Detective drama set in 1966. Gently and his sidekick Bacchus investigate the suspicious death of Gently's ex-snout, China.
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-Is there any booze?
-Shut up, John, man. Course there's no booze.
It's a spastics' home. Spaccas don't drink.
What do you want?
-Nah, I cannot do chips, man.
-I want chips.
# ..Hammer me mammy gave me
# But when I grow up I can hammer me mammy
# And serves her right for hammering me. #
Who done these, do you think? The spastics? Crap, aren't they?
-What do they give them gold stars for, man? They're pathetic. Dave...
Here, John. Give us some of that.
-Who's this other one?
-It's the Prime Minster, man.
Are you a spastic or summat?
No, but he looks like one. Aren't you?
I hate backwards kids and spastics. They should be strangled at birth.
Especially ones that don't even look at you. How! Spacca!
Look at us when I'm talking to you!
What shall we do to him?
WHOOPING AND SHOUTING
Faster, John. John, faster...
Hold on tight, spacca.
You're looking at me favourite building, Mr Gently, sir.
Do you know, I think it's mine now.
-I'm sorry. I don't know your name, Sergeant.
I know you from afar, Chief Inspector.
You're the famous George Gently, scourge of the London villains.
-Well, I think they survived.
-Well, you're ours now, though.
-You'll never leave this place, you know.
-You work in this building?
-Sort of. I'm the Chief Constable's new driver.
-Ah. Enjoy it?
-I love it.
I get to go everywhere he goes.
I never knew Durham had so many golf courses.
Nice meeting you at last, Chief Inspector.
Nice meeting you too, Sergeant.
Could you pop down to the cells, Sarge? There seems to be a problem.
-You look ridiculous with that tash on.
-Thank you, Sarge.
-The Chief Constable got a new driver?
-Don't he, Guv?
Looks ridiculous with that tash. Doomed to failure with women.
-Women don't like tashes.
-Sorry, sir, the new... What were you saying?
-A new driver.
-You don't have a woman!
-As a matter of fact I have.
Been hanging round the Blind School again have you? Taylor, she's coming.
Yep. I can hear her stick tapping along the floor.
-Will you shut up, Sergeant?
-Shall I tell them you're going down, sir?
-Is it urgent?
-That means "no".
-I'll be there in a minute.
-What would you like me to do, sir?
-The Chief Constable's new driver.
Taylor, aren't you forgetting something?
Where's our elevenses, man? Hmmm? Two cups of tea, plate of biscuits.
The future's arrived.
If this is the future I don't like it.
Look at this. Tea, milk, no sugar. Tea, sugar, no milk.
Tea, no milk, no sugar...
What's it taste like?
Warm water, cold milk, no tea.
That machine's supposed to free up police time,
save highly-trained officers like myself.
-Shut up and go away.
Highly trained(!) So why are you here?
-Are you going down to the cells or shall I tell them ten minutes?
-Yes!! Yes, I'm going.
-Is he drunk?
-Cannot smell nowt on him, Sarge.
-Why's he here?
-Sleeping on a park bench.
Couple of milk bottles on the grass.
We think he nicked them off somebody's doorstep.
What's your name? Huh? What's your name? MAN WHIMPERS
This was in his pocket.
"David Blackburn." Have you been drinking, David?
Apart from milk, I mean?
Right. Where are you from?
"Higher Sutton Farm, Wellaby on Tees?" Is this your address, David?
Hmm? Ah, we've got lift off. Right.
Well, listen, David. Why don't you go home to Wellaby
and be a nuisance there, OK?
Instead of Durham. David?
Do you want me to give you a clip around the head, David?
-I never even touched him.
Our John? Who's our John? Is that your brother, is it?
What about him?
What's your problem, David?
Let him sober up and get him on a bus home.
And don't waste any more of my time today, OK?
Ten minutes of my life. Gone forever.
Guv? Summat wrong?
"Dear Mr Gently, I write to tell you of the death of my brother-in-law Robert Mates
"that you knew from when he was a detective with you in London..."
He sometimes used to say that he'd been a detective.
It made him feel a bit more important than being a paid informer.
"He often talked about his friendship and..."
"..his friendship and admiration for you. He will be much missed by..."
Hmm. Yeah. "Yours faithfully, Mrs Eleanor Mates".
-When did you last see him?
-About three months ago.
'He called me at the office. Asked me to meet him.'
-Here he is now. Mr Gently!
I said he'd come. Didn't I say he'd come? Have a seat.
-I haven't got much time, China.
-Kenny. Norma. Mr George Gently.
-So you're the man he's always telling us about?
-Get the man a drink, man, Kenny.
-We've got things to talk about.
-Ah wait, George, let your hair down.
This is your old mate. We're old mates. Me and Mr Gently.
-We go back a long way.
-China, you said this was urgent.
-You said you'd got information for me.
-It is, it is...
-What is it?
Oh... What was it? There was something.
-Get your hands off me beer.
-I never touched your beer...
Come with me.
-I'm sorry, Mr Gently. I'm sorry.
-There was no information, was there?
-No, no, that wasn't...
-I'll pay you back when I get on my feet.
-You're an embarrassment, China.
Do you know that? To yourself and to me. This has got to stop.
-I'm sorry, Mr Gently.
-I don't want you to be sorry.
I want you to do something about it.
I'm working on some new leads for you.
