Pitch to Production 3 [treatment]

Acceptance of a premise indicates that series producers are sufficiently interested in your story to sponsor further development.  The next step in the process is a more formal treatment, essentially a preliminary scene-by-scene telling of the story, rounding out characters and their locations.  Like a premise, a treatment can be returned for several drafts before final acceptance or rejection, and though some companies will pay a small development fee for a treatment, others won’t.  Here’s the first draft of my treatment for Crisis Management.



Draft 1 Treatment


Elizabeth-Anne Wheal




Night. Cranwell Edge Army camp on the outskirts of the city. It’s raining heavily. A large artillery park with looming vehicle and gun hangars spreads away into the distance. Some one and two storey buildings are grouped round a large green facing an older, vine covered building. Through the ground floor windows, we glimpse a group of uniformed officers finishing supper with their C/O in the regimental mess, waited on by uniformed attendants. But inside barrack block A on the far side of the green, a different, less genteel atmosphere presides…


A large, shared bedroom in the womens’ block. A group of ‘gunbunnies’ – female artillery troops – are hosting a party for some of their male counterparts. There’s music, beer, spirits, more spirits. Young troublemaker, Gunner TRACEY DUFF (18) and her boyfriend, macho youngblood, Gunner MIKE BLATT (20) are treating their mates to a display of dirty dancing, watched avidly by TRACEY’s pretty mate, Lance Corp. CATHY COVINGTON (23). The mood is raucous, sexually charged and testosterone filled.


In the city centre, JANINE is keeping a small promise to herself, and taking a couple of hours out to meet a friend for a drink. She’s arriving at a modern bar café, except she’s also just getting a call on her mobile – her friend is caught in traffic. She gets a drink at the bar and finds herself being mildly chatted up by the good looking, 40-something bloke next to her, TIM FAIRHEAD. He’s also waiting for someone who hasn’t turned up. He tells her he’s single, and works in health and safety. They exchange some pleasant banter. He asks what she does for a living. A moment’s hesitation, then she tells him she’s in crisis management.


At Barrack Block A, Cranwell Edge, there are sounds of the party still in progress. CATHY COVINGTON is climbing out of a first floor window in A block. She jumps easily to the ground and jogs off, checking to see no one’s about, in the direction of the artillery park.


On the far side of the park, a small pavilion and adjoining car port stands at one end of a large playing field. An unidentifiable male figure in hooded parka over uniform stands glancing out from the shelter of the car port. The figure is restless, smoking nervously. An arm grabs him suddenly from behind and locks round his neck – as he spins round we recognize CATHY COVINGTON and MIKE BLATT – the grip becomes a frantic snog. The couple kiss, bite and grapple with each other’s clothes as they step back into the shadows around the door of the pavilion. They stumble over something, fall together, stifling giggles.. until they see what they stumbled over – the bloodied head and shoulders of a dead soldier…


JANINE and TIM are enjoying a second drink. There’s an easy, shared sense of humour and mutual attraction – maybe JANINE’s thinking she doesn’t mind if her mate doesn’t turn up at all – and then her phone rings. And it’s SHAP. As she makes her excuses, TIM is wry, understanding – she’s clearly got a crisis to manage. JANINE scribbles her mobe number on a drinks mat. Call me sometime? And she’s gone.



The area is being taped off and the team is briefing with several MPs at the sports pavilion as JANINE arrives. The victim is TSM RAY PETTIGREW (37) of K Troop, Alexandria Battery, 4th Royal Lancastrian Regiment (RA), based at Cranham Edge, but due to deploy with his regiment on active service to Afghanistan in a matter of weeks.


JANINE talks first to CATHY COVINGTON, who claims to have stumbled over the body while on an evening run round the playing field. JANINE notes the persistent rain, and the fresh love bite on COVINGTON’s neck and suggests that running isn’t what she was doing. COVINGTON caves. She was with Gunner MIKE BLATT, one of the guys in her troop… and her best mate’s boyfriend. She’ll be dead meat if the girlfriend in question finds out. CATHY’s dead guilty about it now. She blames all the tension around deployment – somehow when you know you might die soon, right and wrong take on a different meaning. JANINE won’t make promises, but she tells CATHY she’ll do her best to be discreet. JANINE wants to know if TSM PETTIGREW had any enemies in the regiment. CATHY laughs. Easier to ask if he had any friends… and the answer would be no…


JANINE delegates SHAP to go and talk to MIKE BLATT – quietly – and get confirmation of CATHY’s story.


