Synopsis by Hal Erickson
The Scottish TV series Taggart must hold the record for endurance, having outlived its title character by nearly a decade! Debuting September 6, 1983, the series originally zeroed in on the professional and personal life of flinty Glaswegian police detective Jim Taggart, played by Mark McManus. After McManus' death in 1994, the series shifted focus to the late Taggart's two assistants, Mike Jardine (James McPherson) and Jackie Reid (Blythe Duff). The series was strong enough to survive the tragic demise of yet another popular regular, Iain Anders (cast as Supt. McVitie) in 1998. Ironically, series creator Glenn Chandler lifted most of his character names from the tombstones in a Glasgow cemetery. Initially presented in serialized 60-minute chapters, Taggart gradually evolved into a group of irregularly scheduled two-hour specials. Of the original cast, only Robert Robertson, as police pathologist Dr. Andrew Stephens, was still in attendance as the series segued into the 21st century.