The Unsolved Crime and Open Cases team are back for an impressive 11th series of New Tricks, with an array of unusual crimes and a who’s who of guest stars, including Phil Davis, Julie Graham, Jack Shepherd and Niamh Cusack.
Last original cast member Dennis Waterman tells What’s on TV what’s kept him on the show all these years…
The Unsolved Crime and Open Cases team are back. What crimes can we expect?
“You never know what you’re going to get when you tune in! The crime stories are all very different and some are quite poignant and dark. There’s a beheading, which we think was done during a Roman reenactment. There’s also an interesting one where a little old lady in a home reports a murder to a passing policeman that goes back to wartime London.”
You’re the remaining original cast member. How is the new line-up with Denis Lawson (ex-DI Steve McAndrew), Tamzin Outhwaite (Detective Chief Inspector Sasha Miller) and Nicholas Lyndhurst (retired DCI Dan Griffin) working out?
“Because the change has been a gradual process people have fitted in very quickly. First Denis came in [replacing James Bolam], then Nick was introduced [when Alun Armstrong left] and now Tamzin’s character Sasha is in charge [taking over from Amanda Redman] and keeping us in our place!”
The opening episode greatly affects your character Gerry Standing. What can you tell us?
“It’s about Gerry going back to his roots in Bermondsey. His youngest daughter Caitlin (Amy Nuttall) is getting married to solicitor Robin (David Newman). Gerry’s not very keen on her fiance because it’s in a policeman’s blood to dislike lawyers! I get to give him a hard time, which is fun!”
And the murder case?
“When Gerry goes back to Bermondsey he sees his old friend Ralph Paxton, played by David Hayman. When they were growing up Ralph was always going off the rails and is just out of prison, but Gerry still considers him a mate. Gerry ends up investigating the death of Ralph’s grandson Jake – it’s an interesting episode.”
You’ve mentioned some great guest stars. Who else is appearing later in the series?
“Julie Graham plays Steve’s ex wife and Iain Hogg plays his father. Phil Davis also filmed with us; I’m a big fan! The younger actors are wonderful too – like Amy Nuttall, Mariah Gale and Ripper Street’s Leanne Best. The writing, cast, terrific guest stars, and the mixture of crime and humour keep me involved.”
A lot of the show’s comedy comes from Gerry and Steve. How do you and Denis Lawson get on?
“Denis and I are like naughty teenagers – that’s what they’ve based our characters on! McAndrew and Standing are naturally drawn together… by pub culture! Not like us real life – Denis doesn’t do pubs. We went to Glasgow for a week once for an episode and it was all restaurants and coffee bars. I never went to a pub once!”
New Tricks premieres on BBC1 at 9pm, Monday, August 18.