It'll be like the old days, you and me cracking cases side by side.
No. I don't want you to work on any leads for me. Ever. It's finished.
As a snout you've been information-free for a long time.
-And do you know why? Cos you're drunk all the time.
-What do you want?
I want you to go back to London. Or preferably Dublin.
I want you to lead a different kind of life cos this one's going to kill you.
This is to give you a new start in life. Go on.
You never think... I never thought I'd turn out like this. I'll write to you.
I'll write to you when I'm back on me feet.
It would be better if you didn't. You can't use me as a crutch forever.
I don't want to hear from you again. OK?
-Goodbye then, Mr Gently.
Here he comes.
-'What happened to him?'
-'He died alone. They found him in some old building near a dog track'
-where he was living as a vagrant. He had a fall.
And I meant to give him a push in the right direction.
Maybe I pushed him too far.
Can I see the back of his head, please?
-You all right, Guv?
His nose was broken.
Well, he fell over, Guv.
The Coroner's report doesn't mention a broken nose.
He drank himself senseless every night of his life. He was an accident waiting to happen.
Good afternoon, I'm James Lafferty, the Coroner's Officer.
-And you are Chief Inspector George Gently.
It's an honour to meet you.
Your reputation travels before you.
So, Mr Gently,
what are you doing in our little town?
I told you in my letter.
You wrote the report on the death of Robert Mates for the Coroner,
on the basis of which a verdict of accidental death was recorded.
Your letter didn't say where your interest lay.
Mr Mates was a personal friend.
Oh, I see.
You described him as a vagrant.
On what basis?
His condition, his clothes, the place he was found,
there was no evidence of any fixed abode.
Nobody reported him missing.
When did you last see your friend?
-Three months ago.
-How was he?
But he wasn't living rough.
Perhaps something happened in the meantime.
Men of his age can sometimes lose their grip on life when misfortune occurs.
The death of a wife or losing their job.
What was his occupation?
He worked for me. Unofficially.
Sometimes. He didn't have anything else.
I knew him as "China".
How can you be sure his death was accidental?
Ah well, an ambulance was called to a dilapidated building,
known to be used by vagrants, where your friend "China"
had suffered a fall while under the influence of alcohol.
How do you know he had a fall?
That was the judgement of the ambulance men. Based on his injuries.
There were no post-mortem photographs attached
to the report I received.
-No, there weren't.
-I asked for them to be sent.
No matter. I've had a look for myself.
-Who called the ambulance?
..It was anonymous. It's all there in the full report...
Full report? I've had longer Christmas cards.
Then what happened?
He was taken to St Mary's where he died that night of a subdural haemorrhage.
He fell heavily against an old filing cabinet
and gashed his head severely, the report says.
I've just been for a look.
There wasn't any blood.
It's been cleared up. As you'd expect.
And that's all I know.
You were in the service yourself?
Then I got myself what I believe is known as "a cushy little number"
-as the Coroner's Officer.
-I beg your pardon?
-You served here?
Yes. Here, in Wellaby.
Well, thank you very much, Mr Lafferty.
-Wasn't there a bit of a problem in this force a while back?
A whole nightshift dismissed for thieving?
Breaking and entering, and fencing stolen goods and that? There was a joke, wasn't there?
Two coppers out on the beat in Wellaby, one says to the other,
"Lend us a packet of fags till the shops close".
-Can I say something, Guv?
-Yeah, if you like.
Isn't this a waste of police time, asking nurses and that?
Look, I understand your problem. Right?
Sorry, what's my problem?
You know, he hero-worshipped you.
You brought him up north and then you fired him, because he was useless.
-Then he drifted off to Wellaby and drank himself to death, but you know what?
He would've drunk himself to death anyway, it's not your fault. That's all I'm saying.
Right? It's not your fault.
Are we done with the cod psychology?
Yes. Next fish, please.
Good. Well, I don't need you on this one. You can go home.
-Ah, Guv! Why are you being...
-John, John, go home.
Right. I won't be a minute.
-I don't have much time, mister?
-Right. We're short-staffed this week.
So. It's about a friend?
Yes, you nursed him apparently.
He died here three weeks ago, he had a head injury,
a fall, apparently? Robert Mates?
Oh, yes. It was sad. He never regained consciousness, poor man.
Well, that's my first question answered, thank you.
I was hoping to try and find out how he spent the last months of his life.
You were close?
No. Well, dunno.
Yes, in a way.
My wife was unaccountably fond of him and he worshipped her.
But he went on one bender too many, he had a fall and hit his head,
so, er... well, thank you for your time.
And thank you for seeing him off.
Mr Gently, your friend wasn't drunk. I would've smelled it on him.
I was told he was.
I spend half me life dealing with drunks
-and there was no alcohol on his breath.
-What about his clothes?
Well, not exactly Savile Row, but...
Not dirty, not torn?
No, no, no. They were clean. Well cared for.
He even darned the holes in his socks.
So you didn't think he was a vagrant, then?
Vagrants don't darn their socks.
So he must have been living somewhere? He had an address?
-He must have, but I never found out where.
-What about his pockets, nothing at all?
Well, I don't know, I suppose the police took his stuff before they brought him here.
His nose was broken. Have you any idea how?
He had a fall.
He fell and injured the back of his head and the front of his face at the same time?
It does happen, yeah. Who did you say you were again, exactly?
I'm sorry about...
