New Tricks (2003–2015)
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The team revive a 30-year-old investigation into animal cruelty when a dog is found butchered on Hampstead Heath. The original investigation focused on John Fletcher, who was the press ... See full summary »


Juliet May


Steve Coombes, Roy Mitchell (creator) | 1 more credit »

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Episode complete credited cast:
Alun Armstrong ... Brian Lane
James Bolam ... Jack Halford
Amanda Redman ... Det. Supt. Sandra Pullman
Dennis Waterman ... Gerry Standing
Susan Jameson Susan Jameson ... Esther Lane
Caroline Loncq ... Pathologist
Michael Maloney ... John Fletcher
Richard Briers ... James Farlow
Marian Pashley Marian Pashley ... Miss Herbert
Joseph Millson ... Tom Christie
Frances de la Tour ... Professor Styles


The team revive a 30-year-old investigation into animal cruelty when a dog is found butchered on Hampstead Heath. The original investigation focused on John Fletcher, who was the press officer for The Human Liberation Front, an organization that was set up to counter the animal rights movement but no longer in existence. They seek advice from James Farlow, the animal control officer at the time, but have few leads. They determine that the killer may actually have wanted to harvest the animal's vital organs. Meanwhile, Jack is feeling ill and is hospitalized with some unknown ailment. Written by garykmcd

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Release Date:

1 May 2006 (UK) See more »

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Did You Know?


Sandra mentions Shipman during an argument over criminals not getting caught for decades, James Bolam who plays Jack played Shipman in Harold Shipman doctor of death four years earlier. See more »


Tom Christie tells Sandra Pullman and Gerry Standing that he is a wine dealer, and offers them a glass of wine asking for a 2nd opinion. As he pours Gerry a glass, he cups the bowl as he pours it. This is generally discouraged in the wine industry, as the heat from ones hand impairs the flavour. Because of this, it is preferred to hold the glass by the stem during wine tasting, thus the liquid remains at room temperature (or chilled as required) for longer. Something Mr Christie should be aware of, working in the industry. See more »


[first lines]
Brian Lane: Now, we've got to be ruthless, Scruffy. Ester wants this clutter halved. So... come on, let's crack on. Now. Right. Chest expanders.
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It's Alright
Written by Mike Moran
Sung by Dennis Waterman
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User Reviews

Canine trouble
15 January 2018 | by TheLittleSongbirdSee all my reviews

Have always been a big fan of detective/mystery shows from a fairly young age, well since starting secondary school.

'Inspector Morse', 'A Touch of Frost', 'Midsomer Murders' (in its prime), 'Law and Order', 'Inspector George Gently', 'Criminal Minds', 'Murder She Wrote', you name them to name a few. 'New Tricks' has also been a favourite from the start (despite not being the same without the original cast in recent years). Although it can be corny at times (in an endearing sort of way) it has always been perfect for helping me relax in the evenings. Something that was needed during all the hard times endured in school.

"Old Dogs" is yet another fine episode of 'New Tricks' and one of the best ones. For me, the weak link, and the only criticism, is the identity of the culprit being obvious too early in a case where suspects were too few. The case is still a strong one though, with fun and intriguing case solving, and Jack's mysterious illness is cleverly resolved in what caused it, again though there were no surprises as to the who element being the only one with the opportunity to do it.

Visually, "Old Dogs" looks lovely, with a brighter look but never garish and always slick and stylish. The music is a good fit and the theme song (sung with gusto by none other by Dennis Waterman himself) is one of the catchiest for any detective/mystery show and of any show in the past fifteen years or so.

Writing is intelligent, thought-provoking and classy, while also being very funny and high up in the entertainment value. Brian's subplot is very touching. The story is compelling and well paced with a few nice surprises.

A huge part of 'New Tricks' appeal is the chemistry between the four leads and their performances. The chemistry is so easy going and charming with a little tension.

One of the show's biggest delights is Alun Armstrong, achieves a perfect balance of funny comic timing and touching pathos which was maintained all the way up to his final episode. It is also lovely here to see his role in the team and skills appreciated more all the time. James Bolam's Jack is the quietest, most sensible (mostly) and most composed of the team, with a tragic personal life that Bolam portrays very touchingly without any overwrought-ness.

The only woman on the team, Amanda Redman more than holds her own in what is essentially the boss role of the four. Dennis Waterman brings some nice levity without unbalancing things.

Richard Briers gives one of the show's best guest performances in my view.

In summary, fine episode. 9/10 Bethany Cox

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