Taggart's current 2010 titles, the first to be shot in HD
Genre Drama
Format Live action
Created by Glenn Chandler
Starring Blythe Duff
John Michie
Alex Norton
Siobhan Redmond
Country of origin Scotland
No. of series 27
No. of episodes 109
Executive producer(s) Margaret Enefer (2010–);
Eric Coulter (2001–2010)
Producer(s) Marcus Wilson (2010–);
Graeme Gordon (2001–2010)
Running time 60–120mins
(including commercials)
Production company(s) STV Productions
(Scottish Television)
Original channel STV (1983 to present),
ITV (ITV1/UTV) (1983–2011)
Picture format 576i (SDTV),
1080i (HDTV)
Original run 6 September 1983 (1983-09-06) – Present
Related shows Rebus (2000–2007)

Taggart is a Scottish detective television programme, created by Glenn Chandler, who has written many of the episodes, and made by STV Productions for the ITV network. The series revolves around a group of detectives initially in the Maryhill CID of Strathclyde Police, though various storylines have happened in other parts of the Greater Glasgow area, and as of the most recent series the team have operated out of the fictional John Street police station across the street from the City Chambers. It is one of the UK's longest-running dramas[1] and is the longest-running police drama after the cancellation of The Bill.[2][3]

The show's 100th story aired on Christmas Eve 2009 on the ITV Network. In May 2011, it was reported that the English and Welsh ITV network had decided to axe Taggart from the network after 28 years. The series may continue to be screened in Scotland on the STV network and on overseas broadcasters.[4]



The Scottish BAFTA winning pilot episode, "Killer", broadcast in 1983, directed by Laurence Moody, introduced the character of Detective Chief Inspector (DCI) Jim Taggart (played by Mark McManus until his death in 1994), a tough and experienced detective who had worked his way up through the ranks. His original sidekick was Detective Sergeant (DS) Peter Livingstone (Neil Duncan). Livingstone represented the new breed of young graduates entering the police force, and frequently had a difficult relationship with Taggart as a result. Taggart's boss in the pilot was Superintendent Robert Murray (Tom Watson), known as The Mint after the well-known sweet. This humour was continued in the subsequent series with Taggart's boss replaced after the second episode ("Dead Ringer") by Superintendent Jack McVitie (Iain Anders), nicknamed The Biscuit because he shared his name with a popular brand of biscuits. Another important character was Taggart's long-suffering, wheelchair-bound wife Jean (Harriet Buchan) whose disability did not prevent her from pursuing a number of interests in life, while her cynical husband stuck mainly to his job.

In 1987 the character of Mike Jardine (James MacPherson) was introduced, and when Neil Duncan left the series in 1989, a new female sidekick, Jackie Reid (Blythe Duff) was introduced.

McManus died in 1994 in the middle of filming an episode. His absence was explained by the claim that Taggart was in constant meetings with the Chief Constable. The 1995 episode Black Orchid opened with Taggart's funeral but, unusually, despite the death of the title character, the series continued with Jardine being promoted to Detective Inspector and DC Stuart Fraser (Colin McCredie) was introduced, becoming the long-suffering sidekick to Jardine, former long-suffering sidekick to Taggart. Fraser was later revealed to be gay. DI Robbie Ross (John Michie) joined the team in 1998. John Michie made an early appearance in Taggart in 1990, he played a suspect called Robby Meiklejohn in an episode called Love Knot.

When MacPherson left the series in 2002, his character was killed off, and replaced with DCI Matt Burke, formerly of Special Branch (played by Alex Norton who had previously appeared in the series playing a murder suspect in the 1986 episode, "Knife Edge"). Alex Norton's Matt Burke character has gained widespread critical acclaim, many believing him to be the first credible successor to McManus's original Taggart character.[citation needed]

Much was made of the platonic relationship between Jardine and Reid, with the two being shown to share a brother/sister-like bond. Both pursued a number of relationships with other characters over the years. Reid even got married, but later separated from her husband, who is now dead. The personal relationships of the police officers in this series are shown as nothing to be envious of; Reid once describing herself, Burke, Ross and Fraser as three divorcees and a celibate homosexual (episode "Penthouse and Pavement").