From the extensive blood pooling, it’s fairly certain that PETTIGREW was attacked where he fell, and that death occurred recently, and no more than three or fours hours ago. The back of his head has been bashed in violently. He has no wallet on him – which raises the question of whether the motive was robbery – but oddly, he also has a 50 pence piece clutched in his closed hand. The door to the pavilion is locked and appears undamaged.


A forensics officer shows JANINE a partial, fresh car tyre print in blood, a few feet from the door of the pavilion. So someone made a getaway after PETTIGREW was murdered. JANINE orders full analysis of the tyre tread. If they can pin down a make and model on the car, they might even have a chance of finding the car in question.


Keys to the pavilion are provided by APT (Physical training) SGT. MARK TURTON (35) – a bright, brisk, pleasant, experienced soldier, who is in day-to-day charge of the recreation ground. TURTON is puzzled as to why TSM PETTIGREW would be at the sports field at all, and if so, how he got into the pavilion. There are only two sets of keys, one in TURTON’s possession at all times, and one that’s kept locked away in his office.


All is tidy and shipshape inside, but RICHARD spots part of a footprint, with possible blood in it, on the wooden/lino floor. JANINE orders everyone out and a full forensics search. RICHARD reckons the print looks smallish – a woman?


JANINE asks TURTON the obvious question: was PETTIGREW married – answer is yes – and is it possible he was meeting a lover here? TURTON seems a bit thrown by the idea. PETTIGREW was a traditionalist, a man of old fashioned values – not the ‘pad shagging’ type (Army jargon for carrying on an affair with a married soldier).


JANINE and RICHARD chat over possibilities: assuming for now that PETTIGREW was at the pavilion to meet someone, was the killer the person who PETTIGREW was meeting? Or was there a third party present? And was the murder pre-meditated or not? JANINE’s current instinct, based on the ferocity of the attack and the lack of concealment of the body, is that it wasn’t pre-meditated, but that it wasn’t a mugger either – why bludgeon the man to death over a wallet? The circumstances suggest to her that PETTIGREW was killed by someone other than the person he had arranged to meet… which means that that person is a possible witness to murder …


LISA appears with a Redcap major, recalled from his evening off base. He’s impatient to liaise with the murder team’s SIO. The Redcap major, it turns out, is good looking TIM FAIRHEAD. Both are surprised, embarrassed, but quick to see the irony of their mutual, failed deception. TIM admits he was intrigued and didn’t want to blow the encounter in the first three minutes – not everyone loves a soldier these days. JANINE tells him she doesn’t think soldiers are to blame for the government’s screw ups, and admits that sometimes being a copper is like being a doctor. You can’t go anywhere without getting saddled with other peoples’ problems to solve.


RICHARD observes JANINE and TIM together, and finds his jealousy instantly pricked. There’s something about the easy body language and the shared laughs that makes him feel excluded…


Meanwhile (to Richard’s further annoyance) it’s TIM who goes with JANINE to give the bad news and talk to PETTIGREW’s wife, GERALDINE. En route, TIM describes the pre-deployment atmosphere in the troop as ‘intense’. Everyone’s got huge amounts to do – everything from live firing exercises and Afghani language classes, to writing wills and arranging child care. Tensions and passions are running high. He warns JANINE to expect a lot of testosterone. JANINE will be amused by this. She reminds him she works with police officers every day…


TIM also offers a possible explanation for the 50 pence piece found in PETTIGREW’s hand. There’s an old military custom – from back in the days when men were asked to take ‘the King’s shilling.’ If they subsequently deserted or betrayed their fellow soldiers they would be killed if found. But as a token of military honour, a coin would often be left in one hand, to pay for a soldier’s burial, not a pauper’s one. It’s a strange detail, but it indicates a soldier’s grudge, and therefore, possibly, TIM thinks, pre-meditation. Or, JANINE suggests, it’s a plant designed to make you think that way…


TIM describes PETTIGREW as a traditional NCO in many ways: tough as nails, occasionally vindictive, but mostly fair. So who hadn’t he been fair to recently – who might have had a grudge? TIM says there are a few names he can think of, although he admits he’s sceptical about whether any of them would have contemplated murder over it. He’ll make sure they’re available for interview in the morning.


