Taggart (1983–2010)
3 user

Dead Ringer, Part 1 

The skeletal remains of a dismembered body are discovered beneath the floorboards of a house in Glasgow. The drama takes an unexpected twist when a nine-month-old toddler is kidnapped from ... See full summary »


Laurence Moody


Glenn Chandler (creator)




Episode cast overview, first billed only:
Mark McManus Mark McManus ... DCI Jim Taggart
Alastair Duncan ... DS Peter Livingstone (as Neil Duncan)
Tom Watson Tom Watson ... Superintendent Murray
Colette O'Neil Colette O'Neil ... Josephine Peebles
J.G. Devlin J.G. Devlin ... Bill Lynch
John Carlin John Carlin ... George Cunningham
Jake D'Arcy Jake D'Arcy ... Ronnie McIsaac
Bill Leadbitter Bill Leadbitter ... Alan Tulloch
Alexander Morton ... David Balfour
John McGlynn ... Mike Balfour
Maureen Beattie ... June Balfour
Ron Bain Ron Bain ... Laurie Johnson
Valerie Lush Valerie Lush ... Mrs. Robertson
Jackie Farrell Jackie Farrell ... Norman Burt
Anne Myatt Anne Myatt ... Sheila Burt


The skeletal remains of a dismembered body are discovered beneath the floorboards of a house in Glasgow. The drama takes an unexpected twist when a nine-month-old toddler is kidnapped from a multi-storey car park, followed by a ransom demand of £50,000. Written by Anonymous

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


Crime | Drama | Mystery



Release Date:

2 July 1985 (UK) See more »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs


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Did You Know?


David Balfour: Try resigning. After next Sunday, your name won't be worth the space it takes up in a telephone directory.
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User Reviews

'Taggart' begins
26 July 2018 | by TheLittleSongbirdSee all my reviews

Have always adored detective dramas/mystery series. This has been apparent from an early age, half my life even, when getting into Agatha Christie through Joan Hickson's Miss Marple and David Suchet's Poirot and into 'Inspector Morse'.

Whether it's the more complex ones like 'Inspector Morse' (and its prequel series 'Endeavour') and anything Agatha Christie. Whether it's the grittier ones like 'A Touch of Frost' (though that is balanced brilliantly with comedy too). And whether it's the light-hearted ones like 'Murder She Wrote'. 'Taggart' is one of the biggest examples of the grittier ones, especially the Mark McManus years and the earlier James MaPherson episodes.

"Dead Ringer" is a very good start for 'Taggart'. There is a sense of things still settling and not yet found its groove understandably, with it dragging slightly occasionally and the characterisation is not quite as interesting here as it became later, but what made 'Taggart' such a good show when it was in its prime is evident here.

Really like the slick, gritty look and Glasgow is like an ominous character on its own. The music matches the show's tone and has a good amount of atmosphere while the theme song/tune is one that stays in the memory for a long time.

As to be expected, "Dead Ringer" is thoughtfully scripted with nothing ridiculous happening and things being taken seriously without being too morose. The story is involving in its complexity with nothing being what it seems, making the most of the long length (have generally found the 2000s episodes too short and rushed) without padding anything out. Some parts are not for the faint hearted but nothing feels gratuitous and the investigations are compelling and with enough twists to stop it from being obvious.

Good acting helps, with Mark McManus being a commanding presence throughout and the supporting cast and chemistry not undermining him in any way.

Overall, very good. 8/10 Bethany Cox

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