'Taggart' is overall not quite one of the classic detective/mystery dramas/series (have been a big fan of many of them for much of my life, and always get excited when something new comes along). Like to love a vast majority of the episodes from the Taggart (particularly so, more consistent, and Jardine periods while not being as enthused with the Burke era. Especially when the episodes became too short and rushed and when the cases became bland and tired.
"Wavelength" is not one of the best 'Taggart' episodes, while also not one of the worst. As far as the Jardine period goes, it's one of the weaker ones (better than the bizarre "Apocalypse" though). There is enough of what is so great about 'Taggart' here and overall it is not a bad episode at all, but it comes up short in other areas. Nice idea for the story here but, although not wasted as such, much more could have been done with it and really did want to like "Wavelength" much more.
Do agree that there is a running out of ideas feel here, although the episode does have a nice idea it is not an original one as such. This is reflective in the execution too, which did feel ordinary at times and there was an element of fatigue. It could have done with a tighter pace and more consistent suspense perhaps.
Also feel that there could have been less focus on the personal lives of the team, appreciate character development but found some of it took away at times from the case. Jardine's storyline didn't seem that interesting to me.
For all those flaws though, there are a good deal of positives. As always for 'Taggart', "Wavelength" looks great visually. have always loved the gritty, like-a-character-of-its-own Scottish setting, the moody colour pallette that adds to the grit and the slick photography. The music fits well and doesn't intrude or feel dull, while the theme song is not one to forget. As to be expected, the episode is solidly directed. The acting is fine, with MacPherson and Blythe Duff in particular being very strong as expected, as is their chemistry which was always part of the charm of the Jardine-era episodes, while Robert Robertson steals his scenes. The team work really well today and always love how they go about solving the cases. John Michie is settling well. The supporting cast are all strong, especially Aden Gillet and Sandy McDade as two of the more interesting supporting characters.
Intriguing is also a good way to sum up the writing, it provokes thought too and while a serious episode it doesn't take itself overly seriously too much or become too dark. The story has enough to keep one guessing thanks to some nice turns and no shortage of suspects and there is evidence of suspense. Especially the beginning, which was one of the better scenes along with the killer ending.
Summing up, decent enough but could have been better. 6/10
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