The PETTIGREW’s home is one of many similar houses on a large housing estate for married soldiers, a couple of miles from the barracks. The house is spotless and uncluttered – somehow not very homely. GERALDINE (40), who’s nervy and shy, insists she can’t think of anyone who would want to kill her husband, and is in evident shock. But JANINE also picks up on something else – a kind of distracted edginess… as if GERALDINE is holding something back. JANINE also briefly notes a couple of marks on the wall of the sitting room where some items – a painting or mirror, a piece of furniture, perhaps – has recently been removed.


As they’re heading home for the night, TIM asks JANINE whether there’s any chance of a date the next evening. JANINE jokes that first of all she needs to know if it’s worth it – isn’t he about to leave the country to get killed..? but actually it’s a serious question. TIM tells her that as an RMP officer, he’s not directly attached to the regiment, and his company’s orders are to remain on garrison duty for now. In that case, JANINE says, the answer’s yes.


Next morning. At the briefing, the team discusses what they’ve got to work with. Forensic examination of PETTIGREW’s body has identified two samples of foreign DNA – one male, one female. The footprint in blood on the floor of the pavilion is also female – size 5. This supports JANINE’s theory about the presence of a third party who may even have witnessed the killing. It now looks quite possible that PETTIGREW met a woman at the pavilion, and was killed by a jealous partner/husband? Confusingly, however, there’s no evidence that PETTIGREW had had sex before he died. So did the meeting have another purpose? JANINE tasks RICHARD to concentrate on following up the forensic info coming in from the site, with help from LISA and BUTCHERS, while she and SHAP do interviews at the Barracks.


RICHARD may take JANINE aside before she goes and make an acid and disapproving comment about mixing business and pleasure. JANINE may well enjoy winding RICHARD up: why shouldn’t she have a bit of fun on the job? It makes a change having some serious eye-candy around ….


As JANINE and SHAP arrive at Cranham Edge there’s an incident kicking off. It’s TRACEY DUFF and CATHY COVINGTON, slugging it out, surrounded by a bunch of male troopers shouting encouragement. The fight is broken up by their Troop Commander, 2nd Lt. ROSIE PARR, with help from APT. TURTON, and the women are dragged off to PARR’s office for a talking to. JANINE doesn’t miss the opportunity to make a wry comment about SHAP’s discretion.


Interviewing the soldiers named by TIM FAIRHEAD as having a live grudge against TSM PETTIGREW doesn’t throw up any convincing suspects – apart from anything else they’ve all, it seems, got some kind of alibi – but it does offer JANINE some thought provoking glimpses into the world of the soldier.


She talks first to AS90 troop commander, Lt. ROSIE PARR. PARR is impossibly young, at 24, new to the command, tall and sporty but quite feminine in her manner. PARR quickly admits that she and TSM PETTIGREW didn’t really see eye to eye about anything. She admits she’d felt resentful and angry at his regular attempts to show her up in front of her (mostly male, mostly more experienced) Troop. ROSIE may even offer JANINE a couple of chilling examples of his ‘jokes’. He was good at disguising it, PARR says, but he was very anti women in front line roles in the Army. He believed a woman’s place was in the field hospital, the mess tent, or at home. Most of the women in the troop had problems with him. But that doesn’t make him unique round here, she adds wryly. She’s phlegmatic about the imminent challenges of war. It’ll be her chance to really prove herself worthy of command, she says. JANINE can’t help but be impressed by Lt. PARR and admire her straightforward courage. It adds perspective to her own career choices, and the risks she takes etc.


JANINE relates even more easily to SGT. JACKIE HOLROYD (36) who she visits at home (on the estate) with TIM FAIRHEAD. JACKIE HOLROYD is a single parent with two kids (BEN, 16, moody but not dislikeable, and BETHAN, 13, more outgoing). JACKIE’s also a ‘full screw’ vehicle mechanic (i.e. a full Sergeant) with several active service tours under her belt. She’s a fit, sharp, down-to-earth Lancastrian, with an attractive sense of humour, who is equally ready to admit she’d clashed with TSM PETTIGREW, and equally dismissive of the idea that the fact is relevant to his murder.


