New Tricks, TV review: Predictable fun held together by a relatively predictable cast

Last seen very much on the wrong side of the law as Archie Mitchell in EastEnders, here Larry Lamb was on much safer territory

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The Independent Culture

A mystery that proved easier to solve, was the one facing the detectives in BBC1’s New Tricks. Tasked with discovering who killed a vicar in 2006, the team had to delve deep inside a family with no intention of giving up its secrets. And all while contending with the indignity of being supervised by new “acting head” Ted Case, played by Larry Lamb.

Last seen very much on the wrong side of the law as Archie Mitchell in EastEnders, here Lamb was on much safer territory. Ted’s a man who enjoys a well-ironed shirt, a sweet treat and a cappuccino. He’s also partial to a good cliché. “Punctuality, the virtue of kings” he quips when a suspect/relative arrives on time. “Children can be both a trial and a joy” he soothes as another family member-cum-killer swerves a question about her absent daughter.

It’s harmless, predictable fun held together by a harmless, relatively predictable cast. Yet it’s hard to imagine Archie Mitchell turning his nose up at an instant coffee. Perhaps you can teach an old Lamb a few new tricks after all…

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