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Taggart

Taggart“LIFE’S NOT always a fairy-tale, Michael”. JIM TAGGART, take a bow. Top-notch, gruesome Glasgow detective marathon started in 1983 as three-part Killer (city blondes murdered, did Taggart do it? asked viewers eating out of creator Glenn Chandler’s clever hand). Then it kicked off again in 1985 under its new name. Bodies in burned boats and car boots, three human legs found round town, rat-poisoned choccies. Maze-like plotting, tailor-made Mike Moran soundtrack/timeless “This is no me-ean town” Maggie Bell theme, and sublime MARK McMANUS as Inspector Jim. Key to the Taggart model was its wonderful way of shoving ordinary Glasgow up against against macabre, folkloric devices: poisonous spiders, woodland cottages, pirate maps. Then there was the brute McViolence of episodes like The Killing Philosophy – crossbow-wielding masked maniac ransacking folks’ larders and then them. McManus died in 1994 yet, of course, the brand had to continue, and is now far removed from its mid-80s/early 90s Glaswegian granite’n’gore. Remember Jim hauling off and hitting a suspect in the face in the holding cells? Facing a whole crowd of bikers and getting them to turn tail by sheer power of personality (“or you’ll wear your balls home as earrings!”)? Up to his neck in mud at a health farm? Ah me.

3 Comments

3 Comments

  1. Glenn Aylett

    June 14, 2009 at 3:27 pm

    It has a fan club whose members are known as Taggies and hold a convention in Glasgow every year. Blythe Duff is the only survivor from the Mc Manus years now.

  2. Scott McPhee

    October 14, 2014 at 4:00 am

    I’ve been enjoying watching reruns of Taggart, as they are shown on late night television here.

    My favorite character was DI Robert ‘Robbie’ Ross, played by John Michie.

    I still remember his lines, such as;

    “We’re conducting a muddah investigation.”

  3. THX 1139

    October 14, 2014 at 10:38 am

    As was often pointed out, how did Jim Taggart get onto the force in the first place when he was only five feet tall?

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