New Tricks (2003–2015)
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Luke Hanson has recently been released from jail after serving 8 years for setting a fire at his local school in which the caretaker had been severely injured. He was across the country ... See full summary »


Rob Evans


Roy Mitchell, Roy Mitchell (creator) | 1 more credit »

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Episode cast overview, first billed only:
Alun Armstrong ... Brian Lane
James Bolam ... Jack Halford
Amanda Redman ... Det. Supt. Sandra Pullman
Dennis Waterman ... Gerry Standing
Anthony Calf ... D.A.C. Strickland
Susan Jameson Susan Jameson ... Esther Lane
Carolyn Allen Carolyn Allen ... Carole
Paula Jennings Paula Jennings ... Paula Standing
Joe Absolom ... Luke Hanson
David Troughton ... Ricky Hanson
Kevin Whately ... Andrew Simson
Emily Corrie Emily Corrie ... Lysette Perry
Karl Johnson ... Gary Kendall
Hannah Waterman Hannah Waterman ... Emily Driscoll
Michael Thomas Michael Thomas ... Victor Pritchard


Luke Hanson has recently been released from jail after serving 8 years for setting a fire at his local school in which the caretaker had been severely injured. He was across the country committing another crime at the time and would like the team to reopen the case. This was Jack's last case before retiring to care for his wife, who was the victim of a hit and run driver. Supt. Pullman gets an offer of promotion that she is finding very hard to resist, but it would mean leaving the squad. A woman who claims to be his daughter approaches Gerry, and Brian rekindles an interest in war gaming. In the course of investigating the school fire, Jack learns the identity of the hit-and-run driver and decides to take action. Written by garykmcd

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Release Date:

5 June 2006 (UK) See more »

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Did You Know?


First appearance of Emily Driscoll. See more »


[first lines]
Brian Lane: What's going on? Why are we here? What's the big mystery?
Gerry Standing: Who cares? There's a tab; someone else is paying.
Det. Supt. Sandra Pullman: [arriving] Evening, all.
Gerry Standing: Oh, evening.
Brian Lane: What's this about, then?
Det. Supt. Sandra Pullman: It's December the ninth.
Gerry Standing: Is it?
Det. Supt. Sandra Pullman: You haven't twigged, have you? UCOS, three years old today. Happy birthday!
Gerry Standing: Aaah. Look, the reason men don't remember dates is because they're too busy.
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It's Alright
Written by Mike Moran
Sung by Dennis Waterman
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User Reviews

Congratulations for a terrific season ending
17 January 2018 | by TheLittleSongbirdSee 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.

"Congratulations" to me is the best episode of a largely great Season 3, a terrific end to the season and a perfect example of what 'New Tricks' is all about. It has a lot of classic 'New Tricks' humour, an intriguing case where things are more than it initially seems to be, fun team rapport and a riveting subplot with Jack that provides major development for the character and future events for the show.

Visually, "Congratulations" looks lovely, with a brighter look but never garish and always slick and stylish. 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. The story is fun, diverting and twisty. One feels sorry for Jack, the school fire case avoids being over-shadowed too much and is resolved satisfying (though the culprit was not a massive shock) and the cliffhanger ending is tense.

It also does a great job introducing the viewer to one of the show's nastiest pieces of work in Ricky Hanson, a character that one dislikes intensely well before the big revelation and even more so afterwards. Gerry's subplot could have distracted but just about avoids that.

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.

Kevin Whately and especially David Troughton make excellent guest appearances and Anthony Calf proves why he is deservedly one of the longest-serving cast members.

Overall, terrific. 10/10 Bethany Cox

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