Taggart (1983–2010)
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Death Benefits 

Julia Fraser, wife of a police sergeant, is brutally murdered whilst he is on duty. During a search of the house a list of names is found. It appears that the names on the list are rapidly ... See full summary »


Alan J.W. Bell (as Alan Bell)


Glenn Chandler (creator), Barry Appleton


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Episode cast overview, first billed only:
Mark McManus Mark McManus ... DCI Jim Taggart
James MacPherson James MacPherson ... DS / DI / DCI Mike Jardine
Blythe Duff ... DC / Det. Sgt. Jackie Reid
Iain Anders ... Supt. Jack McVitie
Robert Robertson Robert Robertson ... Dr. Stephen Andrews
Anthony Cochrane Anthony Cochrane ... Dr. Crawford
Harriet Buchan Harriet Buchan ... Jean Taggart
Ken Hutchison ... George Donaldson
Alexander Morton ... John Fraser
Susie McKenna Susie McKenna ... Julie Fraser
Sean Scanlan Sean Scanlan ... Bob McKendrick
Caroline Paterson Caroline Paterson ... Cindy McKendrick
Ron Donachie ... Marco Cellini
Frederick Warder ... Langford
Siobhan Stanley Siobhan Stanley ... Christine


Julia Fraser, wife of a police sergeant, is brutally murdered whilst he is on duty. During a search of the house a list of names is found. It appears that the names on the list are rapidly meeting with a series of accidents - and yet the only connection between them is the list. Written by Anonymous

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Crime | Drama | Mystery



Did You Know?


Towards the end when the character George Donaldson is showing Sergeant John Fraser on his computer, the list of policy holders for the insurance policies he has purchased the name of Ian Rankin can be seen, of course Ian Rankin is the name of the writer for another famous Scottish Detective called Rebus. See more »

User Reviews

List of death
21 September 2018 | by TheLittleSongbirdSee all my reviews

Have always adored detective dramas/mystery series. This has been apparent from an early age, half my life even, when getting into Agatha Christie through Joan Hickson's Miss Marple and David Suchet's Poirot and into 'Inspector Morse'.

Whether it's the more complex ones like 'Inspector Morse' (and its prequel series 'Endeavour') and anything Agatha Christie. Whether it's the grittier ones like 'A Touch of Frost' (though that is balanced brilliantly with comedy too). And whether it's the light-hearted ones like 'Murder She Wrote'. 'Taggart' is one of the biggest examples of the grittier ones, especially the Mark McManus years and the earlier James MaPherson episodes.

"Death Benefits" is an excellent episode, and nearly one of my favourite 'Taggart' episodes though the pace could have been tighter in spots. What made 'Taggart' such a good show when it was in its prime is evident here. The characterisation here is meatier than seen pre-Jardine era, therefore more interesting with more development to Taggart and everything here just works.

Really like the slick, gritty look and Glasgow is like an ominous character on its own. The music matches the show's tone and has a good amount of atmosphere while the theme song/tune is one that stays in the memory for a long time. Really like Taggart and Jardine's chemistry here, which sees some priceless exchanges with them, and have always found it more interesting and settled than with Taggart and Livingstone. The relationship between Jardine and Reid was always blossoming nicely and had blossomed by this point, showing promising signs as to why it was one of the best things about the era when Jardine was in charge.

As to be expected, "Death Benefits" is thoughtfully scripted with nothing ridiculous happening and things being taken seriously without being too morose. The story is involving in its complexity and intricacy with nothing being what it seems, making the most of the long length (have generally found the 2000s episodes too short and rushed) without padding anything out. Some parts are not for the faint hearted, but nothing feels gratuitous and the investigations are compelling and with enough twists to stop it from being obvious. The ending is unexpected and clever.

Good acting helps, with Mark McManus being a suitably tough and blunt presence throughout and James MacPherson being every bit his equal. Blythe Duff continues to impress and Iain Anders is suitably hard-edged. Robert Robertson as ever steals scenes. Alexander Morton and Ken Hutchison are very good in supporting roles.

In conclusion, excellent. 9/10 Bethany Cox

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16 February 1993 (UK) See more »

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