Taggart (1983–2010)
3 user

Death Comes Softly Part One 

Taggart and Jardine are called to investigate the murders of elderly residents.


Laurence Moody


Glenn Chandler (creator), Julian Jones




Episode cast overview, first billed only:
Mark McManus Mark McManus ... Jim Taggart
James MacPherson James MacPherson ... Mike Jardine
Blythe Duff ... WPC Reid
Iain Anders ... Supt. McVitie
Eve Pearce Eve Pearce ... Sophie McQueen
David Rintoul ... Alistair Balmain
Mandy Matthews Mandy Matthews ... Pauline Atkin
Joanne Bett Joanne Bett ... Fiona Clunie
Alec Westwood Alec Westwood ... Pete McCulloch
Barbara Horne Barbara Horne ... Margaret Cowan
Bill Leadbitter Bill Leadbitter ... Ronnie Blacklock
Fletcher Mathers Fletcher Mathers ... Lillias Blacklock
Phyllida Hewat ... Dame Elizabeth Friel
Norman Eshley ... Commander Gunner
Georgine Anderson ... Lena Henderson


Taggart and Jardine are called to investigate the murders of elderly residents.

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Crime | Drama | Mystery


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Release Date:

3 December 1990 (UK) See more »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs



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Did You Know?


This episode was the beginning of a virtual 'job-for-life' for Blythe Duff, who first appeared here as Jackie Reid, a role she kept for the rest of the series. The 'Taggart' figure may change but WPC/DC/DS Reid keeps con going after more than 25 years, longer than most TV series last. See more »

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User Reviews

Death stalks the elderly
28 August 2018 | by TheLittleSongbirdSee all my reviews

Have always adored detective dramas/mystery series. This has been apparent from an early age, half my life even, when getting into Agatha Christie through Joan Hickson's Miss Marple and David Suchet's Poirot and into 'Inspector Morse'.

Whether it's the more complex ones like 'Inspector Morse' (and its prequel series 'Endeavour') and anything Agatha Christie. Whether it's the grittier ones like 'A Touch of Frost' (though that is balanced brilliantly with comedy too). And whether it's the light-hearted ones like 'Murder She Wrote'. 'Taggart' is one of the biggest examples of the grittier ones, especially the Mark McManus years and the earlier James MaPherson episodes.

"Death Comes Softly" is great, my only complaint being with it dragging slightly occasionally, but what made 'Taggart' such a good show when it was in its prime is evident here. The characterisation here is meatier than seen pre-Jardine, therefore more interesting with more development to Taggart.

Really like the slick, gritty look and Glasgow is like an ominous character on its own. The music matches the show's tone and has a good amount of atmosphere while the theme song/tune is one that stays in the memory for a long time. Really like Taggart and Jardine's chemistry here, which sees some priceless exchanges with them, and have always found it more interesting and settled than with Taggart and Livingstone.

As to be expected, "Death Comes Softly" is thoughtfully scripted with nothing ridiculous happening and things being taken seriously without being too morose. Taggart's personal life subplot has heart. The story is involving in its complexity and intricacy with nothing being what it seems, making the most of the long length (have generally found the 2000s episodes too short and rushed) without padding anything out. Some parts are not for the faint hearted but nothing feels gratuitous and the investigations are compelling and with enough twists to stop it from being obvious. One doesn't predict the ending at all, which is clever and actually quite shocking and not convoluted or far-fetched. Yes seeing Reid and Jardine in the same choir was fun to watch.

Good acting helps, with Mark McManus being a suitably tough and blunt presence throughout and James MacPherson being every bit his equal. The supporting cast and chemistry don't undermine them in any way, with Blythe Duff making a promising first impression, fine performances from delicate Eve Pearce and more steely Georgine Anderson and Robert Robertson adds a lot.

In short, great episode. 9/10 Bethany Cox

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