History Main / NewTricks

15th Aug '13 3:58:33 PM CrypticMirror
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[[quoteright:310:http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/new-tricks1.jpg]]
[[caption-width-right:310:[[DoItYourselfThemeTune It's all right, it's okay. Doesn't really matter if you're old and grey.]]]]
->''"You shoot one dog in this country..." ''
--> -- '''DS Sandra Pullman'''

New Tricks (2003-) is a [[TheBBC BBC]] [[CrimeAndPunishmentSeries crime]] comedy/drama about the investigations of the Metropolitan Police's (fictional) Unsolved Crimes and Open Cases Squad (UCOS). Although mostly a MysteryOfTheWeek PoliceProcedural, it also combines a hint of AmateurSleuth in that most of the members of the squad are actually ''retired'' policemen employed to investigate unsolved crimes. The only serving police officer on the squad is the boss, Detective Superintendent '''Sandra Pullman''' (Amanda Redman), an uptight, tough-as-nails investigator. Her previously high-flying career came crashing down to earth through an unfortunate [[KickTheDog dog-shooting]] [[MyGreatestFailure incident]], resulting in her reluctant appointment to the newly created UCOS. Faced with an unappealing selection of job applicants, she recruited:

[[indent:10:'''Jack Halford''' (James Bolam), an ex-Detective Chief Superintendent and Pullman's old boss and mentor, who left the job in grief over the unsolved hit-and-run death of his beloved wife Mary.]]

[[indent:10:'''Brian 'Memory' Lane''' (Alun Armstrong), a brilliant but highly eccentric and anti-social detective with an instant-recall memory and Obsessive Compulsive Disorder. A recovered alcoholic.]]

[[indent:10:'''Gerry Standing''' (Dennis Waterman), a Jack-the-lad charmer with three ex-wives (that he is on excellent terms with), a gambling habit and some shady ethics, who left the force under suspicion of corruption after punching out his boss (who just happens to now be ''Pullman's'' boss). A softened-for-comedy version of what George Carter, Waterman's character in ''TheSweeney'', would be like today, complete with long hair, wide flashy neckties, constant smoking etc.]]

In the course of of Series 9 (2012), Jack was PutOnABus and replaced with '''DI Steve [=McAndrew=]''', played by Denis Lawson (AKA [[StarWars Wedge Antilles]]), a FishOutOfWater retired detective from Glasgow who originally came down to help with a case relevant to his past.

Also frequently appearing were Pullman's bosses (Don Bevan in the pilot and first series, Robert Strickland in the second onwards) and Esther Lane (Susan Jameson), Brian's put-upon and long-suffering but loyal wife.

Although a mystery series, much of the interest in the show comes from the characters and their various eccentricities, and in particular the culture clash between modern police methods (represented by Pullman and her media-and-statistics conscious superiors) and the old-school ways (Halford, Lane and Standing are all cops from the seventies and eighties). Pullman is often exasperated by the corners cut and rules ignored by her colleagues, even as she herself is gradually 'corrupted' by them. In some ways, it can be said to foreshadow the popularity of ''Series/{{Life On Mars|2006}}'', only instead of the boringly squeaky-clean modern copper being sent to the past to be 'corrupted' by it, the past's veteran coppers return in the present.