China wasn't living rough and he wasn't drunk.
This is Nurse Molloy, she was with him at the time.
-This is my Sergeant, Mr Bacchus.
Sergeant, you're a policeman? You never said you were a policeman.
Yes, I'm sorry. I should have said.
I'm Detective Chief Inspector George Gently.
If you should remember anything about the day he died,
would you give me a call on this number?
And Nurse, if you could you please treat this conversation as confidential?
And thank you.
BREATHES IN HEAVILY
What have I done now?
You're really, you're just a one-track-mind premier cretin, aren't you?
She was wearing a wedding ring. Did you notice or don't you care? "Nice".
-She was nice, I like looking at women, should have a look at one yourself sometime.
-She said "police".
-She said China was brought to the hospital by the police.
The Coroner's Officer said it was an ambulance.
Well, maybe she was confused.
No, no, no, she was absolutely clear.
Right, so you're a policeman delivering a critically ill man to the hospital,
why would you spend time emptying his pockets?
To find out who he was.
OK, John. You like looking at women.
A change came over Nurse Molloy. When I introduced you, she seemed nervous, why's that?
I just have this effect on women, Guv.
It was because until that moment she didn't realise she'd been talking to a policeman.
Oh, man. What are we doing now?
I've just been talking to Nurse Molloy?
-I need to talk to her again.
-Well, you can't. She's gone home.
-What's she gone home for?
That was a bit sudden, weren't it?
Well, that's what migraines are like!
We're going to look a pair of clowns
if she's in a darkened room with a bag of frozen peas on her head.
I don't think she was saying "Not tonight, darling, I've got a headache". Do you?
-What time's he home?
-He's on the backshift.
I'll get it.
I'm Detective Chief Inspector Gently, this is Sergeant Bacchus.
May we speak to Mrs Molloy, please?
I'm, er, I'm afraid she's not in.
-Well, she is, pal, cos we've just seen her letting you in.
-Who are you, please?
She's my um, brother. I'm her brother.
But she's got a migraine, she's not very well so...
Are we going to clart about all day or shall we get this over with?
Are you positive
that my friend was brought into hospital by the police, Mrs Molloy?
-Erm, did I say that?
-Yes, you did.
I think maybe I was confused. It was an ambulance.
So who emptied his pockets?
I don't know.
Do you have a husband, Mrs Molloy?
Where is he?
-What does he do?
-He's a policeman.
Was he by any chance the policeman who brought Mr Mates to hospital?
I told you, it was ambulance men.
What does your brother do?
I haven't got a brother.
Mr Collison here?
I, er, I work in a school.
You're absolutely rubbish at this, aren't you? The pair of you.
At what exactly?
-You can't just barge in here, into my house and make ridiculous allegations.
What's your husband's name?
You're in absolutely no position to get cocky with me, pet.
Does he work at the local nick?
-I might just give him a call.
-No, please. Don't.
I see you wear a wedding ring, Mr Collison.
I have a wife and three children.
How about you?
No. No children.
Does your husband know about this?
I... I don't think so.
Well, what a mess.
I have told you all I can.
But not all you know.
Now why is that, Mrs Molloy?
What is it about the death of Robert Mates that you don't want me to know?
Nothing. I don't know anything.
What were the names of these ambulance men?
I will find out sooner or later, Mrs Molloy.
It wasn't an ambulance. A police car brought him in.
Yeah, I see.
And who was driving this police car?
There's a criminal offence called wasting police time.
-I think we should charge her, Guv.
-Don't you threaten her.
-What are you going to do about it?
My husband is a very kind man. He stayed at the hospital all night.
He stayed until Robert Mates was pronounced dead, you mean.
He was clearly very concerned.
DOOR OPENS AND A MAN WHISTLES
Full house, huh?
Paul, you rascal. I thought I recognized the car.
You'll have the neighbours talking, huh?
How are you, love? Bad migraine?
How did you know?
Because I phoned the hospital to let you know I'd be coming home early.
Who are your friends?
Chief Inspector Gently.
Ah, Mr Gently.
A pleasure to meet you, sir.
Can you shed any light on the death of Robert Mates?
-The old man. The one that fell, that you brought to the hospital.
What, nothing at all?
Such as how he broke his nose perhaps?
Or what happened to his belongings?
Have you got permission from my guvnor to question me now, Chief Inspector?
No, but I will have.
Can you stop that?
-He knows about those two.
-Oh, yes. 100%.
Tomorrow I'd like to find out what else he knows.
You do some digging about the other fella.
And make some discreet enquiries, off the record, about the local nick here.
-Such as what?
-Allegations of police brutality.
Any history of unexplained deaths in police custody.
I thought you might fancy a proper cuppa.
I hate that machine.
I can't even work it.
You're working late, Sergeant.
Yes, he's got a golf club dinner.
No, no, no. You mustn't tell me that.
-Because that's not official business.
He should be getting a taxi home and paying for it himself, not charging the ratepayer.
-It's true what they say about you, isn't it?
Unbending. Rules is the rules.
Well, they are, aren't they?
Well, I've broke one. I shouldn't be in here.
And why are you in here, Sergeant?
Call us "Liz" and I'll tell you.
Why are you here, Sergeant?
My God, you don't make life easy, do you, Chief Inspector?
For others, or yourself. I'm sorry I disturbed you.
I have a son. Ten-year-old. By my ex-husband.
