Production starts on new series of Taggart (PICTURES)

Taggart, one of the UK’s premier crime dramas, has started filming a new series in Glasgow. The six new-look, dangerously dark and thrilling episodes see Blythe Duff, John Michie and Alex Norton reprise their roles as straight talking D.S. Jackie Reid, wise-cracker D.I. Robbie Ross and caustic witted DCI Matt Burke.

The new episodes, which are produced by STV, will see the UK’s longest running and hugely popular detective show return to its roots with fast-paced, sharp, witty, gritty and intriguing stories, all to the backdrop of one of the UK’s most stunning and vivacious cities.

The series kicks off with the unpleasant death of a student who seems to be involved in a drugs scam. The MO of ‘death by nail gun’ has also recently been seen by DI Burke’s old friend and colleague from London, DI Casey (Reece Dinsdale, Coronation Street) who comes up to Glasgow, with his colleague, DS Moretti (Steve John Shepherd, Plus One), to help with the investigation.

As Reid, Ross and Burke are busy solving some of Glasgow’s grisliest murders, their Chief Super, Karen Campbell (Siobhan Redmond, The Smoking Room, Between the Lines) is prowling the corridors and sexy pathologist, Duncan Clark, (played by newcomer, Davood Ghadami) is settling into his new job trying to deal with the tough banter and high demands of CID. Other guest stars include Gordon Kennedy (Robin Hood) and Joanna Roth (New Street Law).

Taggart has been a ratings winner on both STV and ITV since it launched back in 1983 and continues to draw in millions of viewers on both networks. The new episodes will take Taggart back to basics with well-crafted, intriguing storylines, whilst adding a fresh, yet harder and grittier feel.

Producer, Marcus Wilson (Life on Mars, Whitechapel) has been brought in to re-position the series, whilst ensuring it remains true to its roots. Lead director Bill Anderson (Spooks, The Lakes II) and lead writer David Kane (Midnight Man, Rebus) have also been especially selected to add a new energy and edgy tone to the series.

Wilson said: “Taggart is the longest running crime series in the UK and it’s a testament to the quality of the stories and the cast that it has stood the test of time. I want to recapture the tremendous spirit and dry humour of the early episodes by taking the series back to basics whilst adding a gritty new feel.”

Margaret Enefer, head of drama for STV, added: “STV are incredibly proud of Taggart and of this new series. We have brought a fresh and intriguing new look to the show with a wonderful cast, led by the fantastic Blythe Duff, John Michie and Alex Norton. Behind the camera Marcus Wilson’s talented team of writers and directors will give Taggart an exciting new edge and Glasgow the opportunity to truly shine.”

Steve November, head of continuing series for ITV, also added: “Taggart is a wonderful example of a popular, long running series that continues to grow in strength and adds valuable colour to ITV Drama’s portfolio. ITV are working closely with STV to stay true to the series’ roots whilst injecting fresh ideas and showcasing Glasgow, the home of Taggart, as the vibrant city that it is.”

Taggart is currently being filmed in HD in and around Glasgow until late August 2010.The six new episodes will premiere on STV in Autumn 2010, followed by a UK network premiere on ITV1 in 2011.

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