New Tricks (2003–2015)


New Tricks (TV Series 2003–2015)

After a hostage rescue goes wrong, superintendent Sandra Pullman is put in charge of unsolved crimes. With little resources and no back-up she decides to recruit three ex policeman. However times have changed, unlike her new recruits. Jack Halford is yet to get over the loss of his wife, Brian Lane is over obsessed and over medicated, and Gerry Standing is not quite the ladies man he used to be. They may have the experience but it's not like the old days. Not only are they chasing criminals, but they are having to deal with a new police force which does not always appreciate their old style policing.
IMDb   7.8 /10
TheMovieDb    7.5 /10
FilmAffinity   6.0 /10
Creator Nigel McCrery
Creator Roy Mitchell
Release Date2003-01-25
GenreComedy, Crime, Drama
Content RatingTV-14 (TV-14)
AwardsAwards1 win & 4 nominations
CompanyBritish Broadcasting Corporation (BBC), Wall to Wall Television
Gerry Standingas Gerry Standing
Det. Supt. Sandra Pullmanas Det. Supt. Sandra Pullman…
Alun Armstrong
Alun Armstrong
Brian Laneas Brian Lane
Jack Halfordas Jack Halford
D.A.C. Stricklandas D.A.C. Strickland…
Esther Laneas Esther Lane
Steve McAndrewas Steve McAndrew
Danny Griffinas Danny Griffin
DCI Sasha Milleras DCI Sasha Miller…
Natalie Forbes
Natalie Forbes
Jayneas Jayne
Ted Caseas Ted Case
Fiona Kennedyas Fiona Kennedy
P C Clarkas P C Clark…
Hannah Waterman
Hannah Waterman
Emily Driscollas Emily Driscoll…
Heather James
Heather James
Alisonas Alison
Storme Toolis
Storme Toolis
Holly Griffinas Holly Griffin
Donald Bevanas Donald Bevan
Carolyn Allen
Carolyn Allen
Caroleas Carole

New Tricks

New Tricks is a British television police procedural, created by Nigel McCrery and Roy Mitchell, produced primarily by Wall to Wall (until its final year, when it was handled by Headstrong Pictures), and broadcast on BBC One. The programme originally began with a pilot episode on 27 March 2003, before a full series with commissioned for 1 April 2004, with it concluding after twelve series on 6 October 2015. The show utilises an ensemble cast, of which Dennis Waterman was the only constant over all twelve series; this cast variously included Alun Armstrong, James Bolam, Amanda Redman, Denis Lawson, Nicholas Lyndhurst, Tamzin Outhwaite, and Larry Lamb.

The series focuses on the work of the Unsolved Crime and Open Case Squad (UCOS) – a fictional division within London's Metropolitan Police Service tasked with re-investigating unsolved crimes. UCOS primarily functioned with a senior police detective overseeing the work of three retired police officers who would handle each case, and who could bring in police support when needed. Each episode focuses on a different investigation, with characters often coping with problems at their age but using their wisdom to overcome hurdles in the original investigation of cold cases. Both creators, McCrery and Mitchell, devised the title of the programme around the proverb "You can't teach an old dog new tricks".


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. 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. 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. 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. 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. 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. 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. Episode 7, "The Gentleman Vanishes," surpassed this figure with 9.87 million viewers, and was again the top programme of the week.

The BBC confirmed in September 2011 that a further two series, each of 10 episodes, had been commissioned, to be broadcast in 2012 and 2013. James Bolam, who played the part of Jack Halford, left the show, claiming that it had "become stale", 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. Prior to the ninth series premiere, both Amanda Redman and Alun Armstrong announced that they would be leaving the show after the 10th 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. Only Fools and Horses actor Nicholas Lyndhurst and former EastEnders actress Tamzin Outhwaite appeared in Series 10, which was broadcast in Britain between 30 July and 1 October 2013. The opening episode of the 10th series gained an audience of 8.86 million viewers, making it the 12th most-watched programme of the year.

Episode 1 of season 11 was broadcast at 21:00 GMT on BBC One and BBC One HD on 18 August 2014. Ratings fell considerably from series 10 to series 11 when most of the original cast left; series 10 had an average per-episode viewership of 8.35 million, while series 11 managed an average per-episode viewership of 5.75 million.

A 12th 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 12th series would be the last. It was shot at West London Film Studios.

The series was broadcast in at least 25 countries, and was also available on DVD and via online streaming. New Tricks was produced by Wall to Wall Television for the BBC between 2003 and 2014, and Headstrong Pictures thereafter.


Change in cast

In 2011, James Bolam left the show to be replaced by Denis Lawson. In 2012, both Alun Armstrong and Amanda Redman departed to be 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.


CharacterPlayed byPositionSeries
Gerry StandingDennis WatermanFormer detective sergeantMain
Sandra PullmanAmanda RedmanDetective superintendentMain
Brian LaneAlun ArmstrongFormer detective inspectorMain
Jack HalfordJames BolamFormer detective chief superintendentMainGuest
Robert StricklandAnthony CalfD.A.CMain
Steve McAndrewDenis LawsonFormer detective inspectorMain
Dan GriffinNicholas LyndhurstFormer detective chief inspectorMain
Sasha MillerTamzin OuthwaiteDetective chief inspectorMain
Ted CaseLarry LambFormer detective chief inspectorMain


SeriesEpisodesOriginally airedAverage UK viewers
(in millions)
First airedLast aired
Pilot123 March 20036.69
161 April 20046 May 20046.95
289 May 200527 June 20057.48
3817 April 20065 June 20068.00
489 April 200728 May 20078.25
587 July 200825 August 20088.83
6816 July 20093 September 20097.94
71010 September 201012 November 20107.85
8104 July 20115 September 20119.24
91027 August 201229 October 20128.35
101030 July 20131 October 20138.14
111018 August 201420 October 20145.76
12104 August 20156 October 20156.28



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.


The theme tune of the programme 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 with technical assistance from Olivia Davies. The British release of the first series DVD contains a cover version of "End of the Line" sung by Dennis Waterman at the end of the pilot episode.

DVD releases

Series 1 to 12 of New Tricks are available on DVD on Region 2 (UK). These titles are distributed by Acorn Media UK.

DVD TitleDiscsYearEpisodesDVD releaseNotes
Region 1Region 2Region 4
Complete Series 1320032004725 August 200923 May 20051 September 2005Includes 2003 pilot
Complete Series 232005819 January 201024 April 20066 July 2006
Complete Series 332006822 February 201114 May 20077 November 2007
Complete Series 43200787 June 20111 September 20083 April 2008
Complete Series 532008827 September 201124 August 20096 August 2009
Complete Series 63200987 February 201211 October 20102 December 2010
Complete Series 732010105 June 20121 August 201121 April 2011
Complete Series 8320111025 September 201221 November 20115 July 2012
Complete Series 9320121025 June 20135 November 20126 February 2013
Complete Series 9 Blu-ray220121026 November 2012
Complete Series 1032013107 October 201311 December 2013
Complete Series 11320141027 October 201413 May 2015
Complete Series 12320151012 October 201516 December 2015
Complete Series 141220032007317 November 2008Includes 2003 pilot
Complete Series 359200520082422 March 2010
Complete Series 361220052009327 March 2011
Complete Series 3818200520115218 June 2012
Complete Series 112362003201510712 October 20156 April 2016Includes 2003 pilot