License article

New Tricks, Saturday, April 28

ABC1, 7.30pm

It seems lightly ironic that a show with the title New Tricks depends on a few old ones to get by. This is safe British crime TV – so safe that even the BBC has seen fit to commission a ninth and 10th series while we're still in the middle of the eighth.

The Metropolitan Police Service's Unsolved Crime and Open Case Squad (UCOS) is the setting and our four detectives, Brian (Alun Armstrong), Sandra (Amanda Redman), Gerry (Dennis Waterman) and Jack (James Bolam), are charged with solving cold cases. (Denis Lawson's Steve McAllister will step up in the next series when Bolam bows out.)

Tonight's case involves a bike courier whose death in an accidental hit and run may have been connected to something he was carrying. The execution is flawless but New Tricks sits too far behind the safety line to be considered anything better than the sticky, chewy centre of the genre.