After completing filming of series 26 in December 2009 Colin McCredie was informed that he and his character would not be returning for filming of the next series.[5]

ITV/STV dispute

ITV plc, the company that controls the ITV franchises in England, Wales, and the Scottish Borders, had failed to announce whether it planned to show any new episodes of Taggart that STV produces, prompting STV to suspend production of the programme in September 2009.[6] STV later announced, in November 2009, that it would produce new episodes of Taggart for broadcast in 2010 regardless of whether ITV plc decided to screen it. This would have resulted in Taggart only being screened in Central and Northern Scotland if ITV plc had not taken up the option to screen the new series.[7]

However, in February 2010, it was announced that ITV and STV had put their wider commercial differences to one side to make a new series, which Scottish viewers will get to see first. The two broadcasters have co-commissioned a six-part series of the show, with pay-TV broadcaster UKTV also investing in return for repeat rights. New episodes of Taggart debuted on STV in autumn 2010 before being broadcast on ITV across the rest of the UK in 2011. UKTV's Alibi digital channel will show the episodes in 2013. Online catch-up of the new series will not be available to STV Player users until the show is broadcast on ITV1/UTV.[8]

Format and broadcast information

The format of the show has changed over the years. Originally the show ran as three one-hour episodes to each story (130 minutes without the adverts). This was later changed to a two-hour stand-alone story, which was later shortened to 90 minutes. From 2008 onwards the show became a one-hour stand-alone story for the first time since 2003. The DVD rights are held by Clearvision.

Fans of the show have in the past been frustrated by the scheduling of the show.[citation needed] Although blocks or series of the show are filmed, they are often not shown together as with other series. They are usually just fitted into the schedule wherever there is a gap, meaning they are often not shown in consecutive weeks or on one set night of the week. Often months will pass between episodes of the same series being shown.

One particular example can be seen in 2008. The last two episodes of the 23rd series, "The Caring Game" and "Lifeline", were the last of the 90-minute episodes filmed before the new one-hour format began. However, these were not broadcast at the time. Instead the ITV network broadcast all five episodes from the 24th series and the first episode of the 25th series, all one-hour episodes. "The Caring Game", was then shown on 14 November. This meant that the episode was shown well out of sequence. In the episode, DI Ross is faced with the choice of leaving for Canada, with his ex-wife and son, or staying in Glasgow. However, viewers already knew that Ross was not leaving the programme, as numerous future episodes had already been broadcast. The other missing episode "Lifeline", was finally broadcast on 30 December of that year.

Theme music

The programme's theme music is "No Mean City" composed by Mike Moran. The vocals were originally performed by Maggie Bell, formerly a member of Stone the Crows. Between 1999 and 2009, the theme appeared only as an instrumental version, but the original lyrics were restored in 2010, with the tune re-recorded by singer Karina Smillie.


Current cast

  • Siobhan Redmond as Chief Supt. Karen Campbell (2010–present)
  • Davood Ghadami as Pathologist Duncan Clark (2010–present)
  • Anneika Rose as DC/DS Mita Rahim (2010–present)

Main Previous cast

  • James MacPherson as DS/DI/DCI Michael Jardine (1987–2002)
  • Iain Anders as Superintendent Jack "The Biscuit" McVitie (1985–1998)
  • Neil Duncan as DS Peter Livingstone (1983–1989, 1994)
  • Colin McCredie as DC Stuart Fraser (1995–2010)
  • Robert Robertson as Pathologist Dr Stephen Andrews (1983–2001)
  • Harriet Buchan as Jean Taggart (1983–1995)

Other Previous cast

  • Tom Watson as Superintendent "The Mint" Murray (1983–1985)
  • Gavin Brown as Sgt Blackman (1983-1985)
  • Patricia Ross as DS/Sgt Laura Campbell (1987-1988)
  • Anthony Cochrane as Dr Colin Crawford (1987-1993)
  • Gray O'Brien as DC Rob Gibson (1993–1995)
  • Yasmin Marley as WPC Heather McIntyre (1999-2001)
  • Brian Cowan as DCS Brian Holmes (2000-2005)
  • Lesley Harcourt as Pathologist Dr Gemma Kerr (2003–2005)
  • Michael MacKenzie as Pathologist Dr Magnus Baird (2005-2008)
  • Katrina Bryan as Pathologist Dr Ellis Sinclair (2008–2010)

