Taggart (1983–2010)
7.8/10
40
2 user

Hostile Witness Part One 

A by-election is taking place in Glasgow and one of the candidates represents the Referendum for the Return of Capital Punishment party. When the candidate and her agent are murdered, Taggart is pressed for a quick solution to the crime.

Director:

Haldane Duncan

Writers:

Glenn Chandler (creator), Glenn Chandler
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Cast

Episode cast overview, first billed only:
Mark McManus Mark McManus ... DCI Jim Taggart
James MacPherson James MacPherson ... DS Mike Jardine
Neil McKinven ... John Greeney
Robert McIntosh Robert McIntosh ... James Little
Carol Holmes Carol Holmes ... Jeannette Little
Aline Mowat Aline Mowat ... Lesley Hay
James Carroll Jordan ... Sam Paris
Jan Carey ... Joanna Gillan
Ian McCulloch ... Donald Gillan
Joe Dunlop Joe Dunlop ... George Hay
Harriet Buchan Harriet Buchan ... Jean Taggart
Iain Anders ... Supt. Jack McVitie
Robert Robertson Robert Robertson ... Dr. Stephen Andrews
Campbell Morrison Campbell Morrison ... Willie Jamieson
James Telfer James Telfer ... Kenneth Rose
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Storyline

A by-election is taking place in Glasgow and one of the candidates represents the Referendum for the Return of Capital Punishment party. When the candidate and her agent are murdered, Taggart is pressed for a quick solution to the crime.

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Genres:

Crime | Drama | Mystery

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Details

Release Date:

22 February 1990 (UK) See more »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

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Did You Know?

Quotes

Sam Paris: Whatever happened to the polite British bobby?
DS Mike Jardine: Ah we took assertiveness training.
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User Reviews

 
Elective hostility
25 August 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.

"Hostile Witness" is good but 'Taggart' is not at its best by any stretch. It can drag, a tighter first half would have improved things, and it does take too long to get going and get to the point.

There is enough thought of what made 'Taggart' such a good show when it was in its prime is evident here. The characterisation here is meatier than seen previously, therefore more interesting with more development to Taggart.

Really like the slick, gritty look and Glasgow is like an ominous character on its own, as well as quite picturesque. 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 as always, which sees some priceless exchanges with them, and it is more interesting and settled than with Taggart and Livingstone.

As to be expected, "Hostile Witness" is thoughtfully scripted with nothing ridiculous happening and things being taken seriously without being too morose. The story is involving in its complexity 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. One doesn't predict the ending at all, which is clever and not convoluted or far-fetched.

Good acting helps, with Mark McManus being a suitably tough and blunt presence throughout and James MacPherson being every bit his equal. The supporting cast and chemistry don't undermine them in any way and are actually very good, Robert Robertson adds such a lot in every episode he was in and that is the case here. Likewise with Iain Anders. It was interesting to see a young Robert Carlyle.

In short, pretty good episode but there was much better before and since. 7/10 Bethany Cox


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