Name Matthew Burke
Portrayed by Alex Norton
Rank Detective Chief Inspector
Duration 2002 - Present
Relationships  ???? (divorced)
Family Andrew Burke (father) (deceased)
John Burke (brother)
Hometown Glasgow

DCI Matthew Burke joined in 2002 in Death Trap to replace Mike Jardine (James MacPherson) after he had been killed.

Played by Alex Norton who had previously appeared in the series playing a murder suspect in the 1986 episode, Knife Edge, Norton's character has gained widespread critical acclaim, many believing him to be the first credible successor to Jim Taggart.

Before he joined Strathclyde Police he had served in the Metropolitan Police Service and Special Branch.

In Fire, Burn Burke has to disarm a bomb with Jackie in a dangerous situation. In the episode Running Out of Time he was shot by a killer, Kevin McQuillan and nearly died. McQuillan also shot colleague, DC Archie Meads dead. Burke discovered this after he recovered from his brutal attempted killing.

In the episode, Compensation we learn more about his private life and that his father didn't approve of him joining the police. His father was often difficult. In Judgement Day, he found his father dead in his flat. In the episode, The Thirteenth Step, more information about his father comes to light when he is taunted by retired policeman Angus Ford as his father was an alchoholic. The subject about Burke's relationship with his father is one of the main subplots of the show and it comes up again in Cold Reader, where towards the end it is revealed that he used to beat Matt. His relationship with his brother John, as shown in Judgement Day, is less than fraternal and the investigation into their father's death puts more strain on it.

In the episode, The Knife Trick, Burke is seen with his arm wrapped up in a bandage and when Jackie asks him how his arm is, he replies that he "fell off my space hopper" and that it won't get better if they keep asking him about it. In the episode, So Long Baby, he is still wearing the bandage round his arm and also throws a bucket of water over a suspect when interrogating Jamie Reevie. In Fact and Fiction, Burke is learning to speak French at his own accord.


Personality and appearanceEdit

Burke is known for his tough, hard look and his long brown jacket. He uses one-liners in episodes which he is known for, enjoys boxing and has headbutted his enemies in episodes such as Silent Truth and Bloodsport.

Relationships with colleaguesEdit

DI Robbie RossEdit

DI Robbie Ross first met former Special Branch Officer DCI Matthew Burke in the episode Death Trap when he and the team found out that Michael Jardine would be replaced as Senior Investigating Officer. They have a good working relationship, and eventually become good friends.

In Fire, Burn, when the rest of the team are finding it hard to get to grips with Burke's rule, Ross seems to get along with Burke just fine. During this episode, Jackie is frequently yelled at by Burke, and Stuart is treated as errand-boy, a state of affairs which ends when they stick up for themselves. However, it is only when Ross belatedly tries to stick up for Stuart that Burke reveals that he respects Stuart for standing up for himself, and is disappointed at Ross for not being louder in the defence of his colleague.

DS Jackie ReidEdit

Most of the time, Reid has a good professional relationship with the current head of the team, Matt Burke. However things got off to a rocky start in their first episode, Fire, Burn. Burke is dismissive and curt towards Jackie as he tries to stamp his dominance on the team, while Jackie is still grieving over Jardine's death and finds Burke's manner aggressive. It is only when the two have to dismantle a bomb together that respect is finally won over.

In the episode Running out of Time, it is Jackie who defends Burke against allegations of bribe taking, and she is the one to save his life after disobeying orders by going to see him, only to discover he'd been shot in the neck.

DC Stuart FraserEdit

Burke was Fraser's second boss, but over time they grew to have a somewhat closer working relationship than Jardine and Fraser. They first met Burke in the episode Death Trap when he arrived to replace DCI Michael Jardine. The first thing he said to Stuart was "Do your tie up, I've got nothing against shirt lifters, but I can't stand sloppy dressers."

Throughout the series Burke has no problems with Stuart's sexuality, and Stuart once even seemed relaxed enough to tell him about an old boyfriend who worked for the Red Cross while investigating a case together.

In their second episode,Fire, Burn there is a little bit of friction between the two as Burke is still trying to stamp his authority on the team and initially treats young Fraser as a bit of an errand-boy. However, Fraser quietly stands up for himself and contradicts Burke, insisting on following a different line of enquiry. This surprisingly wins him some respect from Burke, and praise in the form of a coffee when Stuart is proved partially right. Burke seems to respect a man who speaks up for himself, however junior and even chastises Robbie Ross for "letting the junior officers go over the top" first.

Burke often treats Fraser as a naive but useful protege, and relies on him for most technological issues. However, it is in An Eye For An Eye that their relationship is tested, as Burke wrongly believes Stuart to have been negligent and feckless on a job. Stuart is proved to be innocent at the end of the episode, and Burke seems to gain a little more respect for him as an all-round police officer, not just a computer whizz.

Burke often calls Stuart by the nickname "Stuarty", indicating a level of gruff fondness in their working relationship.

Relationships with womenEdit

Not a lot is known about his personal life other than that he is divorced and that he "used to have a family."