Guest appearances

Actors appearing on Taggart episodes over the years include


Episode Title Airdate Notes
P. "Killer" 6–20 September 1983 First appearance of DCI Jim Taggart and DS Peter Livingstone
Series 1:
1. "Dead Ringer" 2–16 July 1985
2. "Murder In Season" 23 July - 6 August 1985
Series 2:
3. "Knife Edge" 24 February - 10 March 1986
4. "Death Call" 2–16 September 1986
Series 3:
5. "The Killing Philosophy" 15–29 April 1987 First appearance of DS Michael Jardine
6. "Funeral Rites" 9–23 September 1987
7. "Cold Blood" 31 December 1987 Feature length Christmas Special
Series 4:
8. "Dead Giveaway" 7–21 September 1988
9. "Root Of Evil" 28 September - 12 October 1988
10. "Double Jeopardy" 30 December 1988 Feature length Christmas Special
Series 5:
11. "Flesh And Blood" 5–19 September 1989
12. "Love Knot" 1 January 1990 Feature length New Year Special
13. "Hostile Witness" 22 February - 8 March 1990
Series 6:
14. "Evil Eye" 4–18 September 1990
15. "Death Comes Softly" 3 December 1990 First appearance of WPC Jackie Reid
16. "Rogues Gallery" 31 December 1990 Feature length Christmas Special
Series 7:
17. "Violent Delights" 1 January 1992 Feature length New Year Special
18. "Nest Of Vipers" 9–23 January 1992
19. "Double Exposure" 30 January - 13 February 1992
Series 8:
20. "The Hit Man" 17 September - 1 October 1992
21. "Ring Of Deceit" 8–22 October 1992
22. "Fatal Inheritance" 1 January 1993 Feature length New Year Special
Series 9:
23. "Death Benefits" 16 February 1993
24. "Gingerbread" 20 April 1993
25. "Death Without Dishonour" 11 May 1993
Series 10:
26. "Instrument Of Justice" 30 September 1993
27. "Forbidden Fruit" 1 January 1994 Last appearance of DS Peter Livingstone
28. "Secrets" 6 October 1994
Series 11:
29. "Hellfire" 27 October 1994
30. "Prayer For The Dead" 11 January 1995 Last appearance of DCI Jim Taggart
31. "Black Orchid" 25 February 1995 First appearance of DC Stuart Fraser
Series 12:
32. "Legends" 2 November 1995
33. "Devil's Advocate" 4 January 1996
34. "Angel Eyes" 21 March 1996
Series 13:
35. "Dead Man's Chest" 19 September 1996
36. "Apocalypse" 16 January 1997
Series 14:
37. "Babushka" 4 September 1997
38. "Berserker" 1 January 1998
39. "Out Of Bounds" 1 March 1998
40. "Dead Reckoning" 15 July 1998
Series 15:
41. "A Few Bad Men" 8 October 1998 First appearance of DI Robbie Ross
42. "Long Time Dead" 1 November 1998 Feature length Special
Series 16:
43. "Bloodlines" 16 January 1999
44. "A Fistful Of Chips" 7 September 1999
45. "Fearful Lightning" 21 October 1999
46. "For Their Sins" 21 November 1999
Series 17:
47. "Ghost Rider" 16 February 2000
48. "Skin Deep" 14 September 2000
49. "Wavelength" 21 September 2000
50. "Football Crazy" 1 December 2000
51. "Falling In Love" 10 January 2001
Series 18:
52. "Death Trap" 14 January 2002 First appearance of DCI Matthew Burke and last appearance of DCI Mike Jardine
53. "Fire, Burn" 21 January 2002
54. "Watertight" 8 July 2002
55. "The Friday Event" 15–16 July 2002 Split in 2 parts
Series 19:
56. "Hardman" 4 December 2002 Hour long episode
57. "Fade to Black" 11 December 2002 Hour long episode
58. "Blood Money" 18 December 2002 Hour long episode
59. "New Life" 4 January 2003 Hour long episode
60. "Bad Blood" 11 January 2003 Hour long episode
61. "Halfway House" 18 January 2003 Hour long episode
62. "An Eye For An Eye" 25 January 2003 TV Movie Special
Series 20:
63. "Penthouse And Pavement" 7 October 2003
64. "Atonement" 3 December 2003
65. "Compensation" 30 April 2004
66. "Saints And Sinners" 30 December 2004
67. "Puppet On A String" 6 January 2005
68. "The Wages Of Sin" 13 January 2005
Series 21:
69. "The Ties That Bind" 20 January 2005
70. "In Camera" 27 January 2005
71. "Mind Over Matter" 3 February 2005
72. "Cause And Effect" 16 September 2005
73. "A Taste Of Money" 23 September 2005
74. "A Death Foretold" 30 September 2005
Series 22:
75. "Running Out Of Time" 4 November 2005
76. "Cause To Kill" 11 November 2005
77. "Do Or Die" 9 December 2005
78. "Dead Man Walking" 16 December 2005
79. "Law" 22 March 2006
80. "The Best And The Brightest" 29 March 2006
Series 23:
81. "Users And Losers" 3 January 2007
82. "The Thirteenth Step" 17 January 2007
83. "Tenement" 30 April 2007
84. "Pinnacle" 4 July 2007
85. "Genesis" 8 January 2008
86. "The Caring Game" 14 November 2008
87. "Lifeline" 30 December 2008
Series 24:
88. "Judgement Day" 15 January 2008
89. "Island" 27 February 2008
90. "Trust" 21 April 2008
91. "A Study in Murder" 1 May 2008
92. "Point of Light" 5 June 2008
Series 25:
93. "Safer" 3 November 2008
94. "Homesick" 8 December 2008
95. "Crossing the Line" 15 December 2008
