"Taggart" Murder in Season, Part 1 (TV Episode 1985) Poster

(TV Series)


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Taggart goes to the opera.
bethwilliam28 March 2006
Eleanor Samson returns to her home town of Glasgow to sing with the opera. She also hopes to be reunited with her estranged husband, John, but finds he has taken up with blonde bombshell, Kirsty King. When "the other woman" is found murdered in John's burnt out boat Eleanor Sampson immediately becomes the prime suspect.

This episode develops the relationship between Taggart and Livingstone and the simmering tension we have seen beneath the surface comes to the boil. There have been some interesting partnerships over the years. Sherlock Holmes and Watson; Morse and Lewis; Starsky and Hutch come to mind. This one is enjoyable, however it is not until Jardine comes on the scene in later episodes that we see the father son relationship that we have become comfortable with.

Isla Blair shines in this episode and we can see why she is so popular in British television. She would later return in 1994 to appear in Taggart again in a different role.

Taggart is now available on DVD and its popularity continues to increase. Much is made of Mark McManus' wooden acting. However, there is something realistic about his tough exterior and blunt humour.

This is a good episode and typical of the series.
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Night at the opera
TheLittleSongbird31 July 2018
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.

"Murder in Season" is very good for such early '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. The opera setting evokes much delight and the relationship between Taggart and Livingstone is nice enough if still evolving.

As to be expected, "Murder in Season" 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 suitably tough and blunt presence throughout and the supporting cast and chemistry not undermining him in any way. Isla Blair captivates in particular.

Overall, very good. 8/10 Bethany Cox
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