Those crazy retirees and their long-suffering boss are back for another round of (mostly) lighthearted mysteries from BBC-TV’s long-running series, New Tricks. And speaking of “another round,” Acorn Media’s three-disc set of New Tricks: Season Five starts out with the gallant crew of the Unsolved Crime and Open Case Squad — Gerry Standing (Dennis Waterman), Brian Lane (Alun Armstrong), Jack Halford (Anthony Calf), and their supervisor, DS Sandra Pullman (Amanda Redman) — enjoying a round of drinks and each other’s company in a pub. The joy quickly dissolves, however, when the murderer of Jack’s wife is acquitted in the opening episode.
This series of New Tricks also ends in a pub, as well — wherein we witness the fall of the show’s brainiac character, Brian, who has been on the wagon for several years. Meanwhile, Sandra continues to seek out any information she can find about her late father, and Gerry attempts to connect with one of his many daughters. Highlights of Series Five (or, Season Five, as it’s called here) have the boys and gal investigating the deaths of a controversial disc jockey and a brewery worker (wherein a man drowned in a vat of beer!), as well as a memorable bout with a hypnotist (which leaves poor Gerry prone to doing something very suspicious whenever he hears the music of Gerry Rafferty).
As with previous sets of this delightful British mystery series, Acorn Media has brought us a fine transfer. The set includes all eight episodes (one of which features a lot of ‘80s tunes!), which are presented in a 1.78:1 ratio with English Stereo sound. Optional English (SDH) subtitles are included. The set is a barebones release and does not feature any bonus goodies, but the lack of any such supplemental materials is hardly noticeable once you’ve dived into these enjoyable episodes.