96. "Cold Reader" 20 February 2009
97. "Grass" 30 April 2009
98. "The Knife Trick" 7 May 2009
99. "So Long Baby" 19 July 2009
Series 26:
100. "Fact and Fiction" 24 December 2009 100th Episode Three years earlier Jimmy Melville's corpse was found floating in a river. His mobile phone was sold on e-bay and at one time had been in the possession of Mark Joffe, a part-time English lecturer and crime writer, whose new novel 'Chaos' describes a murder identical to Melville's. He is an arrogant, evasive interviewee but he once had an affair with an Anne Scoular, to whom he was violent and threatening after she left him for Jimmy Melville.This gives Burke's team an opening, as does the cooperation of an older female colleague spurned by Joffe.
101. "IOU" 18 July 2010 Bank clerk Craig Williams is murdered at the dog-track,where,for a change,he would have won - forty five grand. Evidence suggests that the race was fixed and the favourite dog nobbled. Had Craig lived he would have claimed his winnings from bookie Niall McShane and his violent son Ged,who threatens the trainer. But then Ged McShane is killed in the same way as Craig. An ex-wife who stood to gain from Craig's life insurance and a married colleague with whom he had a fling while her husband was abroad are now in the frame alongside the bookie and the trainer.
102. "Local Hero" 25 July 2010 A body is found hanging from the swing frame in the playground on the recently rejuvenated Allerdykes Estate by a local 'Community Watch' member doing his early morning check.
103. "The Rapture" 1 August 2010 The last appearance of DC Stuart Fraser : Edward Muir and his son Luke,members of the austere Triune Family religious group,are brutally murdered with open bibles by the corpses,referring to the Rapture or promise of eternal life. Karen,the young daughter of Jackie's friend Eileen,is also murdered and a bible found by her body. Karen's lap-top shows that she was dating Luke Muir,against his religion's rules. The group leader's family come under suspicion when his wife and younger son reveal they want to leave the Triune Family as Luke did and the other son puts up opposition to their wishes.
Series 27:
104. "Bad Medicine" 3 October 2010 This series is being aired first on STV, in multi-camera set-up & HD for the first time, and introduces the supporting characters of CS Karen Campbell and Pathologist Duncan Clark as well as the move from Maryhill to the City Centre. Newly qualified doctor Scott Clarkson is found tortured and murdered in an empty warehouse. Two London detectives, Moretti and Casey,the latter an old friend of Burke,arrive in Glasgow whilst investigating a similar case though Jackie and Robbie do not warm to them. Scott's girlfriend Lucy,another medic,is arrested for manufacturing recreational drugs and admits that Scott also made and sold Ecstasy to pay his student fees. Lucy is arrested and commits suicide in custody after a visit from the London policemen. Were Jackie and Robbie right to be suspicious of the visitors motives?
105. "Abuse of Trust" 10 October 2010 When union leader for shipworkers Will Ramsey is shot dead it looks to be an open and shut case that it is a corporate killing, but the real motivation and implications lay closer to home
106. "Silent Truth" 17 October 2010 When an Iranian refugee is found burnt to death, it appears at first to be a racially motivated crime. It soon becomes clear to DCI Burke and the rest of the team that there is another motive and when a drug dealer enters the frame, the case is set to be extremely complex for all concerned. First appearance of the supporting character, DC Mita Rahim
107. "Fallen Angels" 24 October 2010 When the team are called to a flat, they discover three children all dead with a fourth named Callum fighting for his life, DI Ross then discovers the dead body of the children's father Pete in the bathroom, he therefore becomes the prime suspect but then when forensic tests reveal that Pete died before his own children. The real culprit is still at large and shocks all of the team.
108. "Bloodsport" 31 October 2010 After the badly beaten body of a man is found dumped on a motorway underpass, his murder is linked to a Fight Club style bare-knuckle boxing venue. Both professional and personal lives collide at Maryhill CID, with one of the detectives having to come face to face with their own demons.
109. "The Ends of Justice" 7 November 2010 When a busker is fatally stabbed in Glasgow city centre, the newly promoted DI Jackie Reid heads up the investigation. Mita Rahim joins the Maryhill CID team properly while DI Ross suffers personal heartache.