He's training to be a hooligan.
I want someone to show him how to fish.
Somebody told me you'd know all about it.
-David Blackburn, that kid you saw in the cells.
David Blackburn. He was reported missing a couple of weeks ago by his employer.
He works in a motor workshop.
So what? Not our problem any more. Tell Wellaby police that we sent him home.
-What? Is that the Paul Collison stuff?
It just swallows your money!
Who is this Blackburn lad?
Just another idiot that needs a good hiding.
We've gone completely soft in this country. Kids just bloody laugh at you.
Why was he laughing at you?
Well, he wasn't actually, he was crying.
OK, Paul Collison, 33, married, three kids, we knew that already.
He's got a degree in sociology and education.
Just what the country needs, that, ain't it?
Works in an Approved School. That'll be the education.
And shags Nurse Molloy in his spare time. That'll be the sociology.
Hey?! I think he's irrelevant, Guv.
Will you behave yourself?
See you Sunday, George.
Mind your own business.
My lips are sealed. Unlike hers.
George Gently, as I live and breathe.
Your guvnor and I knew each other in London.
-Didn't he tell you?
-No. No, he didn't.
He was my first boss in CID.
And now you outrank me, Superintendent.
That'll be the day. Welcome, John.
-No, I'm Alan. Come through. Lunch in the garden.
Business first, eh?
I spoke to Tommy Molloy this morning.
Tommy is a lovely man, honest as the day is long. Cheers.
It was Tommy who took the call about your friend being in a bad way.
He picked him up and took him to the hospital rather than
wait for an ambulance
because he could see he was very poorly.
He only wishes he could have got there quicker.
I also spoke to that idiot Lafferty at the Coroner's Office.
I fired him from the force my second week in command.
He shouldn't have been given the job he's got, but there you are.
There was no evidence to support what he told the coroner
about your friend being a drunk and a vagrant. Pure prejudice,
stupid assumptions. Laziness, actually.
I've made my views known to the coroner
and I don't expect Lafferty to be long in that job either.
The verdict of accidental death still stands, though.
-You're not happy with the verdict, then?
-Course I'm not.
I'll be honest with you, George.
We've got a problem in this town.
Young lads who think they can get away with going around doing
whatever they like.
Such as picking on defenceless old men. Giving them a hiding,
just for the fun of it. Wouldn't be the first time.
Any young lads in particular?
I've got my suspicions. There's a pair called the Blackburn brothers.
Can you tell me where to find them?
George. You're on my patch. I'll take care of it.
They haven't been seen since the night your friend met his death.
That makes me suspicious.
Will you leave it to me, George?
And there is nothing to be gained from you talking to Tommy Molloy.
Well, That's good enough for me.
Ah! My infinitely better half.
George, lovely to meet you. I'm going to embarrass you both now.
-You're the nearest thing my husband's got to a hero.
-Well, yes, that is embarrassing!
-Oh, he's coming. Danny?
Manners, young man. Look, visitors.
He has no speech, really.
But he can understand what you say.
When he wants to.
I'll go and get the rest of the lunch.
I had no idea, Alan.
He's a great lad.
Looks like a full-time job.
Well, he's a handful, but aren't all growing lads?
Pat does get worn out.
No respite care available anywhere?
He goes to the local kids' home every other weekend. They're very good with him.
-Is that why you're still here? After ten years?
-As opposed to being where?
Almost anywhere. The Met? I thought you'd be an Assistant Commissioner by now.
He's happy here, George. He's really happy.
I don't think London's the right place for Danny.
-Here you are, Danny.
What you got there, Danny?
He loves his aeroplanes.
He's not going to touch them, Danny, are you, George?
No, no, no, no. Aeroplanes.
-Mad about his aeroplanes, aren't you, Danny?
The thing is, George,
his whole world needs to be in order all the time.
Everything in order, or it throws him.
You've got some gaps here, Danny.
Yeah. We're trying to get him the complete set,
but they stopped printing them years ago.
It's good to see you again, George.
Good to see you too, Alan.
-How you doing, Danny?
It's the lad we had in the cells.
Well, why didn't you let me say something?
Did you believe all that stuff about the accidental death verdict being Lafferty's fault?
No. It was bullshit.
The Coroner's Officer always takes his cue from the police,
especially if he's a former police officer himself.
-He was bullshitting you about Molloy.
-Yeah, only about 100%.
So what's going on, huh? You knew Shepherd in London.
What, is he bent?
No. no. He's straight as an arrow.
So for Alan Shepherd to be sitting there blowing smoke in my face,
there's got to be a good reason. He's protecting somebody.
-It's a fair bet.
Can you remember the Blackburn lad's address?
Yeah, it's a farm up in the hills.
I'm Sergeant Bacchus, this is Chief Inspector Gently.
Not from round here, are you?
No, we're from Durham.
Mr Blackburn, isn't it?
Aye, what's wrong?
You have a son.
Take your pick. I've got two.
John and David.
All right, yes. Is David here?
Well, he's been sleeping rough. He's got himself into trouble for thieving.
Oh, aye? Well, he's not here.
-He was reported missing a while ago.
-Not by me.
-No. By his employers.
-Probably hiding from the police.
-Pair of them got drunk and smashed up the spastics place.
The what, sorry?
Where they put the spastic kids.
-The coppers come knocking on the door the next day.
-Your sons make a habit out of being hooligans, do they?