JACKIE explains that BEN had recently been caught by PETTIGREW on the base on his 16th birthday, smoking a joint with TRACEY DUFF. PETTIGREW had dragged both down to the police station, fully intending to make examples of them, and the situation had only been rescued by CAPTAIN FAIRHEAD’s intervention. Although neither was charged, the incident and its fallout had been hard on both young people. BEN was suspended from school and is now being closely supervised and required to see a counsellor; DUFF is still recovering from several days worth of severe ‘beasting’ by PETTIGREW on punishment duty (known as TSM’s confinement).


JACKIE disapproves of BEN’s friendship with TRACEY, who can only be described as a bad influence. But JACKIE also recognises that BEN’s having quite a hard time at the moment, coping with her deployment, acting as surrogate Dad to Bethan, and lacking a father to relate to. He and Bethan have both had their problems at times as a result. But JACKIE reckons she’s better off giving BEN some wriggle room, rather than coming down on him right now.

So how did BEN feel towards PETTIGREW after the smoking incident? JACKIE jokes wryly that it’s been years since BEN talked to her about his feelings full stop. But BEN’s not the vindictive or violent sort. And anyway, both kids were home by half five, when she called to check in on them from work.


JANINE wants to know what will happen to BEN and BETHAN when JACKIE goes on active service. JACKIE says she’s very lucky. The kids’ father is a no go – a hopeless alcoholic living somewhere in Manchester – but APT SGT. MARK TURTON and his wife SHIRLEY have been the kids’ surrogate uncle and auntie all their lives. They are JACKIE’s best friends, live a few doors away, and both are brilliant with the kids.


RICHARD turns up to report a breakthrough: they have a probable make and model for the partial tyre tread found near the pavilion. He’s given LISA and BUTCHERS the job of locating all cars of that make registered to soldiers on the base, and photographing the appropriate tyre on each car for forensic comparison.


Back at Cranham Edge, JANINE and TIM find TRACEY DUFF (nicknamed Tuff) at the Quartermaster’s office where she’s finishing off her punishment duty. She’s a real scallywag – short, wiry, mouthy, no friend to cops – the kind of kid who basically joined the Army as an alternative to prison. She also has a pronounced limp. She admits she hated PETTIGREW, but can prove she was ‘on the block’ (in the barracks) all evening. She’s happy to tell JANINE that she hates most of the officers and NCOs, except for Lt. PARR, who she reckons is a better sort. It’s Lt. PARR who has persuaded SGT. TURTON to give her another chance at her FE assessment test, due later today. (TIM explains that TRACEY’s knee injury is in danger of stopping her deploying with her troop, but TRACEY is desperate to go.) TRACEY denies planning revenge on PETTIGREW, with or without BEN HOLROYD, who she describes as a fun kid who’s more grown up than he’s given credit for. Then she tells JANINE that she saw PETTIGREW a couple of weeks ago, in a pub in the centre of town, with a ‘dodgy’ bloke. JANINE wants to know what sort of dodgy she means. TRACEY says she asked one of the bar staff, who told her he was a loan shark.


At GERALDINE’s house, JANINE suggests gently that GERALDINE hasn’t been honest with them. She and her husband were in financial trouble, weren’t they? Bad enough to necessitate selling valuable household items… JANINE glances at the marks on GERALDINE’s wall.


GERALDINE now reveals what she had tried to conceal: that two years ago, she had become addicted to internet gambling, with disastrous results. She explains that it started while her husband was in Iraq. She had been so lonely, and so concerned for her husband… she had pretended to herself that a big win would offer them an escape route from the life she increasingly hated. But the result was disaster. GERALDINE ran up debts of over £35,000. Her husband had insisted they keep it secret from everyone; they sold everything of value, cashed in savings, but still had £25,000 worth of debt with interest mounting.   Her husband had met a man about a ‘private loan’ a couple of weeks ago, but the interest was so high they couldn’t accept it. The morning of the day he died, he’d told her that he’d organised another way to get some of the money they needed, but wouldn’t say how or who from.