This is also a seriously popular show- ''repeats'' have been known to get eight million or more viewers, and they can be found pretty often at that.
----
Provides examples of:
* ActorAllusion: Jack Halford is played by James Bolam, who played Jack ''Ford'' in ''WhenTheBoatComesIn''.
** There have been a few ''StarWars'' references since Denis Lawson joined the cast.
* BecomingTheMask: In the episode "Only The Brave" it turns out the murderer was ReverseMole Knowles who had gone native in the gang he was sent in to investigate.
* BenevolentBoss: Strickland's grown into this role over time; having started as something of a politically-minded PointyHairedBoss he's gradually earned the respect of the team and vice versa. He eventually gets a DayInTheLimelight in the 9th season episode "Part of a Whole" where he proves himself to be ''seriously'' {{Badass}}.
* BewareTheNiceOnes: Jack, whilst normally a pleasant, gentle sort of fellow, possesses a sharp and sometimes violent temper if someone (usually a murderer or corrupt cop) has ''really'' managed to annoy him. His interrogation of a phony psychic in one episode is conducted almost entirely in calm, reasonable tones, but it's extraordinarly evident that he is beyond outraged by the nature of the crime; watching the scene will send ''shivers down your spine''. Similarly, Brian is normally just a little bit awkward, but becomes more than a little bit scary when he hasn't been taking his meds.
* BigSecret: There are usually three or four of these per episode, invariably complicating the murder investigation.
* BlessedWithSuck: It's established that Brian's remarkable photographic instant-recall memory and outstanding abilities as a detective and forensic investigator are the direct result of Obsessive Compulsive Disorder and a manic depression that, if he doesn't take his medication, leaves him with crippling, obsessive paranoia and at the best of times renders him an anti-social pedant. He is also a recovered alcoholic.
* BrotherSisterIncest: A case occurs in [[spoiler:"Couldn't Organise One"]], although here it turns out to provide an alibi for the murder.
* BystanderSyndrome:
** At the end of the pilot, the final arrest occurs at a dinner the villain is hosting, which results in a punch-up between the villain's family and friends and the cops, with everyone pitching in... except for one bloke, presumably not ''that'' fond of the villain, who just calmly finishes his meal with the chaos going on around him and walks out when everyone's gone, blithely muttering 'very nice' to the main characters as he leaves.
** In the same scene, Jack, Brian and Gerry -- having caused the fight in the first place -- decide discretion is the better part of valour and stand back to let the actual coppers take care of things, offering a running commentary all the while.
* TheCharmer: Gerry.
* TheCuckoolanderWasRight: In one episode, Brian becomes convinced that MI5 might have investigated him (and that he had his career held back as a result) when he finds out that his wife was involved with some activists who were investigated. At the end of the episode, an irate Halford brings him his file and confirms that he was indeed being observed. [[spoiler: [[DoubleSubversion They concluded that he wasn't a threat]], which leaves Brian slightly offended.]]
* ConspiracyTheorist: Brian turns into one of these if he comes off his anti-depressants, although he has shades of this even when he's on them (indeed in at least once he came off them because he was convinced modern medicine was a conspiracy); most notably in one episode where the team are investigating the suspicious death of a prominent 1970s trade unionist, Brian himself a member of the Police Union during his service becomes convinced that he's being observed.
* ConveyorBeltOfDoom: Gerry is almost dragged into a chopping machine when his jacket snags on a conveyor belt in "Dark Chocolate".
* CreepySouvenir: The season 8 finale involves a serial killer who [[spoiler:keeps body parts in VHS cassette boxes, with labels like "Goldfinger" for the fingers]].
* DaChief: Sandra and her superior officers.
* DangerTakesABackSeat: In "Only The Brave" one of the gang members tries this on Sandra with a gun, but she breaks his nose instead.
* DarkerAndEdgier: The majority of episodes written by Julian Simpson fall into this category, avoiding the usual geriatric antics and veering towards more serious (and violent) cases, which usually focus on conspiracies of some kind.
* DeadpanSnarker: Each member of UCOS has their moments.
-->'''Gerry:''' So, Ricky Hanson... mate of yours?\\
'''Jack:''' Biggest murdering, thieving, lying piece of morally-bankrupt shite I've ever laid eyes on.\\
'''Brian:''' Oh. Nothing personal then.
* DeadLineNews: The victim in one episode was a radio shock-jock who burned to death live on air.
* DeathSeeker:[[spoiler: Jack]] confesses that he is sometimes this, when explaining [[spoiler: why he doesn't want an award for bravery when he knows he was really just trying to get killed.]]
* DefectiveDetective: Brian, as mentioned above.
** To a lesser extent, the others as well: Jack most obviously with his grieving for his late wife Mary, but Gerry has to deal with borderline addictions to gambling and cigarettes (although he can control his booze, oddly enough) and a lingering reputation for corruption, and Sandra has to cope with being a workaholic with no social life and the lingering memory of her father's suicide.
* DepartmentOfRedundancyDepartment: Brian's life has been very full since his retirement: grandchildren, gardening, football, swimming, day trips, gardening, car, pets, dogs, the wife... did he mention gardening?
* DoItYourselfThemeTune: That's Dennis Waterman singing the tune, which he also wrote.
** George Harrison, famous as being one of the Beatles, actually wrote the song as 'End of the Line', which Dennis Waterman changed to 'It's Alright'.
* EurekaMoment: Brian is sometimes given to these.
** Parodied with a subversion in one episode when Gerry sees someone he recognises in an old 1980s video about a peace protest. We're lead to assume that he's just had a sudden breakthrough about the case... until he proudly announces "I ''had'' her!"
* EverythingsBetterWithPenguins: Brian's tattoo.
* FourTemperamentEnsemble: Sandra is choleric, Gerry is sanguine, Brian is melancholic, and Jack is phlegmatic.
* GivingThemTheStrip: In "Dark Chocolate", Gerry escapes the ConveyorBeltODoom by taking off his jacket.
* InfoDump: Brian often gives these about the background of a case, or sometimes the whole area of crime involved (such as cybercrime in "Body of Evidence").
* InnocentInnuendo: Brian often tends to wander into these.
* InsultBackfire: At the end of the pilot, Sandra refers to the boys as 'criminals'. They react with offence. She amends the insult to 'crooks'. ''This'', they can live with.
* InterserviceRivalry: When an old case crosses with a new case, most commonly due a murderer trying to cover their tracks, UCOS are supposed to hand the old case over to the people investigating the new case and back off. Needless to say they don't like doing this.
* IronicEcho: In the pilot, the deputy commissioner tries to shut down Jack when he approaches him for a warrant by smugly pointing out that he's not actually a police officer any more. At the end, when the same deputy commissioner is getting his arse kicked in the climactic punch-up and begs Jack for help, Jack -- who, with the others, his happily standing on the sidelines watching the chaos -- 'apologetically' points out that he's "not actually a police officer anymore, remember?"
* ItsPersonal: Jack was hell bent on brining down crime boss Ricky Hanson, the man who murdered his wife. Jack actually tries to kill him with his car at one point, but only ends up hospitalising himself and the whole team. Taken UpToEleven when Hanson takes the opportunity to try and smother him in his hospital bed (while [[KickTheDog rubbing his wife's death in his face]] no less) and ''still gets away with it'' due to having a ruthlessly efficient lawyer who destroys the case by referencing all of the team's flaws (including Jack's obsession with bringing Hanson down), to make them all seem like unreliable witnesses. The team celebrate with champagne when they finally bring him down in a later episode.
* KickTheDog: Subversion / parody - in the pilot, Sandra - a decent person - is forced to shoot one that is attacking her, but the resulting public outcry completely derails her career and makes her a laughing stock ("You shoot ''one dog'' in this country...")
* MenAreUncultured: The stereotype is played with. Gerry, who normally comes across as an unreconstructed 'real man', is a connoisseur of fine food, while Brian, the 'nerdy' one who enjoys tabletop strategy games, is conversely a SeriousBusiness football fan.
* MonkeyMoralityPose: Brian, Gerry and Jack at the end of "Powerhouse".
* TheMourningAfter: Jack's wife may be dead, but he still considers himself very married.
