Have always been a big fan of detective/mystery shows from a fairly young age, well since starting secondary school.
'Inspector Morse', 'A Touch of Frost', 'Midsomer Murders' (in its prime), 'Law and Order', 'Inspector George Gently', 'Criminal Minds', 'Murder She Wrote', you name them to name a few. 'New Tricks' has also been a favourite from the start (despite not being the same without the original cast in recent years). Although it can be corny at times (in an endearing sort of way) it has always been perfect for helping me relax in the evenings. Something that was needed during all the hard times endured in school.
"Ducking and Diving" shows that Season 4 has not yet faltered. It is interesting mostly for its different setting, which sees some suspenseful and atmospherically photographed underwater sequences, and for seeing a glimpse of Gerry's caring side which was lovely to see.
Visually, "Ducking and Diving" looks lovely, with a brighter look but never garish and always slick and stylish. The music is a good fit and the theme song (sung with gusto by none other by Dennis Waterman himself) is one of the catchiest for any detective/mystery show and of any show in the past fifteen years or so.
Writing is intelligent, thought-provoking and classy, while also being very funny and high up in the entertainment value. The story is fun, diverting and twisty, with an ending that's not too obvious.
A huge part of 'New Tricks' appeal is the chemistry between the four leads and their performances. The chemistry is so easy going and charming with a little tension.
One of the show's biggest delights is Alun Armstrong, achieves a perfect balance of funny comic timing and touching pathos which was maintained all the way up to his final episode. It is also lovely here to see his role in the team and skills appreciated more all the time. James Bolam's Jack is the quietest, most sensible (mostly) and most composed of the team, with a tragic personal life that Bolam portrays very touchingly without any overwrought-ness.
The only woman on the team, Amanda Redman more than holds her own in what is essentially the boss role of the four. Dennis Waterman brings some nice levity without unbalancing things.
Susan Jameson really delights in her chemistry with Armstrong, that final exchange is priceless, while there are nice supporting turns from Peter-Hugo Daly and George Baker.
Overall, another excellent episode. 10/10 Bethany Cox
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