Back at the office JANINE and the team discuss the implications of the news. Is it possible that PETTIGREW was meeting someone to take delivery of some cash, but was robbed and killed? And if so, what, if anything, was he offering in exchange? And how did the third party know about the arrangement? It briefly looks like PETTIGREW’s murder might have been about robbery after all… until…


BUTCHERS appears with news. They’ve got a match on the car that drove through PETTIGREW’s blood outside the pavilion. And it’s registered to SGT. MARK TURTON. And they have a witness who saw TURTON driving off the estate at about seven last night.


In interview at the station, MARK TURTON appears convincingly stunned and unnerved by the news. He insists he didn’t even go to the field yesterday. And he’s got absolutely no reason to kill RAY PETTIGREW, with whom he’d worked well for years. He denies any knowledge of the PETTIGREWs financial situation. Their evidence must be wrong. He didn’t even take his car into work that day, he says, and didn’t leave the base till seven thirty. TURTON reckons someone must have stolen and used his car, which was parked on the street, then replaced it before he came home. This is a remote outside possibility, but for now they have to consider TURTON the prime suspect… the only problem being that there doesn’t appear to be a motive.


It’s just occurring to JANINE that if SHIRLEY was the female at the pavilion, then MARK TURTON might have had a strong motive to kill PETTIGREW, when SHIRLEY arrives, asking to see JANINE. She tells JANINE that she is desperate to confess, and thereby exonerate her husband.


It’s not a confession to murder, though. SHIRLEY explains that her marriage to MARK is quiet, civil, but loveless. She had miscarried several times years ago, lost the chance to have kids, and never really recovered as a couple from the experience. Jackie Holroyd’s kids had become their surrogate children and they’d got a lot of fulfilment out of that… but MARK had never wanted her, physically, again. She’d taken it for years… then about six months ago, she’d bumped into Ray Pettigrew in town.. he’d opened up about his problems with Geraldine, and she about hers with Mark… and it began…


They had started meeting at night at the pavilion when MARK had evening duties at the barracks (she’d had the key copied). They normally walked over there, but Ray had called out of the blue to say he had an unexpected hour free, so with little time, she’d risked driving over. She wore her husband’s duffle coat and a spare cap, and took her husband’s car. She thought if anyone saw the car, they’d assume it was her husband …


SHIRLEY describes what happened at the pavilion. They’d met, but they hadn’t had sex, she says. Ray had admitted he’d asked her to meet him because he needed help. Essentially he wanted her to lend him her savings for a while, to get he and Geraldine out of trouble. Already upset at the thought of Ray leaving for Afghanistan, SHIRLEY had overreacted, accusing him of having the affair simply as a route to getting cash out of her. They’d argued. SHIRLEY had burst into tears. And then, suddenly, they’d heard a shout outside, and someone rattling the doors.


They waited in silence and listened, wondering if it was kids mucking about, or even perhaps MARK. When they thought it was all clear, PETTIGREW had gone outside alone to check. SHIRLEY heard another shout. She was frightened, and called out. No answer. Finally she plucked up courage and went to find PETTIGREW – to discover him dead on the ground. She had panicked utterly, left him where he was, and driven the car home. She insists, however, that she saw nothing of the attacker and has no idea who could have killed her lover. She also insists that her husband is innocent: when he got home ten minutes after her, he seemed as placid and distant as ever.


JANINE’s still absorbing this when a call comes through from the lab: the voluntary DNA sample taken from TURTON doesn’t match the foreign DNA found on PETTIGREW’s body. They’ve got nothing to hold him with. He’ll have to be released. Back to square one.


RICHARD asks JANINE out for a bite while they think the case through, but she’s already booked to go out with TIM.


TIM and JANINE have a really good evening out, nd manage to avoid too much shop talk. JANINE admits she’s surprised how easy it is to be with him. On the way back to the car, they kiss. Maybe she asks him if he’d like to stay the night…


Sunday morning. TIM and the kids are getting to know each other over breakfast. The atmosphere’s a little awkward but TIM’s good at keeping it light. TOM thinks TIM is ‘quite cool’. ELLY quite likes him too. The nanny reckons he’s drop dead gorgeous.


