New Tricks

For other uses, see New Tricks (disambiguation).
New Tricks
Genre Comedy-drama
Created by Nigel McCrery
Roy Mitchell
Starring Alun Armstrong (2003–13)
James Bolam (2003–12, 2013)
Amanda Redman (2003–13)
Dennis Waterman (2003–15)
Denis Lawson (2012–15)
Nicholas Lyndhurst (2013–15)
Tamzin Outhwaite (2013–15)
Larry Lamb (2015)
Theme music composer Mike Moran
Opening theme "It's Alright" (vocals by Dennis Waterman)
Ending theme Reprise
Country of origin United Kingdom
No. of series 12
No. of episodes 107 (list of episodes)
Running time 60 minutes
Production company(s) Wall to Wall (2003–14)
Headstrong Pictures (2015)
Original network BBC One
Original release 27 March 2003 (2003-03-27) – 6 October 2015 (2015-10-06)[1]
External links
The original cast of New Tricks (back: Dennis Waterman, left: Alun Armstrong, right: James Bolam, front: Amanda Redman).

New Tricks is a British procedural comedy-drama that follows the work of the fictional Unsolved Crime and Open Case Squad (UCOS) of the Metropolitan Police Service. Originally led by Detective Superintendent Sandra Pullman, it is made up of retired police officers recruited to reinvestigate unsolved crimes. There have been cast changes, but the squad always consists of three men with a female boss. The series title is taken from the proverb "You can't teach an old dog new tricks". In February 2015, BBC One announced the show would end after series 12, which comprises 10 episodes.[2][3]


New Tricks began as a one-off episode broadcast on 27 March 2003. This attracted sufficient viewers for the BBC to commission a series of six episodes, which began on 1 April 2004. Eight-episode series were subsequently commissioned for 2005, 2006 and 2007. A fifth series was commissioned by the BBC after the audience share rose week upon week for the previous series.[4] In 2007, an episode from the fourth series received viewing figures of 9.25 million, becoming the second most watched programme on BBC One that week, and the most watched New Tricks episode to that point.[5] The fifth series continued this good run – on two occasions it was the most watched programme in Britain for the week, and the seventh episode gained a new series high rating of 9.36 million – second only to the X Factor that week.[6] The fifth series aired from 7 July to 25 August 2008. The sixth series finished location filming on 8 May 2009 in Central London and began airing on 16 July 2009.[7] The opening episode of series six was watched by 8.07 million, despite clashing with Five's The Mentalist (1.64m) and ITV's Living With Michael Jackson (3.64m). The second episode clashed with The Mentalist and the relaunch of The Bill on ITV, and was watched by 7.59 million.

Series 7 and 8 were commissioned by the BBC in September 2009, ensuring that the show would run until 2011.[8] The seventh series began airing on 10 September 2010 and completed its run on 12 November. The eighth series opened on 4 July 2011 with 9.2 million viewers, the show's highest rating for three years, and the first since the fifth series to break the 9 million barrier.[9] The third episode of series 8, "Lost in Translation", was the show's highest rated episode to date with 9.7 million viewers, becoming the most watched television programme of the week in the UK.[10] Episode 7, "The Gentleman Vanishes," surpassed this figure with 9.87 million viewers, and was again the top programme of the week.[11]

The BBC confirmed in September 2011 that a further two series, each of ten episodes, had been commissioned, to be broadcast in 2012 and 2013.[12] James Bolam, who played the part of Jack Halford, left the show, claiming that it had "become stale",[13] making his final regular appearance in the first episode of Series 9 and a guest appearance in Series 10, episode 8. In the fourth episode, Denis Lawson joined the cast, as the new character of retired DI Steve McAndrew.[14] Prior to the ninth series premiere, both Amanda Redman[15] and Alun Armstrong[16] announced that they would be leaving the show after the tenth series. The first programme of series nine was broadcast on 27 August 2012, and gained 8.52 million viewers, which was the highest rating of the week.[17] Only Fools and Horses star Nicholas Lyndhurst and EastEnders star Tamzin Outhwaite appeared in Series 10, which was broadcast in Britain between 30 July and 1 October 2013.[18] The opening episode of the tenth series gained an audience of 8.86 million viewers, making it the twelfth most watched programme of the year.[19]

Filming for Series 11 began in late 2013,[20] and Episode 1 of the series was broadcast at 21:00 GMT on BBC One and BBC One HD on 18 August 2014. Ratings fell considerably from season 10 to season 11; season 10 had an average per-episode viewership of 8.35 million, while season 11 managed an average per-episode viewership of 5.75 million.