-They're animals, the pair of them.
-Were they charged?
-I've no idea. Mebbies. They haven't come back here, that's all I know.
Hang on a minute. So...you haven't seen them since the arrest?
-How long ago was that, you say?
You don't seem very bothered, man. They're off the rails.
-Don't you feel like doing something about it?
-They're not normal.
When they were bairns, if the game was the Japs and the English, wanted to be Japs.
Cowboys and Indians, they want to be the Indians.
I bought one of them a puppy for his birthday,
-the other one drowns him in the sink.
-Does it occur to you to give them a good hiding?
I've had the skin off their back many a time. Didn't make any difference.
No wife, Mr Blackburn?
She went when they were six. Wish I'd gone with her.
I'd like to take a look in David's room, if you wouldn't mind.
People don't know how to control their kids these days.
Bit young for nostalgia, aren't you?
Discipline... that's what I'm talking about.
What more do you want him to do? Chop their hands off?
-Nah, he doesn't give a monkeys, man.
-You didn't see the pain in his eyes?
What you looking for, anyway?
What's that about, huh?
"Ha, ha, you're a pansy, you cried like a bairn, I win."
-That's charming, that, ain't it?
Thank you, Mr Blackburn.
How old is your other son, Mr Blackburn?
16, just gone.
Does he like aeroplanes?
Aeroplanes? No. Why?
Just wondered. Would you like us to find him for you?
Not on my account.
-Can you remember which day they were arrested?
-20th of March.
You seem very sure.
-And do you know who the arresting officers were?
-Aye. Tommy Molloy.
-Do you know him well?
-He's up here that often he should have a season ticket.
Well, if either of your lads turn up,
would you call me at my office on this number, please?
So. On the 19th of March, China dies
of head injuries, delivered to...
-Are you listening?
Delivered to hospital by Sergeant Molloy.
The very next day, Sergeant Molloy arrests the Blackburn lads
and their father hasn't seen them since.
So what next?
I want to know what happened
when Danny Shepherd met the Blackburn lads.
What makes you think that?
Because the other half of Danny's aeroplane cards
were in a drawer in that room.
So what else is there? Get a search warrant.
We need to find those Blackburn brothers
and get a sight of their police files.
And if Molloy has got a season ticket to that pig farm,
there's got to be a file an inch thick.
See if you can get hold of that.
I'll go over Alan Shepherd's head, get formal permission to question Molloy.
Do you want to have a go?
Come on, have a go.
Come on, get up. There you are.
You can do it.
You see that. Hold onto that.
Put your hand up there. Yeah. See.
OK. Good try. You've got to let go.
Let's tighten this up. OK.
Hold onto that. Push that back.
OK, let it go. Whooosh! Good one.
Good cast. Put the brake on.
Good lad. He's got it.
It's all about relaxing.
There's no record of the Blackburn boys being arrested on 20th March.
And here's another thing. There's no record of their being questioned, cautioned,
or anything else in the last three years.
-There's no police file on them at all.
-That can't be right.
How come Molloy's got a season ticket at the pig farm?
I've got Taylor going through all the court and magistrates' records. They might tell a different story.
-But you better get up to that pig farm.
-Can't. I can't get a search warrant.
I tried three magistrates and they all say it's just a fishing trip, we have no evidence of any wrongdoing.
Do you want me to break in, Guv?
-Do you want to ask a different question, John?
-Can I have the afternoon off, Guv?
Don't get caught.
A small thank you from Raymond. And from me.
Oh... There was no need. Thank you.
Go on, open it.
I'll wait till I get home.
Don't forget dinner tonight.
Who are these men?
Why do you need a solicitor?
-Why not what?
-Why not have a solicitor?
-Why not have a solicitor what?
You have no right to a solicitor, you are not charged with anything. Please leave.
This isn't a union matter, nor a disciplinary hearing. Get out, please.
-But I've got a right...
-You haven't got a right to anything.
This is a police investigation into a suspicious death. Get out.
Why did you take everything from Mr Mates' pockets before getting him medical treatment?
-Who told you that?
I was looking for clues to his identity.
And you thought that was more important
-than getting him seen by a doctor, did you?
-Well, I just...
There are two hospitals in your town. The Sanderson and St Mary's.
The Sanderson is closer, but you drove him to St Mary's, why?
I wanted him to be in the best hands.
Best hands for him or for you?
I don't understand, sir.
Your wife was on duty at St Mary's that night
and she took charge of his care. That a coincidence?
All right. Well, your wife also told me that Mr Mates was dressed well
and did not smell of drink.
Why did you tell the Coroner he was a vagrant?
Because he was living rough in the old offices where I found him.
The Coroner's officer, now fearing that he was about to be drummed out
of the Brownies for the second time in his miserable life,
has very kindly supplied me with the contents of China's pockets.
Or at least as much as you decided to hand over.
A wallet containing two pounds, ten shillings.
A letter from his brother in Ireland, years old,
which is how he got his next of kin,
and some keys.
Now, why would a homeless man have keys?
You knew he wasn't a vagrant, didn't you? So why the lies? What happened?
-Did you break his nose, Sergeant?
-I think you did.
Did something happen between you and China?
Had he done something to get himself in police custody?
No. He was never in custody, I've told you.
You're lying to me.
-Was I whistling?
Don't mess me about, sonny boy, or I'll come over that desk
and smack your face.