TIM is about to take his leave and head back to the base, when the door bell goes. It’s RICHARD. He’s not pleased to find TIM at the house, but he can kill two birds… They’re needed immediately at Cranham Edge. TRACEY DUFF has just been found dead, hanging from a tree bordering the sports field.


TRACEY’s body has already been taken down from the tree by the time JANINE, TIM and RICHARD arrive at the site. SGT. TURTON is also there with the MPs. A bicycle has been propped up against the tree. It looks like she used it to get up to the branch, then jumped off. SHAP reports that the rope she used looked new, but they haven’t identified the source yet. He also shows JANINE a small evidence bag containing a syringe and an ampoule containing some kind of liquid. Was TRACEY a drug addict?


JANINE talks to SGT. TURTON. He explains that he’d tried to give TRACEY all the leeway he could, but he’d had to fail her on her FE assessment test the previous evening. He admits she was extremely upset about it. Perhaps it pushed her over an edge.


JANINE notices BEN HOLROYD hanging around, watching them from a distance.


Back at base, CATHY CONVINGTON and MIKE BLATT, who, it seems, were the last people to see TRACEY alive, are insistent that she didn’t kill herself. They also claim she was no drug addict. She was so desperate to pass the test and deploy with her troop, that she’d been giving herself heavy painkilling injections that she’d bought off someone in town. The soldiers tell JANINE that illegal drug taking to enhance performance is very common, especially among the women, who often have problems coping with the physical challenges. They tell JANINE that TRACEY was more furious than upset about her failure on the assessment test. She’d spent half the evening drinking and planning ways of getting back at SGT. TURTON, or getting him to give her one more chance. Last they saw of her, she went off to see if she could find Lt. PARR, and beg her for help.


ROSIE PARR confirms that TRACEY came to see her the evening before, but had stayed only a few minutes.


The initial pathology report comes in. It appears that TRACEY was strangled, before she was hanged. So who killed her and why? And how is it connected to the murder of TSM Pettigrew? TIM declares himself pretty confused.


JANINE decides she’d like to talk to BEN HOLROYD. Perhaps he knows something that the soldiers don’t.


JANINE gets JACKIE’s permission to go and talk to BEN at his school, but when she arrives, it appears that BEN hasn’t turned up. JANINE immediately informs JACKIE – she’ll phone home and see if he’s there – and heads off to find BETHAN at her school nearby. Only BETHAN isn’t in school either.


JANINE and TIM meet JACKIE at her house. JACKIE’s holding onto it, but she’s very worried. They go inside together. It quickly becomes clear that the children have packed bags and gone.


RICHARD wonders whether there’s a drugs connection. BEN and TRACEY DUFF were caught smoking grass by PETTIGREW. TRACEY was buying drugs in town. Perhaps BEN was involved somehow too? RICHARD also suggests they should ask JACKIE for a sample from BEN to match against the foreign DNA found on PETTIGREW’s body. JANINE’s unwilling to believe BEN is a murderer, but agrees to ask JACKIE. She equally insists her son has murdered no one, and happily volunteers a toothbrush and an old hairbrush.


A search of BEN’s room reveals a small quantity of speed. Is it really possible that BEN HOLROYD killed TSM PETTIGREW and TRACEY DUFF, then grabbed his sister before going on the run? JANINE doesn’t buy it. She orders an all ports warning, as well as photos to be cicrculated to all stations. JANINE reassures JACKIE that they’ll find the kids pretty quickly with every copper in Manchester looking out.


Back at the sports field, something is bothering her, but she’s not sure what it is. Why are we back here? is one of the things she’s thinking. Why kill TRACEY here? Why string her up? Again, it looks like an act of panic rather than pre-meditation.


TIM grabs JANINE before she returns to the office and asks if he can see her again tonight. JANINE’s not sure. She’s tired, the case is full-on, but TIM’s not in the mood to be turned down. Okay, says JANINE. Come for supper at home.