* MyHovercraftIsFullOfEels: A visit to the Deaf husband of a murder victim prompts Gerry to try and brush up on his long-forgotten sign language skills. He tries to say "I want to practice my signing with you" to the sign language interpreter, but instead comes out with "I want to dig up my elephant with you."
* NecroCam: Not as often as you'd think, though, especially given that most of the cases that are dealt with occurred up to 20 years ago and this isn't ''WakingTheDead''.
* NeedAHandOrAHandJob - During a case that briefly took Brian into Soho, a lady of the night approached him asking if he 'had the time.' Misunderstandings ensued.
* NeverLiveItDown: InUniverse. Sandra has been in charge of [=UCOS=] for nearly a decade after she was attacked in the press for shooting a dog in self defence, considered a dead-end job; the group in general has a reputation as a refuge for washed-up has been cops and officers. This despite the fact that they have put away crime lords, drug lords, serial arsonists and killers, corrupt police officers (including the [[MoleInCharge deputy commisioner]]), and numerous other high-level crime figures, basically putting the rest of the Met to shame several times over.
** Although it is played with, in that their hard work and achievements have been noted and rewarded several times over; Sandra has been offered 'better' jobs but [[StatusQuoIsGod for whatever reason]] has always chosen to stay with UCOS. A bit of FridgeBrilliance is also at play -- having been dumped out-of-the-way in the basement in the first series, each season has seen them be moved to increasingly nicer rooms before they reached their current, rather swish offices, suggesting that their overall reputation has gradually improved even if they do remain the butt of a few jokes.
* NoBadgeNoProblem: Brian, Jack and Gerry are retired police officers and are usually pretty good at identifying themselves as such. However, they do work for the police department as investigators so they have the official authority to question people and access police records.
* NoMedicationForMe - Averted, Brian never gets any better if he comes off his meds.
* NoodleIncident: [[spoiler: Whatever Gerry did when he got neuro-linguistically programmed and "Baker Street" was played.]]
* NotableNonSequitur: Played with. Generally, every apparently offhand comment of this type will turn out to be significant in ''some way'', but not necessarily one related to the case (for example, it might expose an unrelated and previously unmentioned other crime or secret the suspect is hiding).
* OffTheWagon: [[spoiler:Brian.]] Handled far ''far'' better than many instances of this trope though.
* OldFashionedCopper: - Jack, Brian and Gerry, although the writers [[LampshadeHanging hang a lampshade]] on the trope by having the characters gleefully excuse their actions with the (reasonable) justification that, technically, they aren't actually cops anymore.
** Played with at times; sometimes, the old-fashioned way of doing things makes things worse, and the new methods ''are'' the better ones, for their flaws.
* PacManFever - Averted, as Jack is seen playing ''Ghost Squad'' on the Wii and doing very well.
* PoliticalCorrectnessGoneMad - Although they're not too bad for the most part, the boys can at times have difficulty adjusting to more modern ways of thinking about things like race, gender equality, etc., which can cause tension.
* PunBasedTitle: Several episode titles, usually mixed with ShoutOut:
** "The Gentleman Vanishes" (series 8) to ''TheLadyVanishes''.
** "The Girl Who Lived" (series 9) to ''Literature/HarryPotter''.
* PutOnABus - P.C Jon Clarke, the squad's uniformed IT officer-slash-gofer, disappears between Series 1 and Series 2.
* RealLifeRelative: Gerry's [[spoiler:illegitimate and heretofore unknown]] daughter is played by Hannah Waterman, Dennis Waterman's real daughter. [[spoiler:Paternity tests prove that she's not his, but he refuses to tell her. She finds out.]]
** Also, James Bolam and Susan Jameson, although not married to each other in the show, have been married to each other for over 35 years, playing husband and wife in ''WhenTheBoatComesIn''.
* RealityIsUnrealistic: In real life, drowning victims tend not to struggle or cry out. As Brian puts it: drowning doesn't look like drowning.
* RedBaron: Brian "Memory" Lane and Gerry "Last Man" Standing. The former because of his impressive memory ("Memory Lane"). The latter [[spoiler: was mockingly given to him by a mob boss, in both a straightforward[[note]]Because he was the only copper on the force who didn't take a bribe from him[[/note]] and [[{{irony}} ironic]][[note]]Because he was the [[NoGoodDeedGoesUnpunished only officer who was accused of corruption as a result]][[/note]] manner).]]
* RedHerring: We are often given several suspects with apparently suspicious behaviour, but in a variation of the trope, they will usually all turn out to be hiding ''something'', just not necessarily something directly related to this week's case.
* RippedFromTheHeadlines: Especially in later series, many episodes are inspired by real crimes or types of crimes that have been in the news. For example, "Queen and Country" involves a civil servant misplacing a laptop with sensitive information, something which (as the episode itself notes) embarrassingly happened several times during GordonBrown's premiership.
** This is also true of episodes where the crime comes from a past era. The "Ice Cream Wars" episode in series 3 is, [[NotMakingThisUpDisclaimer surprisingly]], based on a true story from TheEighties--[[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ice_Cream_Wars albeit one that happened in Glasgow rather than London]].
* TheSeventies and TheEighties: Earlier episodes revolve around cases from that period. As the show has gone on, cases from TheNineties and even the TurnOfTheMillennium (crimes committed during the earlier part of the show's run, chronologically!) have featured.
* ShoutOut: A recent episode had Sandra describe some of Gerry's dodgier actions as being "out of the ''Series/{{Life On Mars|2006}}'' handbook". The two shows have often been compared by critics because their concepts can be viewed as mirror images (70s coppers back at work in the present vs modern copper in the 70s).
* ShownTheirWork: The backgrounds to many stories are very well researched, such as the cybercrime-themed series 9 episode "Body of Evidence".
* ShipTease: Earlier episodes seemed to suggest some kind of potential relationship between Gerry and Sandra, but this was gradually dropped. The two nevertheless over time went from being quite sharp with each other to becoming quite good friends, however.
* SlaveToPR: Sandra's bosses are very aware of the power of publicity and often saddles the team with pointless cases merely for the sake of favourable press. Averted for the team, they simply don't care as they are not technically policemen anymore.
* SmugSnake: Stephen Fisher, from Intelligence, or thereabouts.
-->'''Sandra:''' How did you get down here without an escort?\\
'''Fisher:''' Oh, ''bless''.
* SomethingCompletelyDifferent: Several of the cases in Series 9, especially "Glasgow UCOS", which of the main cast only has Gerry and Steve, going to Glasgow in order to help set up the Glasgow branch of UCOS.
* SoundtrackDissonance: Several episodes end on a sombre or even bleak note, which can make it a bit disorientating when Dennis Waterman suddenly starts singing "It's alright, it's okay, doesn't really matter if you're old and grey..." in a cheerful tone with the end credits. Later series introduced a more melancholy ending theme which would be played in such situations.
* StealthInsult: While investigating a crime in a museum, Gerry wonders what it is like to spend every day surrounded by fossils. Sandra thinks she has an idea.
* TheSwearJar: Has the detectives install one, which eventually allows them to go out for a nice meal on the town. Gerry's a bit aggrieved that he didn't get to choose, since he "put most of the bloody money in."
* TheSummation: A neat little subversion occurred once, in which Gerry explained how a crime ''didn't'' occur.
* ThemeNaming:
** The writer named Jack, Brian and Gerry after the oldest spectator stand at his favourite football (soccer) club, West Bromwich Albion (Halford Lane Standing).
** Late in the series it turns out Gerry has relatives in the meat business. Their names? Barry, Harry, Gary, Mary, Larry, and [[OverlyLongGag Terry]].
* ToyotaTripwire: Brian does this in "Good Morning Lemmings": opening the door of the surveilance van to flatten a fleeing suspect.
* VandalismBackfire: In one episode, Gerry has been having an escalating prank war with a colleague, which culminated in him welding said colleague's locker shut. They finally call the grudge off... until the colleague reveals that it wasn't his locker.
* VerbalJudo: Faced with a biker gang member threatening to shoot her in retaliation for what his gang members did to him for talking to the police, Sandra starts thinking out loud about the current case. After buying some time that way, she comes to some conclusions that cause the other to break down and lower the gun -- as the case was his father's murder -- and then punches him out [[OffhandBackhand in passing]] while he's angsting.
----