Now, the very next day, you went to Higher Sutton Farm
and arrested John and David Blackburn, correct?
-What's that got to do with anything?
There'd been an incident at a care home. Somebody wrecked the kitchen.
The Blackburns had been causing trouble earlier on in the town.
So it seemed logical to question them first.
And they have a record as long as my arm as vandals
and all round public nuisances. Correct?
-No. Not correct.
There are no records of any inquiries into any offences
in the last three years by either of these boys.
So, once again, why are you lying?
Why are you interested in the Blackburns?
Here's how it works, Sergeant,
I ask the questions, you give the answers.
I don't know what you're talking about, sir.
-Why didn't you charge them with the wrecking of the kitchen?
-Because we had no witnesses.
All we could do was lock them up for a day, try and scare them a bit,
put the frighteners on them.
The frighteners? What's that mean?
They were beyond the law, the pair of them.
It was as if there was nothing you could do to stop them.
-Are we done now?
-No, we're not.
# Baby, I feel good
# From the moment I rise
# Feel good from morning
# Till the end of the day
# Till the end of the day
# You and me
# We live this life
# From when we get up
# Till we go sleep at night
# You and me, we're free
# We do as we please, yeah
# From morning
# Till the end of the day
# Till the end of the day
# Yeah, I get up
# And I see the sun up... #
# ..And I feel good, yeah
# Cos my life has begun
# You and me, we're free
# We do as we please, yeah
# From morning... #
Whoa! Whoa! Go and eat your swill or something.
# ..Till the end of the day
# Till the end of the day
# Till the end of the day... #
Superintendent Shepherd has a son, Danny, do you know him?
Yeah. I think I've met him, yes. Yes, I have met him.
Just...socially, I dunno, really.
What, you and your wife are friends of the Shepherds?
My wife and me...don't have a social life together these days.
We don't have any kind of life together.
You still love your wife, don't you, Sergeant?
The sun rises and sets cos of her.
Danny sometimes sleeps over at that care home, doesn't he? At weekends?
Was he sleeping there the night the Blackburns wrecked the kitchen?
This is a running total of the court appearances by juveniles
in THIS authority over the last three years.
Would you like to guess the number?
Not really. No. I've never been any good at guessing.
THIS is the corresponding information from your authority,
which has roughly half the population.
So you'd expect, what, about a thousand?
I've never been good at arithmetic either.
So, are the kids in your town particularly well-behaved, Sergeant?
Yeah. They are.
# Ahh, ahh, ahh
# Ahh, ahh, ahh
# I don't hear you knock upon my door
# I don't have your lovin' any more
# Since you been gone I'm a-hurtin' inside
# Well, I want you, baby by my side, yeah
# I'm cryin', I'm cryin'...
# Ahh, ahh, ahh
# Ahh, ahh, ahh... #
We meet again, David.
Bike is stolen, needless to say.
Er... He saw us inside the house, Guv.
HE MUTTERS TO HIMSELF
Now, tell us, where have you been
since Sergeant Molloy arrested you for smashing up that kitchen?
Apart from here, nicking milk bottles, that is.
Has your brother, John, turned up yet?
Aye. Your John. Have you any idea where he is?
There are numbers totted up on the wall beside your bed, David.
6, 12, 18, 24. What do they mean?
Six what, David?
Who cried like a bairn, David? Was it you?
Was it John?
It's all right. All right.
Get two officers in here.
Pick him up.
Hold him down.
All right. That's enough. Stop!
All right, you can go.
I don't want to be hit any more.
Nobody's going to hit you any more, David. Sit down, son.
Go on. You're all right.
Who did this to you, David?
Could you tell me?
Where did it happen? Can you tell me that?
Was it a police station?
The approved school.
-Get this lad to a hospital.
-Come on, David.
PE for psychopaths, is it?
Murderball. It builds character.
A lad named David Blackburn has been severely beaten.
He says it happened here.
We don't do beatings here.
He isn't one of your inmates.
So what's it got to do with me?
-Your wife seems nice.
-Yeah. We had a little chat with her earlier.
What? Mention your affair with Nurse Molloy? No. No.
But I will.
What you want to see is down here.
We call it the confinement block, but actually it's what was the punishment block.
It's not used these days, thank God. Well, not by us anyway.
But by somebody else?
Look, I just want you to know
that I think using violence against kids is barbaric.
My dad belted me when I was a kid.
Didn't do me any harm.
That's a matter of opinion.
Your wife says you're upping sticks and moving south. Why's that?
Because I came into this to set children free.
And instead I lock them up and teach them how to play murderball.
-I've applied for a post with the Probation Service.
-Told Mrs Molloy yet?
Abandoning ship, are you?
-Why don't you shut your face, Sergeant?
So, tell me.
-They were kept here.
They were being taught a lesson.
You see, there's a feeling abroad, a mood of anger,
a growing belief that the new methods,
you know, ponces like me with my first class honours degree
telling them to look at the child as a whole, that those ideas have failed.
That only one thing works, only one thing ever did work,
and it's time to bring it back.
And you know what?
Wellaby's probably the quietist, safest little town in England.
So where does that leave me and my sociology degree?
-And you're telling me that there was nothing you could do to stop this?
Write to the Manchester Guardian? Go to the police?!
Nah, you had something to lose, didn't you?
Your bit on the side. What was it he said to you?
