Saints and Sinners
- Televised in the UK - 30th December 2004
The Daily Mail - 31.12.04 by Christopher
" Finally, a quick word about the latest
Taggart. I often wonder how this hardy perennial manages to come up
year after year looking as fresh and convincing as it did when grumpy old
Mark McManus was in charge and put the fear of God into those young
coppers. Now even some of those have moved on - though for happier
reasons - and suddenly Detective Sgt Jackie Reid (Blythe Duff) has become
an old hand. I can only assume the reason it still works is that
McManus's glowering presence haunts the place, and no one - writers,
actors or directors - dares to put a foot wrong."
The Scotsman - 31.12.04
These adverts are
WHAT would the festive season be without a good murrdurr?
Taggart, of course, came up with the goods. Three murrdurrs, actually, in
a grim whoduddit.
Taggart has such a 1970s feel. Theres that guitar
theme tune (which I like). The suspects and victims are all hard-drinking
smokers. Indeed, the first victim has a bucketload of whisky before
driving. I know, it does happen nowadays, but not commonly, as it did in
the 1970s. The camera pans across shipyard cranes.
But, otherwise, this was
modern Glasgow. Builders and lawyers were making big bucks from property.
Trendy restaurants with glass fronts catered for chimps in designer
clobber. Civilisations trappings were displayed, though you still felt
you might get your heid stove in at any time.
That it was the lawyers
who got their heids stove in made this a morally satisfying tale. Indeed,
the show was merciless in its depiction of that ignoble profession,
showering it with abuse and wisecracks. DCI Matt Burke, the potato-faced
detective in charge, noted wryly: "A lying lawyer, theres an unusual
thing." When one wounded victim lost his voice, the detective quipped: "A
mute lawyer, thatll be a first."
When a cop says lawyers just
want to win at all costs, the retired judge asks if she knows a better
system. Well, yes we do: its one where costs are 90 per cent lower than
at present and where both sides attempt to establish the truth by not
lying. Difficult to grasp, I know, but when the glorious day arises and
laywers are banned from parliament, the system shall be reformed.
I digress. But must I summarise the
plot? Im not your man for mysteries. If there isnt a butler present -
and they seem increasingly rare in modern drama - then I havent a clue
who did it.
Basically, some lawyers represented some builders
secretly while also misrepresenting Rosie Kane-style protesters against
the aforementioned builders, who were up to no good on a landfill site.
Lawyer One was killed as he staggered out of his car. Lawyer Two was shot
but, tragically, survived. Then, for good measure, the builder was shot
too. Stated thus, baldly and with little attempt at edification, it might
have seemed clear that one of the protesters did it. That this turned out
to be the case took me completely by surprise which, I think, must testify
to the skill of the scriptwriter. Or the denseness of the reviewer. Six or
half a dozen really.
What was obvious was that somebody got killed just
before every ad break. Indeed, for a while, I thought it must have been
ITVs head of advertising who was behind the crimes. When the little white
dot in the corner heralded a fourth break, I shouted at the few remaining
survivors on-screen: "Do a runner! Theres a break coming up! Somebodys
going to get killed!" Of course, nothing happened. Id been fooled again.
Still, Im not complaining. Or am I? Yes, dammit, I
am. There were too many cop jokes about getting kicks from looking at
murder scenes: not big, not clever, and not necessary. Also unnecessary
were the repeated showings of the first murdered bloke: we needed that
like a hole in his head. Too many ordinary, innocent people were hostile
to the police, in ways that just wouldnt happen outwith staunch
republican areas of Belfast.
And was it really necessary for Burke to say "Ah
want blood and snotters"? Some of us might have been eating. Or just
breathing normally. The whole thing teetered on the brink of self-parody,
every exchange was tense, the flirting blonde was a pain, and there
werent enough naturally happy people.
On the other hand, the pace
of the drama was good, as was Burkes confession that hed studied "techie
drawing" at school rather than classics.
The denouement was a mixed affair.
On the one hand (nobodys counting these hands, are they?), it was
ludicrous for the judge, whose life the killer had just spared, to snap
out of his fear and start slagging the gal with the gun as a no-hoper. Not
unnaturally, she then changed her mind and shot him after all, and it was
an undeniably satisfying moment to see the smug creep crumple to the floor
of his fancy club in a blood-stained heap.
The final shot was of the
statue of justice, that burd with the scales and the blindfold, which is
presumably there so she cant see the outrageous fees being charged by her
The Viewers Had To Say
Thursday's episode, thought Burke was his usual brilliant self. I
am sure the gentleman who played Mr Muir was in another episode wasnt' it
Please wish Alex a very happy birthday for 27 January and look forward to
lots more Taggart.
Whilst I liked
the banter between Robbie and Gemma, I wish they
would bring back Sheila Crombie! She and Burke had a good on-screen
rapport and there isn't that interaction between any of the other
characters now. Is it me or is the emphasis now on Burke at the
expense of the other characters? We didn't seem to see much of the
others, only fleetingly really.
loved that episode last night thought it was brill
Although didn't like what burke said to Jackie at the end because even
if they did know who the killer was sooner they wouldn't know who she was
going to kill or where which is why it was good they were at the hospital
Loved the banter tho! thought it was funny really liked the scene where
Robbie says "love it femine stick together" or something to that effect
and Jackie tell him to shut up lol
NIGHTS TAGGART WAS GREAT JOHN LOOKING A GOOD AS EVER CAN'T WAIT FOR NEXT
I liked the
bit with Gemma and Robbie in the pub, and she says "I've got something
to tell you," and he says "You want to have my love child?" then later
when she's talking about a gun or something, he says "oh I love it when
you talk dirty to me." However, Robbie and Gemma aren't going to go out
- I was told by Lesley herself in a letter she sent to me. She said that
she doesn't think Robbie and Gemma will go out, but you can let him
Actually, having said that, I did yell out "No she doesn't, but I
do!!!!" to the screen, and i'm only 14!!!!! When I went downstairs to
get some Dr. Pepper in the adverts, I got some weird looks off my
parents, who were watching in downstairs!!! You can't watch it with my
mum cos she talks all the way through it, then someone else says one
word and she tells them to shut up. Makes me sick!!!
Burke talks like he doesn't eye Gemma up, but I'll bet he does on the
quiet!!! If Robbie wants to look at Gemma's chest, let him!! But I liked
that "Looking for clues Robbie?"