to:

[[quoteright:310:http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/new-tricks1.jpg]]
[[caption-width-right:310:[[DoItYourselfThemeTune It's all right, it's okay. Doesn't really matter if you're old and grey.]]]]
->''"You shoot one dog in this country..." ''
--> -- '''DS Sandra Pullman'''

New Tricks (2003-) is a [[TheBBC BBC]] [[CrimeAndPunishmentSeries crime]] comedy/drama about the investigations of the Metropolitan Police's (fictional) Unsolved Crimes and Open Cases Squad (UCOS). Although mostly a MysteryOfTheWeek PoliceProcedural, it also combines a hint of AmateurSleuth in that most of the members of the squad are actually ''retired'' policemen employed to investigate unsolved crimes. The only serving police officer on the squad is the boss, Detective Superintendent '''Sandra Pullman''' (Amanda Redman), an uptight, tough-as-nails investigator. Her previously high-flying career came crashing down to earth through an unfortunate [[KickTheDog dog-shooting]] [[MyGreatestFailure incident]], resulting in her reluctant appointment to the newly created UCOS. Faced with an unappealing selection of job applicants, she recruited:

[[indent:10:'''Jack Halford''' (James Bolam), an ex-Detective Chief Superintendent and Pullman's old boss and mentor, who left the job in grief over the unsolved hit-and-run death of his beloved wife Mary.]]

[[indent:10:'''Brian 'Memory' Lane''' (Alun Armstrong), a brilliant but highly eccentric and anti-social detective with an instant-recall memory and Obsessive Compulsive Disorder. A recovered alcoholic.]]

[[indent:10:'''Gerry Standing''' (Dennis Waterman), a Jack-the-lad charmer with three ex-wives (that he is on excellent terms with), a gambling habit and some shady ethics, who left the force under suspicion of corruption after punching out his boss (who just happens to now be ''Pullman's'' boss). A softened-for-comedy version of what George Carter, Waterman's character in ''TheSweeney'', would be like today, complete with long hair, wide flashy neckties, constant smoking etc.]]

In the course of of Series 9 (2012), Jack was PutOnABus and replaced with '''DI Steve [=McAndrew=]''', played by Denis Lawson (AKA [[StarWars Wedge Antilles]]), a FishOutOfWater retired detective from Glasgow who originally came down to help with a case relevant to his past.

Also frequently appearing were Pullman's bosses (Don Bevan in the pilot and first series, Robert Strickland in the second onwards) and Esther Lane (Susan Jameson), Brian's put-upon and long-suffering but loyal wife.

Although a mystery series, much of the interest in the show comes from the characters and their various eccentricities, and in particular the culture clash between modern police methods (represented by Pullman and her media-and-statistics conscious superiors) and the old-school ways (Halford, Lane and Standing are all cops from the seventies and eighties). Pullman is often exasperated by the corners cut and rules ignored by her colleagues, even as she herself is gradually 'corrupted' by them. In some ways, it can be said to foreshadow the popularity of ''Series/{{Life On Mars|2006}}'', only instead of the boringly squeaky-clean modern copper being sent to the past to be 'corrupted' by it, the past's veteran coppers return in the present.

