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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.



  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?

  4. Glenn Aylett

    May 19, 2019 at 2:21 pm

    Like being given the infamous Glasgae Kiss, Taggart really did hit you between the eyes with its brutal plots, uncompromising scenes of corpses( one was of a mutilated corpse next to the Clyde) and no nonsense policing.Yet in many of the stories, the criminals weren’t your typical thugs from the schemes, but well off people from Glasgow’s upmarket West End and commuter villages, which made the plots more interesting. To Taggart’s credit, it survived numerous cast changes and lasted nearly 30 years.

  5. richardpd

    May 19, 2019 at 5:40 pm

    Supposedly over the years almost every Scottish actor had a part, though David Tenant auditioned about 14 times for different roles but never got any.

  6. Glenn Aylett

    January 19, 2024 at 3:40 pm

    I have been reading a very interesting biography of Mark Mc Manus by Taggart director Mark Haldane on the Transsdiffusion website and it is really worth reading as you’ll find out that Mark Mc Manus was more than the tough ex miner and boxer who discovered he could act.

  7. Sidney Balmoral James

    January 21, 2024 at 7:14 pm

    This may be extremely common knowledge, but Mark McManus was presumed to be the half-brother of Sweet’s Brian Connolly (the latter’s parentage being rather uncertain).

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