Taggart is a Scottsh detecive TV programme set in Maryhill, Glasgow, it was created by Glenn Chandler .
The word evokes memories of darkened back alleys in Glasgow, the wail of police sirens, and the craggy face of Mark McManus, the iconic Glasgow cop – with echoes of “There’s been a murrder !” It’s much more than that, however. It’s a walk down memory lane for many, seeing locations now gone, with shots of Taggart and his team unravelling an apparently unsolvable crime. Always getting their man (or woman).
Taggart, who’s name was chosen by creative director Glenn Chandler, after searching for inspiration in a Glasgow graveyard, is the dour Scot, with his unconscious humour, “Semper Vigilo” (police motto), ‘I aways wondered what it meant’. Or, ‘Rugby, I never understood the rules of this game’. The jokes were a cover up for the grim crime scenes.
The series was sold to over forty countries, and dubbed in many of them. Alex Norton (the 2nd Taggart) said he liked the tough Marseille French version. Colin McCredie (young detective) was recognised and feted in Iceland. Ex-patriot Scots enjoyed the memories of the locations, broad accents and humour.
To help spice up the plots, there was always an added theme involving the domestic life of the well loved detective team. Robbie’s (John Michie) love life was a regular item. He always fell for the girl who turned out to be the killer. Jackie (Blythe Duff) had on off relationships inevitably having a sad ending. Alex Norton had the occasional non consummated romance, and Mark McManus’ home life was dominated by regular sparring with his long suffering wife, Jean. Not to forget Fraser (Colin McCredie), who finally came out as the only gay in the police station.
To sum up, Taggart ticked all the boxes – location, complicated plot, background domestic tension. Sometimes emotional, more often very funny “I’m all ears” said Colin “So I see”, said Lesley Harcourt (pathologist), or finally bar tender “I’m calling the police”.
Robbie “We are the police!”