This is also a seriously popular show- ''repeats'' have been known to get eight million or more viewers, and they can be found pretty often at that.
----
Provides examples of:
* ActorAllusion: Jack Halford is played by James Bolam, who played Jack ''Ford'' in ''WhenTheBoatComesIn''.
** There have been a few ''StarWars'' references since Denis Lawson joined the cast.
* BecomingTheMask: In the episode "Only The Brave" it turns out the murderer was ReverseMole Knowles who had gone native in the gang he was sent in to investigate.
* BenevolentBoss: Strickland's grown into this role over time; having started as something of a politically-minded PointyHairedBoss he's gradually earned the respect of the team and vice versa. He eventually gets a DayInTheLimelight in the 9th season episode "Part of a Whole" where he proves himself to be ''seriously'' {{Badass}}.
* BewareTheNiceOnes: Jack, whilst normally a pleasant, gentle sort of fellow, possesses a sharp and sometimes violent temper if someone (usually a murderer or corrupt cop) has ''really'' managed to annoy him. His interrogation of a phony psychic in one episode is conducted almost entirely in calm, reasonable tones, but it's extraordinarly evident that he is beyond outraged by the nature of the crime; watching the scene will send ''shivers down your spine''. Similarly, Brian is normally just a little bit awkward, but becomes more than a little bit scary when he hasn't been taking his meds.
* BigSecret: There are usually three or four of these per episode, invariably complicating the murder investigation.
* BlessedWithSuck: It's established that Brian's remarkable photographic instant-recall memory and outstanding abilities as a detective and forensic investigator are the direct result of Obsessive Compulsive Disorder and a manic depression that, if he doesn't take his medication, leaves him with crippling, obsessive paranoia and at the best of times renders him an anti-social pedant. He is also a recovered alcoholic.
* BrotherSisterIncest: A case occurs in [[spoiler:"Couldn't Organise One"]], although here it turns out to provide an alibi for the murder.
* BystanderSyndrome:
** At the end of the pilot, the final arrest occurs at a dinner the villain is hosting, which results in a punch-up between the villain's family and friends and the cops, with everyone pitching in... except for one bloke, presumably not ''that'' fond of the villain, who just calmly finishes his meal with the chaos going on around him and walks out when everyone's gone, blithely muttering 'very nice' to the main characters as he leaves.
** In the same scene, Jack, Brian and Gerry -- having caused the fight in the first place -- decide discretion is the better part of valour and stand back to let the actual coppers take care of things, offering a running commentary all the while.
* TheCharmer: Gerry.
* TheCuckoolanderWasRight: In one episode, Brian becomes convinced that MI5 might have investigated him (and that he had his career held back as a result) when he finds out that his wife was involved with some activists who were investigated. At the end of the episode, an irate Halford brings him his file and confirms that he was indeed being observed. [[spoiler: [[DoubleSubversion They concluded that he wasn't a threat]], which leaves Brian slightly offended.]]
* ConspiracyTheorist: Brian turns into one of these if he comes off his anti-depressants, although he has shades of this even when he's on them (indeed in at least once he came off them because he was convinced modern medicine was a conspiracy); most notably in one episode where the team are investigating the suspicious death of a prominent 1970s trade unionist, Brian himself a member of the Police Union during his service becomes convinced that he's being observed.
* ConveyorBeltOfDoom: Gerry is almost dragged into a chopping machine when his jacket snags on a conveyor belt in "Dark Chocolate".
* CreepySouvenir: The season 8 finale involves a serial killer who [[spoiler:keeps body parts in VHS cassette boxes, with labels like "Goldfinger" for the fingers]].
* DaChief: Sandra and her superior officers.
* DangerTakesABackSeat: In "Only The Brave" one of the gang members tries this on Sandra with a gun, but she breaks his nose instead.
* DarkerAndEdgier: The majority of episodes written by Julian Simpson fall into this category, avoiding the usual geriatric antics and veering towards more serious (and violent) cases, which usually focus on conspiracies of some kind.
* DeadpanSnarker: Each member of UCOS has their moments.
-->'''Gerry:''' So, Ricky Hanson... mate of yours?\\
'''Jack:''' Biggest murdering, thieving, lying piece of morally-bankrupt shite I've ever laid eyes on.\\
'''Brian:''' Oh. Nothing personal then.
* DeadLineNews: The victim in one episode was a radio shock-jock who burned to death live on air.
* DeathSeeker:[[spoiler: Jack]] confesses that he is sometimes this, when explaining [[spoiler: why he doesn't want an award for bravery when he knows he was really just trying to get killed.]]
* DefectiveDetective: Brian, as mentioned above.
** To a lesser extent, the others as well: Jack most obviously with his grieving for his late wife Mary, but Gerry has to deal with borderline addictions to gambling and cigarettes (although he can control his booze, oddly enough) and a lingering reputation for corruption, and Sandra has to cope with being a workaholic with no social life and the lingering memory of her father's suicide.
* DepartmentOfRedundancyDepartment: Brian's life has been very full since his retirement: grandchildren, gardening, football, swimming, day trips, gardening, car, pets, dogs, the wife... did he mention gardening?
* DoItYourselfThemeTune: That's Dennis Waterman singing the tune, which he also wrote.
** George Harrison, famous as being one of the Beatles, actually wrote the song as 'End of the Line', which Dennis Waterman changed to 'It's Alright'.
* EurekaMoment: Brian is sometimes given to these.
** Parodied with a subversion in one episode when Gerry sees someone he recognises in an old 1980s video about a peace protest. We're lead to assume that he's just had a sudden breakthrough about the case... until he proudly announces "I ''had'' her!"
* EverythingsBetterWithPenguins: Brian's tattoo.
* FourTemperamentEnsemble: Sandra is choleric, Gerry is sanguine, Brian is melancholic, and Jack is phlegmatic.
* GivingThemTheStrip: In "Dark Chocolate", Gerry escapes the ConveyorBeltODoom by taking off his jacket.
* InfoDump: Brian often gives these about the background of a case, or sometimes the whole area of crime involved (such as cybercrime in "Body of Evidence").
* InnocentInnuendo: Brian often tends to wander into these.
* InsultBackfire: At the end of the pilot, Sandra refers to the boys as 'criminals'. They react with offence. She amends the insult to 'crooks'. ''This'', they can live with.
* InterserviceRivalry: When an old case crosses with a new case, most commonly due a murderer trying to cover their tracks, UCOS are supposed to hand the old case over to the people investigating the new case and back off. Needless to say they don't like doing this.
* IronicEcho: In the pilot, the deputy commissioner tries to shut down Jack when he approaches him for a warrant by smugly pointing out that he's not actually a police officer any more. At the end, when the same deputy commissioner is getting his arse kicked in the climactic punch-up and begs Jack for help, Jack -- who, with the others, his happily standing on the sidelines watching the chaos -- 'apologetically' points out that he's "not actually a police officer anymore, remember?"
* ItsPersonal: Jack was hell bent on brining down crime boss Ricky Hanson, the man who murdered his wife. Jack actually tries to kill him with his car at one point, but only ends up hospitalising himself and the whole team. Taken UpToEleven when Hanson takes the opportunity to try and smother him in his hospital bed (while [[KickTheDog rubbing his wife's death in his face]] no less) and ''still gets away with it'' due to having a ruthlessly efficient lawyer who destroys the case by referencing all of the team's flaws (including Jack's obsession with bringing Hanson down), to make them all seem like unreliable witnesses. The team celebrate with champagne when they finally bring him down in a later episode.
* KickTheDog: Subversion / parody - in the pilot, Sandra - a decent person - is forced to shoot one that is attacking her, but the resulting public outcry completely derails her career and makes her a laughing stock ("You shoot ''one dog'' in this country...")
* MenAreUncultured: The stereotype is played with. Gerry, who normally comes across as an unreconstructed 'real man', is a connoisseur of fine food, while Brian, the 'nerdy' one who enjoys tabletop strategy games, is conversely a SeriousBusiness football fan.
* MonkeyMoralityPose: Brian, Gerry and Jack at the end of "Powerhouse".
* TheMourningAfter: Jack's wife may be dead, but he still considers himself very married.
* MyHovercraftIsFullOfEels: A visit to the Deaf husband of a murder victim prompts Gerry to try and brush up on his long-forgotten sign language skills. He tries to say "I want to practice my signing with you" to the sign language interpreter, but instead comes out with "I want to dig up my elephant with you."