International distribution

Taggart is also broadcast to various countries around the world[9] on the following networks:

Country Channel Notes
 Australia 7TWO / 13th Street In 2011, ABC-1 airs episodes on Friday at 8:30pm.

ABC-1 actually broadcast episodes 101 ("IOU"), 102 ("Local Hero") and 103 ("The Rapture") before STV did, because of scheduling conflicts. 7TWO airs repeat episodes.

 New Zealand TV One
 Sweden TV4
 Denmark DR2
 Czech Republic CT1
 Ireland RTÉ 1
 Bulgaria AXN Crime
 Romania AXN Crime


  1. ^ There's been a commission – new Taggart series ordered, The Guardian
  2. ^ What is the longest-running police drama in the uk?, Answers.com
  3. ^ The Bill: ITV drops police drama after 27 years, The Guardian
  4. ^ 'Taggart axed by ITV after 28 years' Digital Spy 12 May 2011.
  5. ^ "Taggart star Colin McCredie is sacked from TV show in phone call after 15 years". Daily Record. 30 December 2009. http://www.dailyrecord.co.uk/showbiz/2009/12/30/taggart-star-colin-mccredie-is-sacked-from-tv-show-after-15-years-in-a-phone-86908-21931342/. Retrieved 1 October 2010. 
  6. ^ The TV Braveheart at war with Grade This is Money, 27 September 2009
  7. ^ "STV to make a new series of Taggart". BBC News. 6 November 2009. http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/scotland/glasgow_and_west/8346550.stm. Retrieved 6 November 2009. 
  8. ^ Plunkett, John (18 February 2010). "There's been a commission". London: Media Guardian. http://www.guardian.co.uk/media/2010/feb/18/taggart-itv-stv-new-series. Retrieved 18 February 2010. 
  9. ^ "Internationally popular detective series Taggart". Casting Call / STV Productions. http://www.uk.castingcallpro.com/cview.php?uid=1923. Retrieved 23 October 2010. 

External links

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