This BBC television drama series follows the work of the Unsolved Crime and Open Case Squad (UCOS). Led by Superintendent Sandra Pullman, it is made up of retired police officers who have been recruited to reinvestigate unsolved crimes. It is the new policing protocols which come into conflict with the 'good old ways' that creates some of the humour of this likeable drama series.
Alun Armstrong (born 17 July 1946) is an English actor and singer recently popular for his role as Brian ...
Brian "Memory" Lane is an exceptional detective, possessing a keen attention to detail and a remarkable instant recall memory that allows him to call up obscure details not only regarding cases but the officers investigating them at the time. He is also extremely socially inept and highly eccentric, a sufferer of Obsessive-compulsive personality disorder (OCPD) and a recovering alcoholic. As a result, despite being an essentially well-meaning individual, he possesses extremely poor social skills and a tendency for getting himself into trouble. He left the force under a cloud, having been held partly responsible for the death of a prisoner in his custody. Although Brian maintains it is part of a conspiracy against him (and was, at least initially, consumed with attempting to discover who was behind it), his colleagues believe that he simply cannot admit he made a mistake.
Brian is married to the long-suffering but caring Esther and they have an adult son called Mark. Brian finds his work in UCOS becoming too stressful for him throughout the fifth series and resumes drinking alcohol when nobody else is around, attending Alcoholics Anonymous meetings once again. In the final episode of the fifth series ("Mad Dogs"), he gets drunk in a pub and ends up kissing two young women that he is drinking with, in full view of Esther and Mark as they come into the pub to look for him. Esther then walks out, leaving Brian realising the cost of resuming his alcoholism.
Based on the souvenirs in his office and the banner behind his desk, Brian is an ardent supporter of the football club AFC Wimbledon; at the end of Season 2 Episode 3, he skipped an afterwork celebratory drink with his UCOS mates, saying, "I have an appointment to support my team" while throwing his AFC Wimbledon team scarf around his neck, and singing "A-C-S-Wim-ble-don" to the tune of Verdi's "La donna è mobile". He is also an avid cyclist and was revealed to be a keen war-gamer. In Series 3, Episode 8 "Congratulations", he digs out his old war-gaming board and figurines and attends a war-game tournament, which he wins. He is nearly tempted to take a drink of celebratory champagne out of his cup, saved only by the arrival of the rest of the team who have been looking for him.
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