* NecroCam: Not as often as you'd think, though, especially given that most of the cases that are dealt with occurred up to 20 years ago and this isn't ''WakingTheDead''.
* NeedAHandOrAHandJob - During a case that briefly took Brian into Soho, a lady of the night approached him asking if he 'had the time.' Misunderstandings ensued.
* NeverLiveItDown: InUniverse. Sandra has been in charge of [=UCOS=] for nearly a decade after she was attacked in the press for shooting a dog in self defence, considered a dead-end job; the group in general has a reputation as a refuge for washed-up has been cops and officers. This despite the fact that they have put away crime lords, drug lords, serial arsonists and killers, corrupt police officers (including the [[MoleInCharge deputy commisioner]]), and numerous other high-level crime figures, basically putting the rest of the Met to shame several times over.
** Although it is played with, in that their hard work and achievements have been noted and rewarded several times over; Sandra has been offered 'better' jobs but [[StatusQuoIsGod for whatever reason]] has always chosen to stay with UCOS. A bit of FridgeBrilliance is also at play -- having been dumped out-of-the-way in the basement in the first series, each season has seen them be moved to increasingly nicer rooms before they reached their current, rather swish offices, suggesting that their overall reputation has gradually improved even if they do remain the butt of a few jokes.
* NoBadgeNoProblem: Brian, Jack and Gerry are retired police officers and are usually pretty good at identifying themselves as such. However, they do work for the police department as investigators so they have the official authority to question people and access police records.
* NoMedicationForMe - Averted, Brian never gets any better if he comes off his meds.
* NoodleIncident: [[spoiler: Whatever Gerry did when he got neuro-linguistically programmed and "Baker Street" was played.]]
* NotableNonSequitur: Played with. Generally, every apparently offhand comment of this type will turn out to be significant in ''some way'', but not necessarily one related to the case (for example, it might expose an unrelated and previously unmentioned other crime or secret the suspect is hiding).
* OffTheWagon: [[spoiler:Brian.]] Handled far ''far'' better than many instances of this trope though.
* OldFashionedCopper: - Jack, Brian and Gerry, although the writers [[LampshadeHanging hang a lampshade]] on the trope by having the characters gleefully excuse their actions with the (reasonable) justification that, technically, they aren't actually cops anymore.
** Played with at times; sometimes, the old-fashioned way of doing things makes things worse, and the new methods ''are'' the better ones, for their flaws.
* PacManFever - Averted, as Jack is seen playing ''Ghost Squad'' on the Wii and doing very well.
* PoliticalCorrectnessGoneMad - Although they're not too bad for the most part, the boys can at times have difficulty adjusting to more modern ways of thinking about things like race, gender equality, etc., which can cause tension.
* PunBasedTitle: Several episode titles, usually mixed with ShoutOut:
** "The Gentleman Vanishes" (series 8) to ''TheLadyVanishes''.
** "The Girl Who Lived" (series 9) to ''Literature/HarryPotter''.
* PutOnABus - P.C Jon Clarke, the squad's uniformed IT officer-slash-gofer, disappears between Series 1 and Series 2.
* RealLifeRelative: Gerry's [[spoiler:illegitimate and heretofore unknown]] daughter is played by Hannah Waterman, Dennis Waterman's real daughter. [[spoiler:Paternity tests prove that she's not his, but he refuses to tell her. She finds out.]]
** Also, James Bolam and Susan Jameson, although not married to each other in the show, have been married to each other for over 35 years, playing husband and wife in ''WhenTheBoatComesIn''.
* RealityIsUnrealistic: In real life, drowning victims tend not to struggle or cry out. As Brian puts it: drowning doesn't look like drowning.
* RedBaron: Brian "Memory" Lane and Gerry "Last Man" Standing. The former because of his impressive memory ("Memory Lane"). The latter [[spoiler: was mockingly given to him by a mob boss, in both a straightforward[[note]]Because he was the only copper on the force who didn't take a bribe from him[[/note]] and [[{{irony}} ironic]][[note]]Because he was the [[NoGoodDeedGoesUnpunished only officer who was accused of corruption as a result]][[/note]] manner).]]
* RedHerring: We are often given several suspects with apparently suspicious behaviour, but in a variation of the trope, they will usually all turn out to be hiding ''something'', just not necessarily something directly related to this week's case.
* RippedFromTheHeadlines: Especially in later series, many episodes are inspired by real crimes or types of crimes that have been in the news. For example, "Queen and Country" involves a civil servant misplacing a laptop with sensitive information, something which (as the episode itself notes) embarrassingly happened several times during GordonBrown's premiership.
** This is also true of episodes where the crime comes from a past era. The "Ice Cream Wars" episode in series 3 is, [[NotMakingThisUpDisclaimer surprisingly]], based on a true story from TheEighties--[[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ice_Cream_Wars albeit one that happened in Glasgow rather than London]].
* TheSeventies and TheEighties: Earlier episodes revolve around cases from that period. As the show has gone on, cases from TheNineties and even the TurnOfTheMillennium (crimes committed during the earlier part of the show's run, chronologically!) have featured.
* ShoutOut: A recent episode had Sandra describe some of Gerry's dodgier actions as being "out of the ''Series/{{Life On Mars|2006}}'' handbook". The two shows have often been compared by critics because their concepts can be viewed as mirror images (70s coppers back at work in the present vs modern copper in the 70s).
* ShownTheirWork: The backgrounds to many stories are very well researched, such as the cybercrime-themed series 9 episode "Body of Evidence".
* ShipTease: Earlier episodes seemed to suggest some kind of potential relationship between Gerry and Sandra, but this was gradually dropped. The two nevertheless over time went from being quite sharp with each other to becoming quite good friends, however.
* SlaveToPR: Sandra's bosses are very aware of the power of publicity and often saddles the team with pointless cases merely for the sake of favourable press. Averted for the team, they simply don't care as they are not technically policemen anymore.
* SmugSnake: Stephen Fisher, from Intelligence, or thereabouts.
-->'''Sandra:''' How did you get down here without an escort?\\
'''Fisher:''' Oh, ''bless''.
* SomethingCompletelyDifferent: Several of the cases in Series 9, especially "Glasgow UCOS", which of the main cast only has Gerry and Steve, going to Glasgow in order to help set up the Glasgow branch of UCOS.
* SoundtrackDissonance: Several episodes end on a sombre or even bleak note, which can make it a bit disorientating when Dennis Waterman suddenly starts singing "It's alright, it's okay, doesn't really matter if you're old and grey..." in a cheerful tone with the end credits. Later series introduced a more melancholy ending theme which would be played in such situations.
* StealthInsult: While investigating a crime in a museum, Gerry wonders what it is like to spend every day surrounded by fossils. Sandra thinks she has an idea.
* TheSwearJar: Has the detectives install one, which eventually allows them to go out for a nice meal on the town. Gerry's a bit aggrieved that he didn't get to choose, since he "put most of the bloody money in."
* TheSummation: A neat little subversion occurred once, in which Gerry explained how a crime ''didn't'' occur.
* ThemeNaming:
** The writer named Jack, Brian and Gerry after the oldest spectator stand at his favourite football (soccer) club, West Bromwich Albion (Halford Lane Standing).
** Late in the series it turns out Gerry has relatives in the meat business. Their names? Barry, Harry, Gary, Mary, Larry, and [[OverlyLongGag Terry]].
* ToyotaTripwire: Brian does this in "Good Morning Lemmings": opening the door of the surveilance van to flatten a fleeing suspect.
* VandalismBackfire: In one episode, Gerry has been having an escalating prank war with a colleague, which culminated in him welding said colleague's locker shut. They finally call the grudge off... until the colleague reveals that it wasn't his locker.
* VerbalJudo: Faced with a biker gang member threatening to shoot her in retaliation for what his gang members did to him for talking to the police, Sandra starts thinking out loud about the current case. After buying some time that way, she comes to some conclusions that cause the other to break down and lower the gun -- as the case was his father's murder -- and then punches him out [[OffhandBackhand in passing]] while he's angsting.
----
[[redirect:Series/NewTricks]]
15th Aug '13 12:48:34 AM foxley
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Added DiffLines:

* BrotherSisterIncest: A case occurs in [[spoiler:"Couldn't Organise One"]], although here it turns out to provide an alibi for the murder.
7th Aug '13 11:54:00 AM StarSword
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-->''"You shoot one dog in this country..." ''
--> DS Sandra Pullman

to:

-->''"You ->''"You shoot one dog in this country..." ''
--> DS -- '''DS Sandra Pullman
Pullman'''
7th Aug '13 11:53:33 AM StarSword
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http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/new-tricks1.jpg
[[caption-width:310:[[DoItYourselfThemeTune It's all right, it's okay. Doesn't really matter if you're old and grey.]]]]

to:

http://static.[[quoteright:310:http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/new-tricks1.jpg
[[caption-width:310:[[DoItYourselfThemeTune
jpg]]
[[caption-width-right:310:[[DoItYourselfThemeTune
It's all right, it's okay. Doesn't really matter if you're old and grey.]]]]


Added DiffLines:

* NoBadgeNoProblem: Brian, Jack and Gerry are retired police officers and are usually pretty good at identifying themselves as such. However, they do work for the police department as investigators so they have the official authority to question people and access police records.
14th Jul '13 1:01:46 PM nombretomado
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** "The Girl Who Lived" (series 9) to ''HarryPotter''.

to:

** "The Girl Who Lived" (series 9) to ''HarryPotter''.''Literature/HarryPotter''.
26th Jun '13 2:04:24 PM MRAustin
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* BewareTheNiceOnes: Jack, whilst normally a pleasant, gentle sort of fellow, possesses a sharp and sometimes violent temper if someone (usually a murderer or corrupt cop) has ''really'' managed to annoy him. Also Brian, when he hasn't been taking his meds.

to:

* BewareTheNiceOnes: Jack, whilst normally a pleasant, gentle sort of fellow, possesses a sharp and sometimes violent temper if someone (usually a murderer or corrupt cop) has ''really'' managed to annoy him. Also Brian, His interrogation of a phony psychic in one episode is conducted almost entirely in calm, reasonable tones, but it's extraordinarly evident that he is beyond outraged by the nature of the crime; watching the scene will send ''shivers down your spine''. Similarly, Brian is normally just a little bit awkward, but becomes more than a little bit scary when he hasn't been taking his meds.
9th Jun '13 6:22:18 AM MRAustin
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* RedBaron: Brian "Memory" Lane and Gerry "Last Man" Standing. The former because of his impressive memory ("Memory Lane"). The latter [[spoiler: was mockingly given to him by a mob boss, in both a straightforward[[note]]Because he was the only copper on the force who didn't take a bribe from him[[/note]] and [[{{irony}} ironic]][[note]]Because he was the [[NoGoodDeedGoesUnpunished only officer who was accused of corruption as a result[[/note]] manner).]]