That he'd tell your wife that you were shagging his wife?
That's exactly what he said, as a matter of fact.
He wanted his own key. Said he couldn't use the local nick like he normally did
and these rooms are separate from the rest of the school,
so he could come and go as he wanted, nobody would know what was going on.
What had they done that was so terrible that they had to be locked up for two weeks and flogged?
-I don't know. I didn't ask.
-Didn't care, you mean.
-So they were taught a lesson, then what?
-Last week, the key was given back to me.
What happened to the brothers?
Sent home, I suppose. To be better human beings.
Well, David Blackburn isn't a better human being, he's a gibbering wreck.
-And his brother's vanished off the face of the earth.
-I'm sorry about that, but that's not my problem.
You think not?
You should have done a degree in common sense, mate.
You've aided and abetted. And when we find John Blackburn, you'll be charged.
But, but, but, but what?
It's my career.
Ta-da! Sorry, better late than never, though, eh!
Oh, no, fine.
Yes? No? Maybes?
You say the nicest things, George.
So, good day?
Do I get a drink?
I don't like wine.
Bacardi and coke?
Well. I had a bad day, as well. I got the sack.
Back on traffic duties for me. Look out, A1, here I come!
Well, don't smother us with sympathy, George.
Why'd you get the sack?
Because, apparently, I talk too much.
-I'm getting this all wrong, aren't I?
I do. I do it. It's what happens.
I try a bit too hard.
It's not as if people haven't told us over the years.
I try and do the right thing,
I even think I'm doing the right thing,
but somehow, I always seem to end up doing the wrong thing.
How does that happen, George?
My son hates me because I left his father.
-For another man?
-Who left after three months.
I have made a complete mess of everything.
Shall you and I try and have a nice supper,
and to hell with the world for one night, eh?
I'd like that.
Yeah. Me too.
But I have to tell you, I am not a father for your son.
-I'm not a father for anybody.
-Well, I think that's a shame,
because I reckon you'd make a great dad.
The sort of dad who'd do anything for his kids.
Sir. I've got all the neighbouring forces on the lookout for John Blackburn,
but there's no joy yet. He's probably hiding somewhere, scared stiff, just like his brother.
You all right?
The lad's been missing a long time.
You don't have to be here for this.
Paul's applied for a job in Surrey.
Are you going with him?
-Did he ask you to?
Would you have gone?
You deserve better than this, Tommy. I'm sorry.
The world would be a painful place if we all got what we deserved, huh?
I love you, Terry.
-I just do.
I've been shagging another man for a year.
Not only have I been shagging another man for a year,
I've barely even bothered to hide it.
We all make mistakes.
You're the... You're the softest, daftest man I've ever met.
What on earth have you got to laugh about, eh, Tommy?
What is it, Tommy?
I've made a bad mistake, Terry. A bad one.
You're a disgrace to your uniform. You know that?
My husband is a good man.
"Good man? Good..." No. I don't want to hear about it, pet.
Yeah. Well, you're going to. My husband is a good man.
This country is going to the dogs.
It's turning into a horrible, frightening place for old people.
-I've heard it all before, love.
-..for vulnerable people. What are you doing about it? Eh? Or you?
Well, at least my husband, he has the guts to do something.
You know about his unusual methods for controlling crime, do you?
The whole town knows, Chief Inspector. They just don't know what it is they know.
You'll be late for work, love.
I'm not going to work. I'm staying here.
-Where's John Blackburn?
-Tell them, Tommy. It's time to start living in the light. Both of us.
All I wanted was to hear them say the word "sorry".
I wanted them to say sorry for what they did.
And to mean it.
I wanted them to understand what they did was despicable.
I thought it was the last chance they'd ever have to become
decent human beings.
# When I was a laddie I lived with me mammy and many's a hammer me mammy gave me
# But when I grow up I can hammer me mammy and serves her right for hammering me
# When I was a laddie, I lived with me mammy and many's a hammer me mammy gave me... #
I was trying to do the right thing for my town.
I went too far, didn't I?
What happened, Sergeant? Why can't we find John Blackburn?
You're late for school. The school of hard knocks,
where you will eventually learn discipline. And respect.
Out yous get.
Where's the body?
-I buried it.
-Up on the moors.
Get your coat.
I'd never find it. It was pitch black.
I see. Who helped you bury it?
Did it by yourself?
You don't believe me, do you?
You have to bury a body pretty deep.
Shallow graves always open up. The weather. Foxes.
A lot of digging for one man.
-How about the beatings? That all your own work as well?
One more question. If you had to describe Alan Shepherd...
..what would you say?
I'd say he was the finest man I ever met.
We have got GBH, false imprisonment, illegally disposing of a body,
-perverting the course of justice...
-You didn't believe all that stuff
about burying a body on the moors, did you?
-Where is he then?
Lafferty and Molloy served in this force together.
He knew Lafferty well enough to ask him
to cover up the facts of China's death.
I think that he asked the coroner's officer for another favour.
Excuse me. Have you got an appointment?
Don't need one.
A lad named John Blackburn is unaccounted for.
Have you got any unidentified bodies in your care?
Is this your son John?
I'm sorry. It seems he took his own life.
He tried the same thing twice after his mum left.
Never known a lad hate the world so much. Specially other kids.
Did you give your permission for what happened to your sons?
I couldn't cope with them any more.
Well, perhaps you'd better take a good look at what was done to him.
