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A CENTURY OF MURDERS; TAGGART TEAM'S MILESTONE.

TAGGART hits 100 on Christmas Eve when the show's centenary episode, Fact or Fiction, is screened.

There's no cake, no candles and no fanfare, just the body of a victim and business as usual.

Killer, the original Taggart, aired in 1983 and spawned an unlikely Glasgow-set success story which has become the longest-running detective show in TV history. It survived the death of star Mark McManus - who played the gruff Jim Taggart - in 1994 and the departure of his successor, DCI Mike Jardine, played by James MacPherson, in 2002.

John Michie, 53, who plays roguish charmer Robbie Ross, looks back at some of the classic episodes of the show he's appeared in.

He said: "The thing about Taggart is you put it on without any fanfare and it gets millions tuning in."

Episode 68.

THE WAGES OF SIN - The shooting of a taxi driver sees Ross go undercover and face humiliation ... by turkey.

John said: "Robbie fears being killed when he is sussed and kidnapped but his captors strip him and tie him up in a turkey coop, surrounded by sharp beaks."

Episode 48. SKIN DEEP - Jackie Reid's boyfriend, DCS Holmes, investigates corruption in the team.

John said: "This was a fantastic episode, full of tension.

"The whole dynamics of the team got shaken up badly."

Episode 70.

IN CAMERA - Ross has his head on the block when he discovers the body of a young man in a house along with his latest girlfriend and his dodgy past comes back to haunt him.

Episode John says: "This was written by John Brown, who I think was one of our greatest writers. I really liked two of his episodes - this one and the one where Jackie's husband dies. They were his last two before he passed away."

93.

Episode 93.

SAFER - After giving a lecture on violence against women, a campaigner is found clubbed to death.

John said: "Writer 75: D O Ross goes Mike Cullen keeps the plot in Glasgow. He really got the darker side of Glasgow. And the guest performances were incredibly strong." as the team the suspicious A rmy recruit. episode was We film most in Glasgow when Taggart the city a lecture a badly."

75: D O OR DIE Ross goes undercover as the team investigate deat h of an the suspicious A rmy recruit. John said: "This episode was set in a barracks.

We film most of our episodes so it's great in Glasgow leaves when Taggart the city for a bit."

GRASS - The team's informants shaken up 65:COMPENSATION It's offto the country as the team investigate death of a farmer in a fire the and DCI Burke's private life comes into question. John said: "This episode took Taggart in a new and fresh direction."

Episode 79.

LAW - A missing teenage girl's body is found near a fairground and tensions rise.

John said: "This was set outside of Glasgow in a mining town and a whole new world was created.

"In this episode, Mike Cullen gets to the heart of darkness Taggart needs to operate in to make it work."

Episode 46.

FEARFUL LIGHTNING - A spiritualist, who claims he can speak with the dead, is connected to a series of deaths. When the team investigate, he summons Jim Taggart to help from the "other side".

John said: "The spirit of Jim came back in this episode, which was a very brave move. People thought it wouldn't work, but it worked brilliantly."

the best new writers for Taggart, Episode 43.

BLOOD LINES - A murderer is released after a life sentence and goes into hiding in a country retreat with the Taggart team to protect her.

John said: "This is my earliest favourite episode of Taggart. I like this one because of the humorous relationship that starts to develop between Ross and Fraser, and it's a good, tight story."
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Title Annotation:Features
Publication:Sunday Mail (Glasgow, Scotland)
Date:Dec 13, 2009
Words:643
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