to:

* RedBaron: Brian "Memory" Lane and Gerry "Last Man" Standing. The former because of his impressive memory ("Memory Lane"). The latter [[spoiler: was mockingly given to him by a mob boss, in both a straightforward[[note]]Because he was the only copper on the force who didn't take a bribe from him[[/note]] and [[{{irony}} ironic]][[note]]Because he was the [[NoGoodDeedGoesUnpunished only officer who was accused of corruption as a result[[/note]] result]][[/note]] manner).]]
9th Jun '13 6:20:34 AM MRAustin
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* RedBaron: Brian "Memory" Lane and Gerry "Last Man" Standing. The former because of his impressive memory ("Memory Lane"). The later [[spoiler:was mockingly given to him by a mob boss, in both a straightforward[[note]]Because he was the only copper on the force who didn't take a bribe from him[[/note]] and [[{{irony}} ironic]][[note]]Because he was the [[NoGoodDeedGoesUnpunished only officer who was accused of corruption as a result[[/note]] manner).]]

to:

* RedBaron: Brian "Memory" Lane and Gerry "Last Man" Standing. The former because of his impressive memory ("Memory Lane"). The later [[spoiler:was latter [[spoiler: was mockingly given to him by a mob boss, in both a straightforward[[note]]Because he was the only copper on the force who didn't take a bribe from him[[/note]] and [[{{irony}} ironic]][[note]]Because he was the [[NoGoodDeedGoesUnpunished only officer who was accused of corruption as a result[[/note]] manner).]]
10th May '13 11:30:17 AM mlsmithca
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* ItsPersonal: Jack was hell bent on brining down crime boss Ricky Hanson, the man who murdered his wife. Jack actually tries to kill him with his car at one point, but only ends up hostpitalising himself and the whole team. UpToEleven when Hanson takes the opportunity to try and smother him in his hospital bed (while [[KickTheDog rubbing his wifes death in his face]] no less) and ''still gets away with it'' due to having a ruthlessly efficient lawyer who destroys the case by referencing all of the teams flaws (including Jacks obsession with bringing Hanson down), to make them all seem like unreliable witnesses. The team celebrate with champagne when they finally bring him down in a later episode.

to:

* ItsPersonal: Jack was hell bent on brining down crime boss Ricky Hanson, the man who murdered his wife. Jack actually tries to kill him with his car at one point, but only ends up hostpitalising hospitalising himself and the whole team. Taken UpToEleven when Hanson takes the opportunity to try and smother him in his hospital bed (while [[KickTheDog rubbing his wifes wife's death in his face]] no less) and ''still gets away with it'' due to having a ruthlessly efficient lawyer who destroys the case by referencing all of the teams team's flaws (including Jacks Jack's obsession with bringing Hanson down), to make them all seem like unreliable witnesses. The team celebrate with champagne when they finally bring him down in a later episode.



* NoodleIncident: [[spoiler: Whatever Gerry did when he got neuro-linguistically programmed and "Baker Street" was played]]

to:

* NoodleIncident: [[spoiler: Whatever Gerry did when he got neuro-linguistically programmed and "Baker Street" was played]]played.]]



* OffTheWagon:[[spoiler:Brian.]] Handled far ''far'' better than many instances of this trope though.

to:

* OffTheWagon:[[spoiler:Brian.OffTheWagon: [[spoiler:Brian.]] Handled far ''far'' better than many instances of this trope though.



* PacManFever - averted, as Jack is seen playing ''Ghost Squad'' on the Wii and doing very well.
* PoliticalCorrectnessGoneMad - although they're not too bad for the most part, the boys can at times have difficulty adjusting to more modern ways of thinking about things like race, gender equality, etc., which can cause tension.

to:

* PacManFever - averted, Averted, as Jack is seen playing ''Ghost Squad'' on the Wii and doing very well.
* PoliticalCorrectnessGoneMad - although Although they're not too bad for the most part, the boys can at times have difficulty adjusting to more modern ways of thinking about things like race, gender equality, etc., which can cause tension.



* RealLifeRelative: Gerry's [[spoiler: illegitimate and heretofore unknown]] daughter is played by Hannah Waterman, Dennis Waterman's real daughter. [[spoiler: Paternity tests prove that she's not his, but he refuses to tell her. She finds out]]

to:

* RealLifeRelative: Gerry's [[spoiler: illegitimate [[spoiler:illegitimate and heretofore unknown]] daughter is played by Hannah Waterman, Dennis Waterman's real daughter. [[spoiler: Paternity [[spoiler:Paternity tests prove that she's not his, but he refuses to tell her. She finds out]]out.]]



* RedBaron: Brian "Memory" Lane and Gerry "Last Man" Standing. The former because of his impressive memory ("Memory Lane"). The later [[spoiler: was mockingly given to him by a mob boss, in both a straight forward[[hottip:*:Because he was the only copper on the force who didn't take a bribe from him]] and [[{{irony}} ironic]][[hottip:*:Because he was the [[NoGoodDeedGoesUnpunished only officer who was accused of corruption as a result]]. manner).]]

to:

* RedBaron: Brian "Memory" Lane and Gerry "Last Man" Standing. The former because of his impressive memory ("Memory Lane"). The later [[spoiler: was [[spoiler:was mockingly given to him by a mob boss, in both a straight forward[[hottip:*:Because straightforward[[note]]Because he was the only copper on the force who didn't take a bribe from him]] him[[/note]] and [[{{irony}} ironic]][[hottip:*:Because ironic]][[note]]Because he was the [[NoGoodDeedGoesUnpunished only officer who was accused of corruption as a result]]. result[[/note]] manner).]]
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http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/article_history.php?article=Main.NewTricks