New Tricks (2003– )
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Final Curtain 

"Final Curtain" is an episode of New Tricks starring Alun Armstrong, Amanda Redman, and Dennis Waterman. With Jack Halford away following the acquittal of Ricky Hanson, Sandra, Gerry and Brian investigate the death of actor Michael Austin, who was shot dead during the performance of a play. ... See full summary »

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Cast

Episode cast overview, first billed only:
... Brian Lane
... Det Supt Sandra Pullman
... Gerry Standing
... D.A.C. Strickland
Susan Jameson ... Esther Lane
... James Strickland
... Helen Brownlow
... Tiffany Barker
... Catherine Austin
... Derek Bennett
... Mel Simons
... Tommy Jackson
Gavin Millar ... Theatre Director
Diana Weston ... Jane Morley
Nick Mason ... Actor
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Storyline

With Jack Halford away following the acquittal of Ricky Hanson, Sandra, Gerry and Brian investigate the death of actor Michael Austin, who was shot dead during the performance of a play. The gun was loaded with blanks, but a piece of metal lodged in the barrel killed him. The death was ruled accidental at the time, but Austin's daughter Catherine has recently written a book, and new evidence in the form of a threatening note has come to light. The team is joined by a young officer on the fast track for promotion, James Strickland, the DAC's nephew. They interview Austin's then wife, Helen Brownlow (she's also an actress and the one who fired the gun on stage) and the stage manager, Derek Bennett, as well as Catherine Austin's agent, Mel Simons, who sent the note to her publishers. Forensics indicate that the letter may have been doctored. Meanwhile, the boys have forgotten Sandra's birthday, but she does accept a dinner invitation from the young Strickland. Written by garykmcd

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14 July 2008 (UK)  »

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Did You Know?

Goofs

Sandra Pullman says that actor Bruce Lee died during filming. Acutally Bruce Lee died of a cerebral edema while taking a nap in a hotel room. She confuses him with his son Brandon Lee who was accidentally shot dead when filming a scene during the production of The Crow. See more »

Connections

References Enter the Dragon (1973) See more »

Soundtracks

It's Alright
Written by Mike Moran
Sung by Dennis Waterman
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User Reviews

 
Fatal theatre
24 January 2018 | by See 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.

Also noticed the sloppy goof regarding the Brandon/Bruce Lee mix-up, and am not sure as to whether it was a mistake on the writers' part or an accidental slip of the tongue. Jack's absence is deeply felt and it's sad not to see him, but considering the circumstances and at least there was a reason given it makes sense.

The case is a compelling one, keeps one guessing and the ending is unexpected and somewhat sad.

Visually, "Final Curtain" is slick and stylish as ever. 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. This is all mixed adeptly with a seriousness without being overly so that it doesn't feel like 'New Tricks'. The story is fun, diverting and keeps one guessing.

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. Loved the theatrical skills Brian shows and really plays to Armstrong's strengths and a fond reminder of his other roles.

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

Claire Bloom gives a terrific guest supporting turn, one of the early seasons' best to me.

Overall, great episode. 9/10 Bethany Cox


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