At the office, the results of the DNA comparison are just back from the lab. BEN’s DNA matches the male foreign DNA found on PETTIGREW’s body. JANINE checks with JACKIE about BEN’s alibi. JACKIE admits she took her daughter’s word for it that both kids were home when she called, but she can’t prove it. BEN looks like he might be the murderer they’re after, after all. But JANINE’s still worrying at something. Something that’s been on the edges of her mind since the start…


Before she goes home for the night, RICHARD, who’s been somewhat subdued all day, wants a word. He wants to know if she’s serious about TIM FAIRHEAD. JANINE may well react at first with a ‘what’s it got to do with you’, but she knows that’s not quite fair. She tells RICHARD that the short answer is yes. Although it’s very early days, she thinks he’s different – and she is quite serious about him. RICHARD is very crestfallen. JANINE points out that whatever has gone on in the past, they are free agents. He can’t expect her to remain permanently nun-like on the off chance that they’ll fall into bed every now and again. RICHARD reluctantly concedes this. He tells her he’ll try to back right off and give her space. And of course, the moment he says that, and lets go, JANINE finds herself wondering what she might be losing…


That evening at home, TIM and ELLY are again pleasantly entertained by TIM, who’s a natural with kids. JANINE is charmed by him again. And she can’t help but fantasise a little. What would it be like to have a proper relationship with a good man again? Someone to share with. Someone to depend on. And then the bombshell…


The kids are heading for bed when TIM admits he’s got some bad news he needs to discuss with her. He’s just been informed by his boss that four members of a Provost Company have just been killed in an incident in Helmand. So he’s being deployed with the regiment after all. He knows it’s hard for JANINE to swallow, but he wants to ask her formally, if she’ll wait for him. He doesn’t expect an instant answer. He knows it’s a big ask. He hands her a gift box with a beautiful necklace inside it. A token. Just think about it.


The next morning at the briefing, JANINE says nothing to RICHARD, though he may notice she’s looking tired, and her mood is brisk and unforgiving. She wants BEN and BETHAN HOLROYD found. They’ve already been missing too long. And she wants some new thinking about the case. She wants someone to make sense of these two killings and their connections. She wants the job finished.


The team sits around, throwing out their thoughts, following lines of logic. They know that BEN killed SGT. PETTIGREW, but why? He must have found out something, or known something that was a threat to BEN, and possibly to TRACEY DUFF. But what? And why kill TRACEY, if he did? What could she possibly have known or done that would motivate BEN to kill his friend?


JANINE is deep in thought. She’s reading over the statements relating to PETTIGREW’s murder, the pathology reports etc. “If anyone had seen the car they would’ve assumed it was Mark driving…” keeps ringing in JANINE’s ears… Suddenly she’s thinking laterally… and she’s got an idea. The attack came from behind PETTIGREW. So is it possible that the killer saw TURTON’s car, made the assumption that SHIRLEY intended, and lay in wait, assuming that the person coming to the door was TURTON, not PETTIGREW? Is it possible therefore that TURTON not PETTIGREW was the intended victim…? And that stealing the wallet and leaving the coin in his hand were intended to misdirect the investigation?


If so, the question remains why? RICHARD points out that unlike PETTIGREW, MARK TURTON seems to be a generally popular, decent sort of bloke. And JACKIE HOLROYD had described him as a brilliant uncle to the kids. Why would BEN want to kill the guy who was going to look after him and Bethan while his mother was abroad?


JANINE’s thoughtful. The phone rings. BEN and BETHAN HOLROYD have been spotted getting onto a London coach.


JANINE and RICHARD have to drive at speed to get there first, but they are waiting when the coach pulls in to it’s first stop.


JACKIE HOLROYD is called into the station and the kids are taken to soft interview rooms, to be interviewed by JANINE separately. BETHAN is asked about their reasons for running away. BEN is asked about SGT PETTIGREW and TRACEY DUFF. JANINE tries everything she can to reassure, cajole and encourage them, but for now at least, they both pointblank refuse to talk.


JANINE bails BEN into the care of his mother, and warns her that he must stay at home for now, pending further enquiries. Then she calls to tell the nanny she’s decided she wants to collect ELLIE and TOM from school herself for a change. On the way home, the kids are bickering constantly, and JANINE’s finding it harder than usual to deal with. They also want to know if TIM’s coming over tonight. JANINE says no. The bickering continues.


Then, as TOM is getting out of the car outside the house, a boy on a bicycle nearly runs him over. He falls and grazes his knee. And suddenly there’s ELLIE, grabbing the kid off the bike, shaking him thoroughly, and furiously demanding an apology for endangering her beloved little brother.