A twelfth series of the show began filming in the Autumn of 2014, and started broadcasting on 4 August 2015. It was also revealed that Dennis Waterman would be leaving the series in the early episodes. In February 2015 it was announced that the twelfth series would be the last.[3]

The series is broadcast in at least twenty-five countries, and is also available on DVD and via online streaming. New Tricks is produced by Headstrong Pictures for the BBC. It was formerly produced by Wall to Wall Television between 2003 and 2014.


Main characters

Brian Lane
First appearance Series 1 Episode 0
Last appearance Series 10 Episode 4
Portrayed by Alun Armstrong
Gender Male
Occupation Ex-Detective Inspector
Spouse(s) Esther Lane
Children Mark Lane
Jack Halford
First appearance Series 1 Episode 0
Last appearance Series 10 Episode 8
Portrayed by James Bolam
Gender Male
Occupation Ex-Detective Chief Superintendent
Spouse(s) Mary Halford (deceased)
Sandra Pullman
First appearance Series 1 Episode 0
Last appearance Series 10 Episode 8
Portrayed by Amanda Redman
Gender Female
Occupation Detective Superintendent
Family Gordon Pullman (father)
Gerry Standing
First appearance Series 1 Episode 0
Last appearance Series 12 Episode 2
Portrayed by Dennis Waterman
Gender Male
Occupation Ex-Detective Sergeant
Family Norman Lestade (father)
Steve McAndrew
First appearance Series 9 Episode 4
Last appearance Series 12 Episode 10
Portrayed by Denis Lawson
Gender Male
Occupation Ex-Detective Inspector
Spouse(s) Trisha McAndrew (divorced)
Children Stuart McAndrew
Dan Griffin
First appearance Series 10 Episode 5
Last appearance Series 12 Episode 10
Portrayed by Nicholas Lyndhurst
Gender Male
Occupation Ex-Detective Chief Inspector
Spouse(s) Sarah Griffin
Children Holly Griffin
Sasha Miller
First appearance Series 10 Episode 9
Last appearance Series 12 Episode 10
Portrayed by Tamzin Outhwaite
Gender Female
Occupation Detective Chief Inspector
Ted Case
First appearance Series 12 Episode 2
Last appearance Series 12 Episode 10
Portrayed by Larry Lamb
Gender Male
Occupation Ex Detective Chief Inspector – Former Head of Operation Trident Command Unit (Gun Crime)

Recurring characters

Change in cast

In 2011, James Bolam announced to the producers that he would be leaving the show; he was replaced by Denis Lawson. In 2012, both Alun Armstrong and Amanda Redman announced to the producers that they would be leaving the show; they were replaced by Nicholas Lyndhurst and Tamzin Outhwaite respectively. In September 2014, Dennis Waterman announced that he would be leaving the show after filming two episodes of the next series; Larry Lamb replaced him for the rest of the final series.


Character Actor Years Series Episode Count
Brian Lane Alun Armstrong 2003–2013 1.1–10.4 80
Jack Halford James Bolam 2003–2012, 2013 1.1–9.1, 10.8 67
DSI Sandra Pullman Amanda Redman 2003–2013 1.1–10.8 84
Gerry Standing Dennis Waterman 2003–2015 1.1–12.2 99
Steve McAndrew Denis Lawson 2012–2015 9.4–12.10 31
Dan Griffin Nicholas Lyndhurst 2013–2015 10.5–12.10 20
DCI Sasha Miller Tamzin Outhwaite 2013–2015 10.9–12.10 21
Ted Case Larry Lamb 2015 12.2–12.10 8
Fiona Kennedy Tracy-Ann Oberman 2014–2015 11.6, 12.1–12.10 9
Robert Strickland Anthony Calf 2005–2015 2.1–12.10 62
Character Played by Position Seasons
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12
Brian Lane Alun Armstrong Detective Inspector Main
Dan Griffin Nicholas Lyndhurst Detective Sergeant Main
Jack Halford James Bolam Detective Chief Superintendent Main Guest
Steve McAndrew Denis Lawson Detective Inspector Main
Sandra Pullman Amanda Redman Detective Superintendent Main
Sasha Miller Tamzin Outhwaite Detective Chief Inspector Main
Gerry Standing Dennis Waterman Detective Sergeant Main
Ted Case Larry Lamb Detective Chief Inspector Main

^1 A significant supporting character. Deputy Assistant Commissioner Robert (sometimes Bob) Strickland is directly responsible for both the operation and actions of UCOS, but is not involved in most cases. He does, however, engage the team in cases with a political aspect, and sometimes becomes involved in other sensitive cases.




Roy Mitchell, creator of the series, being a supporter of the English football team West Bromwich Albion, named numerous characters after past and then-current players. The original three main male characters derived their names from the club's oldest stand, "The Halfords Lane Stand", at The Hawthorns football ground in West Bromwich.[23]


The theme tune of the program is sung by cast member Dennis Waterman. The song is "It's Alright" (written by Mike Moran). Production music was composed by father and son team Brian and Warren Bennett. The British release of the first season DVD contains a cover version of "End of the Line" sung by Dennis Waterman at the end of the pilot episode.

