“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.