Sunday 16 January 2022


I might have said this last year, (I get more like a grumpy old man) I can't remember, but the Christmas TV schedules in the UK served up a load of crap. I don't think there were any decent films shown on any of the main channels. Well if there were I missed them.

I've been reduced to scouring satellite channels to watch old episodes of TV dramas from a few years back. 

Jonathan Creek (1997-2016) - BBC TV Drama (5 series)

I watched some of these years ago when they initially aired and I quite liked the quirky nature of them. They give off a locked room vibe with an unexplainable mystery which consultant Jonathan Creek gets invited to look at. I like the humour and there's a decent cast throughout. Creek (Alan Davies) is very good. Every series or two, the main female support changes.... Caroline Quentin, Julie Sawalha and Sheridan Smith so far. With Quentin and Sawalha there's a sort of on/off romance/personal relationship with tension that adds to the mix. I've only watched one with Smith so far so don't know if that trope continues.

Enjoyable viewing.

From Wikipedia...

Jonathan Creek is a long-running British mystery crime drama series produced by the BBC and written by David Renwick. It stars Alan Davies as the title character, who works as a creative consultant to a stage magician while also solving seemingly supernatural mysteries through his talent for logical deduction and his understanding of illusions.

Bull Season 2 (2017-18) - US TV Drama series

Another quirky TV drama that I enjoy dipping in and out of. I do like Michael Weatherly and again they're easy viewing.

From Wikipedia and Google ...

Bull is an American drama television series starring Michael Weatherly. CBS ordered the program to series on May 13, 2016, and it premiered on September 20, 2016.The show is based on the early days of talk show host Dr. Phil McGraw's career, when he was a trial consultant. On May 6, 2020, CBS renewed the series for a fifth season, which premiered on November 16, 2020. On April 15, 2021, CBS renewed the series for a sixth season which is set to premiere on October 7, 2021

Dr Jason Bull, a psychologist and a trial science expert, heads a consulting firm that helps its clients choose the right jurors and aids them in deciding the best argument that can win the case.

New Tricks (2003-2015) - BBC TV Drama (12 series)

Cold case crimes solved by geriatric, put out to grass coppers. I like the cast and the dynamics of the team. I could probably do without Dennis Waterman's singing though. Once I get the tune in my head, there's no shifting it.

From Wikipedia...

New Tricks is a British television police procedural, created by Nigel McCrery and Roy Mitchell, produced primarily by Wall to Wall (until its final year, when it was handled by Headstrong Pictures), and broadcast on BBC One. The programme originally began with a pilot episode on 27 March 2003, before a full series was commissioned for 1 April 2004, with it concluding after twelve series on 6 October 2015. The show utilises an ensemble cast, of which Dennis Waterman was the only constant over all twelve series; this cast variously included Alun Armstrong, James Bolam, Amanda Redman, Denis Lawson, Nicholas Lyndhurst, Tamzin Outhwaite, and Larry Lamb.

The series focuses on the work of the Unsolved Crime and Open Case Squad (UCOS) – a fictional division within London's Metropolitan Police Service tasked with re-investigating unsolved crimes. UCOS primarily functioned with a senior police detective overseeing the work of three retired police officers who would handle each case, and who could bring in police support when needed. Each episode focuses on a different investigation, with characters often coping with problems at their age but using their wisdom to overcome hurdles in the original investigation of cold cases. Both creators, McCrery and Mitchell, devised the title of the programme around the proverb "You can't teach an old dog new tricks".

The Outlaws (2021) - BBC Comedy/drama series

Two episodes from six watched so far and I'm liking it. I can't actually believe they've got Christopher Walken in this. How did they manage that? Funny and tense in places. Stephen Merchant is a great comedy actor. Not sure if he wrote it as well, but his fingerprints are all over the show. Love the set-up and love the tensions between the characters on their community service. Each of the mains has a back story that holds interest.

From Wikipedia...

The Outlaws is a crime thriller comedy television series created and directed by Stephen Merchant. It is shown on BBC One in the UK and Amazon Prime Video internationally. Filming halted in March 2020, due to the COVID-19 pandemic. In January 2021 it was confirmed that a second series had been ordered, with series one to restart shooting in February 2021, with both series being filmed back to back.

The story follows seven strangers from different walks of life who are forced together to complete a Community Payback sentence, set in Bristol. However, their luck changes when they discover a bag full of money, unaware that some dangerous people are looking for it.

King Arthur: Legend of the Sword (2017) - TV Film

I'm not usually one for period/historic drama type film but we started watching this and were enjoying it, so why stop? Jude Law is the villain on the piece. Not quite sure why they had to have David Beckham in it though.

From Google...

Arthur learns about his royal lineage after he pulls the Excalibur, a magical sword, from a stone. Along with Sir Bedivere, he sets out to destroy King Vortigern, who had killed his father.

Jesse Stone TV Films

A lucky spot by my wife and based on some books by an author I used to read a lot of back in the day - Robert B. Parker. That said, I only ever read his Spenser series and the odd standalone novel. I think I tired of him before he started his Jesse Stone series. 

There is a series of about nine films in all with Tom Selleck as Jesse Stone. We caught up the films on the fifth entry. I'll be keeping an eye out for earlier ones in the series.

Decent storylines, decent cast. Enjoyable setting. And there's a dog. The relationship between Stone and the dog breaks my heart. They're both traumatised by loss and care for each other without actually showing it.

I'll have to check the TBR pile because I think I might have an odd Jesse Stone series book lurking there. I hope so.

Jesse Stone: Thin Ice (2009) - TV Film

No. 5

From Radio Times...

A New England police chief is involved in a shoot-out that leaves his friend badly wounded. Coming under investigation by Internal Affairs, he finds himself increasingly at odds with the town council and defies its wishes by helping a woman search for her missing child. Detective thriller, starring Tom Selleck and Kathy Baker

Jesse Stone: No Remorse (2010) - TV Film

No. 6

From Rotten Tomatoes...

After he is suspended by the town council, Jesse (Tom Selleck) begins investigating a series of murders in Boston for a friend, leaving Rose and "Suitcase" to solve a string of crimes in Paradise on their own.

Jesse Stone: Innocents Lost (2011) - TV Film

No. 7

From Google...

Even after being replaced by William Butler as the police chief, Jesse Stone unofficially continues the investigation of two criminal cases. This creates tensions between him and Butler.


  1. I like New Tricks very much, Col, and you're right; the dynamics among the characters add a lot to the show. And I do like some of the cases they get. I've watched some Jonathan Creek episodes, too, although if I'm being honest, I haven't been quite as much drawn into that series. Nice that there's decent viewing on the satellite channels!

    1. I think with New Tricks it's as much the interactions and teamwork as it is the cases. I can understand how Jonathan Creek might not be everyone's cuppa, but at least you've tried it.

  2. There are two things that we watch (or have watched) here. We have watched Bull from the beginning. We like Michael Weatherly a lot, and some of the other cast members.

    Also the Jessie Stone movies. Don't know if we watched all the movies, but certainly most of them. We have some on DVD and we should rewatch them. I never tried the books, although I would not mind doing that.

    1. The'team' on Bull all add soemthing to the enjoyment I think. I must try and watch some more, but I get sucked into other series a lot of the time.

      I had forgotten how good an actor Tom Selleck was. I have really enjoyed the ones we watched and will keep an eye out for the ones we missed.