as several other murders took place at the same time and place as the author's travels abroad. As the investigation continues DCI Burke uncovers an affair that links Melville to Joffe.
This is a well written episode with one weakness. The story comes to an abrupt end when the murderer is caught in a sting.
Taggart: So Long Baby (2009)
Taggart finds a baby.
As DI Ross leaves work to begin his holiday he finds an abandoned baby on the door step of a neighbor's house. When Ross investigates further he discovers a dead man lying on the kitchen floor in a pool of blood. Ross immediately cancels his holiday to help with the investigation.
The victim turns out to be Jack Revie, a retired businessman. DCI Burke discovers that the victims son, Jamie, was at home taking drugs while the murder was taking place. Joan Revie, the wife, was shopping in London and appears to have an alibi. Meanwhile Burke interviews a friend of Jamie's, Davy, who was also in the house that night and was overheard having an argument with the victim before he was murdered.
Meanwhile the victim's brother in law, Cassidy, reveals that Jack Revie was a often unfaithful to his wife. He insinuates that the abandoned baby may have been left by a distraught mistress.
Jackie Reid finds the mother of the baby. The team also uncovers evidence that half a million pounds is missing from the victim's account.
By the time the murderer is uncovered there are few surprises left. It is a story line that has been used before in other shows. However, that does not take from the quality of this show and its fine acting.