JANINE can’t help but laugh. Typical siblings, she tells them. You’re either murdering each other, or prepared to kill for each other, and nothing in the middle. And that’s when the light bulb goes on finally in her head…


JANINE recalls everyone to the office, despite the hour. She thinks BEN and BETHAN HOLROYD are in danger. She also thinks MARK TURTON may be the one they’re in danger from. She wants a complete background check on TURTON straight away, and she wants a palm print from him, to compare with the pressure marks found on TRACEY’s neck.


JACKIE HOLROYD is surprised to find JANINE on her doorstep, asking to come in and talk to the kids. But she trusts JANINE when she says it’s necessary.


JANINE tells BEN and BETHAN that she’s pretty sure she knows what has been going on, and she’s pretty sure why neither of them felt they could tell their mum, but she needs BETHAN to be brave as well as honest, and tell her the truth – about Uncle Mark.


What JANINE suspects turns out to be the truth. The deployment arrangement with the Turtons should have been be a perfect one. The kids know and trust their Aunt and Uncle, and have been looked after by them on and off all through their lives. But BEN has been told a terrible secret by BETHAN: that two weeks ago, ‘Uncle Mark’ took BETHAN to the pavilion on an excuse, and tried to molest her.  BEN is enraged as well as terrified by the idea that as soon as his mother leaves, his sister will be vulnerable to “Uncle Mark’ for six months or more.  But he also knows that if they tell their mother, BETHAN may not be believed (she has a tendency to tell (little) lies);  and Cranham Edge has recently dealt with a malicious accusation of a similar sort, perhaps. The kids fear that all will assume they are trying to find an excuse to keep their mother at home. 
So when, three nights ago, BEN is on his way home from band practise across the sports field, and spots Sgt. Turton’s car parked by the pavilion, he instantly fears Uncle Mark is again trying to take advantage of his sister.


As he approached the car, he tells JANINE, he saw his sister’s jacket on the back seat. Then he heard crying coming from inside the pavilion. Angry and fearful, he took a wrench out of the toolbox that he knew Turton kept in his boot and went to the door, shouting out, rattling the locked doors of the pavilion, trying to get in. Then he waited… A soldier appeared at the door, and BEN hit him hard …and again… and again… before he heard a female voice, not his sister’s but SHIRLEY’s, calling out… BEN turns over the body: it’s not TURTON. He realises what he’s done… he panics… he rummages quickly, nicks his wallet, presses 50p into PETTIGREW’s hand as an afterthought, and runs…


TURTON is arrested. In interview, JANINE suggests that he’s no pervert. He’d never done anything like it before.  But he couldn’t control himself – he’d stepped over a line – allowing his intimacy with and love for BETHAN as a little girl translate into something more insidious, sexual and aggressive, as he watched her turning into a young woman. This doesn’t excuse him, JANINE says. But it’s the truth. And unfortunately, BEN also told his friend TRACEY the truth. JANINE asks TURTON to finish the story. TURTON tells her that when he failed TRACEY on the test the day before, she’d appeared to accept it at first – but later that evening he’d found a note, telling him to meet TRACEY at the sports field. It was there she’d told him that she knew what he’d done to Bethan. And that if he didn’t find a way to get her passed fit, she’d tell everyone what he was. TURTON says he can hardly remember strangling her. He saw red… grabbed her… and suddenly she was dead at his feet…


BEN will have to be charged with manslaughter, though JANINE reassures JACKIE that the chances are his case will be dropped, or, if not, any conviction suspended.


Then JANINE needs time to go and find TIM. She needs to let him know that much as she’d like to see a future in their relationship, she and the kids aren’t ready to deal with any more crisis management than they already cope with day-to-day. So the answer’s no. She won’t be waiting. She returns the pretty necklace.


Finally, JANINE wants a moment alone with RICHARD. She tells him what she’s just told TIM. She admits she feels fairly sick at the idea that the only man she’s been really interested in for a long time is about to go and get himself shot at for six months. But the net result is a return to the status quo: flirting across a crowded CID room, and the odd bonus snog at the end of a bad day. How does that sound to him?