Old soldiers never die, they simply fade away. And old coppers? The good ones are transferred to the cold cases unit for some bizarre, off-beat and at times humorous adventures.
American police series are - or used to be - predominantly cops 'n' hookers celluloid trash with implausible plots and wooden scripts. British TV police dramas on the other hand have usually had a gritty realism about them, a bit like Coronation Street before kitchen sink dramas were ditched in favour of pyrotechnics and serial killers in the endless drive to top the ratings.
New Tricks is a trade off between implausible plots and banal scripts. Now in its 7th series, it follows the adventures of a team of retired Metropolitan Police officers who are brought back to run UCOS, the cold cases unit. The latest programme - currently at this link for those who can receive it - begins with a convicted paedophile confessing to the murder of a young boy who went missing in the 1980s. There is no doubt the boy had disappeared, and as he did so in the centre of London during a political demonstration, it is a reasonable assumption that foul play was involved. But was it?
What is the first thing the police do when someone confesses to a murder? Obviously they ask him to provide corroboration. Maybe someone should have told Kent Police that? Then maybe a certain Michael Stone supported wouldn't have disrupted the Leveson Inquiry earlier this week.
Rather than spoil the ending, it will suffice to point out that one of the people under suspicion in this episode is an academic who has developed and is preaching a revolutionary new theory that the cause of world unrest is not racism, nor the capitalist system, nor even Zionism - although that does get a look in - rather it is the feminazis who have brainwashed men into believing they are all inherently evil and violent with it - perhaps he hasn't heard of Levi Bellfield or Floyd Mayweather Junior?
The reasons this series is so popular are not hard to seek. Unfortunately, the same cannot be said for most of the soaps churned out either by the BBC or its commercial rivals.
This opinion article was written by an independent writer. The opinions and views expressed herein are those of the author and are not necessarily intended to reflect those of DigitalJournal.com