DVD releases

Series one to ten of New Tricks are available on DVD on Region 2 (UK). These titles are distributed by Acorn Media UK.

DVD Title Discs Year Episodes DVD release Notes
Region 1 Region 2 Region 4
Complete Series 1 3 20032004 7 25 August 2009 23 May 2005 1 September 2005 Includes 2003 pilot
Complete Series 2 3 2005 8 19 January 2010 24 April 2006 6 July 2006
Complete Series 3 3 2006 8 22 February 2011 14 May 2007 7 November 2007
Complete Series 4 3 2007 8 7 June 2011 1 September 2008 3 April 2008
Complete Series 5 3 2008 8 27 September 2011 24 August 2009 6 August 2009
Complete Series 6 3 2009 8 7 February 2012 11 October 2010 2 December 2010
Complete Series 7 3 2010 10 5 June 2012 1 August 2011 21 April 2011
Complete Series 8 3 2011 10 25 September 2012 21 November 2011 5 July 2012
Complete Series 9 3 2012 10 25 June 2013 5 November 2012
Complete Series 9 Blu-ray 2 2012 10 26 November 2012
Complete Series 10 3 2013 10 7 October 2013[24]
Complete Series 11 3 2014 10 27 October 2014[25]
Complete Series 12 3 2015 10 12 October 2015
Complete Series 14 12 20032007 31 7 November 2008 Includes 2003 pilot
Complete Series 35 9 20052008 24 22 March 2010
Complete Series 36 12 20052009 32 7 March 2011
Complete Series 38 18 20052011 52 18 June 2012
Complete Series 112 36 20032015 107 12 October 2015 Includes 2003 pilot

See also


  1. Ben Dowell. "BBC axes New Tricks". RadioTimes.
  2. "BBC News – BBC One axes New Tricks detective series". BBC News.
  3. 1 2 Norton, Jim (24 February 2015). "BBC1 detective show New Tricks is axed after 12 years to 'increase the range of drama on the channel'". Daily Telegraph. Retrieved 24 February 2015.
  4. Oatts, Joanne (1 June 2011). "'New Tricks' gets a fifth series". Digital Spy. Retrieved 19 July 2011.
  5. "Weekly Viewing Summary" (Select 27/05/07 from dropdown – BARB Website)
  6. "Weekly Viewing Summary" (Select 24/08/08 from dropdown – BARB Website)
  7. "Sixth run of 'New Tricks' confirmed". Digital Spy.
  8. New Tricks locks down two more series for BBC1 at, a pay-per-view site
  9. "BARB Weekly Top 30 Programmes" (Select week of 4–10 July 2011)
  10. "BARB Weekly Top 30 Programmes" (Select week of 18–24 July 2011)
  11. "BARB Weekly Top 30 Programmes" (Select week of 15 Aug. – 21 Aug. 2011)
  12. "New Tricks commissioned for another two series on BBC One", BBC Press Office, 6 September 2011. Retrieved 2011-09-06.
  13. 1 2 Eden, Richard. "BBC drama as actor James Bolam tires of New Tricks", The Telegraph, 19 September 2011. Retrieved 2011-09-19.
  14. 1 2 Glanfield, Tim. "Denis Lawson joins BBC1's New Tricks for series nine", Radio Times, 11 January 2012. Retrieved 2012-01-12.
  15. 1 2 Anisiobi, J. J. "'I have to try something new': Amanda Redman quits New Tricks but would never join Downton Abbey", The Daily Mail, 18 August 2012. Retrieved 2012-08-23.
  16. 1 2 Robertson, Colin. "New Tricks has been dealt another blow after star Alun Armstrong announced he is quitting", The Sun, 23 August 2012. Retrieved 2012-08-23.
  17. "BARB Weekly Top 30 Programmes" (Select week of 27 Aug. – 2 Sept. 2012)
  18. "Wall to Wall – New Tricks Series 10".
  20. "Nicholas Lyndhurst wraps up warm as he films BBC comedy series New Tricks in London – Daily Mail Online". Mail Online.
  21. "BBC Media Centre Programme Information: New Tricks Series 9, A Death in the Family". Retrieved 2012-08-17.
  22. ICMDB , Internet Car Movie Database. Retrieved 2014-12-17.
  23. A fan possessed by Adrian Chiles, 25 July 2007, The Guardian
  24. "Acorn DVD – Home of Brand New Crime Drama, Broadchurch, The Missing, The Fall, Midsomer Murders and Foyle's War on DVD and BluRay: FREE UK DELIVERY,".
  25. "New Tricks – Series 11 on DVD: FREE UK DELIVERY". Archived from the original on 15 September 2014.
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