In 2001 pathologist Bob Ruxton gave a verdict of accidental death on palaeontologist Bernard Fletcher, who died from a supposed fall at a dinner given by Mondial Oil Company in Bernard's ... See full summary »



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Episode cast overview, first billed only:
... Brian Lane
... Jack Halford
... Det. Supt. Sandra Pullman
... Gerry Standing
Abigail Davies ... Andrea Naylor
Vicki Pepperdine ... Madeleine Simmonds
... Diane Fletcher
... Bob Ruxton
... Marie Braden
... Mark Slater
... Barry Drake
... Sarah Winslow
... James Winslow
Bill Armstrong ... Michael Ratcliffe (as William Armstrong)
Graham Bohea ... Max


In 2001 pathologist Bob Ruxton gave a verdict of accidental death on palaeontologist Bernard Fletcher, who died from a supposed fall at a dinner given by Mondial Oil Company in Bernard's museum. Now that verdict is declared unsound and the UCOS team reopen the case. Bernard supported ecology and disapproved of Mondial's work but, though married, he was a ladies' man having an affair with colleague Marie Braden. Marie's ex-boyfriend, Mark Slater quit the museum to set up as a trader in fossils, a lucrative business and it was alleged that Bernard sacked him for stealing exhibits. Mark would also seem to be the lover of Sarah, wife of James Winslow, Mondial's managing director. Bernard was certainly murdered but was the motive marital jealousy or greed? Jack is amazed when Bob Ruxton drops a bombshell. Written by don @ minifie-1

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Release Date:

4 July 2011 (UK)  »

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Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

16 : 9
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Did You Know?


This was Trevor Bannister's final acting role. It was broadcast after his death. See more »


[first lines]
Det.Supt.Sandra Pullman: [Brian opens a storage locker] Brian!
Jack Halford: Well, say what you like about Bob Ruxton, but he never kept you waiting.
Brian Lane: Aye, he was a good man. Always had time for a chat.
Gerry Standing: And he always pulled the rounds. The nights I've been on the hit-and-miss with Doc Ruxton...
Det.Supt.Sandra Pullman: Yeah, well, that kind of behaviour might account for his having been suspended, mightn't it?
Jack Halford: It's a hard thing for a man to be publicly pilloried after a long and distinguished career.
Det.Supt.Sandra Pullman: He's not being pilloried, Jack. He's facing ...
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It's Alright
Written by Mike Moran
Sung by Dennis Waterman
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User Reviews

Doesn't feel too old
14 February 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.

"Old Fossils" is a very good episode and worthy start for Season 8, if not among one of my favourites from 'New Tricks'. Not because there is much wrong with it, other than that some ideas in the story are not much new.

The case still compels though with plenty of entertainment and intrigue if not many surprises.

Visually, "Old Fossils" 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. One of the funnier 'New Tricks' episodes around this period of the show. This is all mixed adeptly with a seriousness without being overly so that it doesn't feel like 'New Tricks'.

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.

Everybody in support is solid.

All in all, very, very good. 9/10 Bethany Cox

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