A compulsive hoarder with a memory for dates and names, Brian’s approach to solving crimes could not be more different from the rest of the team.
New Tricks is a British television police procedural drama. The program originally began with a pilot episode on 27 March 2003, before a full series was commissioned to premiere on 1 April 2004. The series focuses on the work of the Unsolved Crime and Open Case Squad (UCOS) – a fictional division within London’s Police Service tasked with re-investigating unsolved crimes.
Brian “Memory” Lane is a character in the series and is portrayed by English actor, Alun Armstrong. Although he is an obsessive and recovering alcoholic, he is an excellent detective, possessing a keen attention to detail and an exceptional instant recall memory for obscure details regarding cases and officers who investigate them.
During the run of New Tricks, Armstong continued to take on other projects. In 2004, he starred in a film, When I Was 64, about a lonely retired schoolteacher who starts a relationship with another man. He also starred in The Girls Who Came To Stay in 2006, which is about a British couple who take in two girls exposed to the effects of the Chernobyl disaster. Armstong left New Tricks after filming the tenth season in 2013.
His character, Brian, was reportedly dismissed from the New Tricks team after inappropriately giving a tape to Sarah Kaye, regarding the death of her son. As of 2013, he has been working as a private detective alongside his wife, Esther.
Armstrong was seen in multiple television shows, movies and theater productions after New Tricks. He also made an appearance in the horror series, Penny Dreadful. He also featured on Downton Abbey, Frontier, Dark Angel and Year of the Rabbit.
His most recent project is a television series, Breeders. The series premiered on 2 March 2020.