New Tricks (2003–2015)
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17 Years of Nothing 

The team investigates the murder of an unidentified young woman who was found in the woods some 18 years previously. The original pathologist on the case, Professor Mears, has kept all of ... See full summary »


Graham Theakston


Roy Mitchell, Roy Mitchell (creator) | 1 more credit »




Episode complete credited cast:
Alun Armstrong ... Brian Lane
James Bolam ... Jack Halford
Amanda Redman ... Supt. Sandra Pullman
Dennis Waterman ... Gerry Standing
Anthony Calf ... D.A.C. Strickland
Susan Jameson Susan Jameson ... Esther Lane
Roy Sampson ... Alec McCloud
Jane Asher ... Lady Deeley
Eileen McCallum Eileen McCallum ... Mae McCloud
Timothy West ... Professor Mears
Luke de Lacey ... Michael Megson (as Luke De Lacey)
Kay Stonham Kay Stonham ... Sheena
Amelia Curtis ... Vicky
Graham Pountney Graham Pountney ... David Hendry


The team investigates the murder of an unidentified young woman who was found in the woods some 18 years previously. The original pathologist on the case, Professor Mears, has kept all of the evidence in the case and has longed for it to be reopened. He has even given the girl a name, "Millicent". Working with what little information they have (the young woman had red hair and had syphilis), they first seek to identify the girl. She also had been cut up by an expert carver. Throughout this time, Gerry Standing is going a bit mad, as he has given up gambling, but every horse he would have bet on has won. Written by garykmcd

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Release Date:

27 June 2005 (UK) See more »

Company Credits

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Did You Know?


Alan Armstrong previously appeared with Timothy West in "Bedtime". See more »


The scientists claim that you can tell where a person grew up by examining the chemical composition of the bones. In fact, the human skeleton is renewed every two years so wouldn't provide this information. Only the material in the teeth is permanent (and they didn't have any of those). See more »


[first lines]
Jack Halford: Kempton.
Gerry Standing: 2:30,Fat Chance, five pound to win.
Jack Halford: Three to one.
Gerry Standing: 3:30, ten pound, Happy Clappy to win.
Jack Halford: Five to one!
Brian Lane: Morning.
Gerry Standing: Weatherby, three o'clock, Mission Accomplished, twenty quid on the nose.
Jack Halford: It was sixteen to one!
Supt. Sandra Pullman: What are you doing?
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Crazy Credits

In the closing credits, the name of the character played by Susan Jameson was spelled Ester Lane instead of Esther Lane. See more »


It's Alright
Written by Mike Moran
Sung by Dennis Waterman
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User Reviews

Murder in the woods
13 January 2018 | by TheLittleSongbirdSee all my reviews

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.

"17 Years of Nothing" is one of my favourite episodes of a good to great Season 2 ("Trust Me" is my favourite), with the weakest episode "Fluke of Luck" still having a lot of fine qualities despite being over-stuffed. Gerry's gambling withdrawal subplot threatens to distract from the case but doesn't, instead at times being the butt of some of the humour.

The ending is also one of the season's better ones, it was a real surprise and it feels rounded off though it was disappointing that one doesn't really get to know the culprit that much. Other than that some of the very intriguing science also at times rather bogus, especially with the stuff with the chemical composition of the bones, that is my only issue with it.

Visually, "17 Years of Nothing" 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 first and last scenes are for me two of the show's funniest ensemble scenes, the last one especially is proof at how 'New Tricks' delivered so well on the humour of their final scenes.

Story is compelling, with its fair share of surprising twists and skeletons in the closet conflict, and lively, but never rushed, pacing.

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.

Anthony Calf has fully settled in as Strickland and Susan Jameson and her chemistry with Armstrong are delightful. Timothy West is particularly excellent of the supporting cast.

Overall, great and my second favourite episode of the second season. 9/10 Bethany Cox

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