Body arrive in an ambulance?
I believe it was a police vehicle.
Oh, you do surprise me. Driven by whom?
Was it your old pal Sergeant Molloy?
No, it wasn't Tommy Molloy.
You really like this bloke, don't you?
He's an outstanding man. Outstanding public servant.
Do you want my advice?
Let me have those cards, will you?
He's upstairs giving Danny a bath. He'll be down in a minute.
He often talks about you, you know.
"If only there were a few more like George Gently."
George. Sergeant. Say "hello" to Mr Gently and Mr Bacchus, Danny.
Hello, Danny. I've brought something for you.
Oh, look, Danny!
Can you thank Mr Gently for me, Danny?
No, no. Careful, Danny, you'll squeeze the life out of him.
Shall we put them in order on the table?
Why don't you do that upstairs?
Yes. Come on, Danny. Say good night to Mr Gently and Mr Bacchus.
Danny, come on. Say good night...to Mr Gently and Mr Bacchus.
I'll be up to read you a story, Dan.
Where did you find them?
In a drawer in the Blackburn lads' bedroom.
Yes. You should have. Did they hurt Danny, Alan?
Why didn't you just charge them? Let the courts deal with it?
With Danny as the only witness? What chance was there?
So you decided on a different course of action?
I thought, "There'll be a spark of human decency in them.
"There's bound to be. Is in all of us."
I put them together with Danny in a room.
Let them see how much they'd hurt him. They laughed.
The younger one - who was the more vicious of the two - said...
Said - and I quote -
"You think a judge is going to take any notice of a window-licker like him?"
The kids from the care home, when they're taken out for a day,
they travel through town in a bus.
They often press their faces against the glass...
Some of the locals find it funny.
Did you authorise the beatings, Alan?
I not only authorised them, I carried them out.
Whatever Tommy Molloy has told you, it wasn't him. It was me.
Tommy's...too loyal for his own good. In all sorts of ways.
Why? What did you hope to achieve?
Corporal punishment was banned 20 years ago,
and for one very good reason - it doesn't work.
I'm surprised you thought otherwise.
But it does work, George. I hate to admit it but it does work.
-It's been going on for years here, hasn't it?
Have you never given a thick ear to some young lout
you've come across giving a mouthful of abuse to an old lady?
Yes. I have.
Have you never wished a magistrate could still order
six strokes of the birch on some little thug and thought,
"Yes, that is exactly what that kid needs at this stage in his life -
"something to pull him up short, make him think twice
-"before he does it again"?
-Yes, sometimes I have wished that.
Do you ever look at the world and think to yourself,
-"is society a better place because we no longer use violence on young thugs?"
I look at the world and I ask myself, "What does the law say?"
Never break the law, George? For the greater good?
-To try and get things right. To try and do the right thing.
And what is the right thing? How do we get it right?
I ask myself those questions every day. I don't know the answers.
-You've got a decision to make, George.
John Blackburn hanged himself because of what you did to him.
I had to break those lads, George. I had to,
-because of what they might say about Danny.
-Which was what?
Is this where China comes into it?
China got into this story the same way Pontius Pilate
got into The Creed.
Wrong man in the wrong place at the wrong time.
LAUGHTER AND JEERING
Oi, spacca, dance!
Check his pockets. In his pockets, man!
You've made the spacca cry!
You've got some cards!
Hey, hey, what's going on? Leave the lad alone.
Here's the rest of them. Look, here!
You ought to be ashamed of yourselves. Gimme those.
This way! The old cacker thinks he's the Lone Ranger!
Give him his cards back!
We haven't got them, man! He's got them!
-He's killed the Lone Ranger!
-Hang him, hang him!
Hang the spacca!
Danny doesn't know his own strength.
He's a gentle lad, but he can lose his temper.
And a court might not understand him.
He needs proper care, not to be drugged
and straitjacketed in some vile Victorian asylum.
I couldn't let that happen.
I had to try to break them so they would never tell.
Oh, you broke them all right, Alan.
I'll carry that with me to my grave.
But I won't say I'm sorry. It was my boy or them.
It's up to you what happens next, George.
But let me say this and then I'll be silent.
Without me, Pat will not be able to cope with Danny.
He will go into an institution and he will never come out again.
I just want you to understand that. That's all.
Guv. Let's go home.
Stand up, please.
I'm arresting you on charges of grievous bodily harm,
false imprisonment and perverting the course of justice.
You do not have to say anything,
but anything you do say may be used in evidence.
Do you understand?
Yes, George. I do understand.
I really do.
What do you think he'll get?
Dishonourable discharge. Probably a prison sentence.
Molloy the same. Takes more than one man to hold a lad down and birch him.
-You happy with that, are you, sir?
-No. I'm not.
It's not up to me or you or Alan Shepherd to decide who is
under the law and who's above it.
It was a cold night. China wasn't wearing a coat.
So he wasn't out for a walk, was he?
He had to have heard something. Gone to help Danny.
You wait in the car.
Evening. I'm sorry to trouble you. I'm a police officer.
We're carrying out an investigation.
It's nothing serious, but I wonder if I might come in for a moment.
Excuse me. Thank you.
Who lives here, do you know?
I've only just come here. An old man, I think.
-Ever seen him?
VOICES AND LAUGHTER
-Hold on tight, spacca!
"Dear Mr Gently.
"I have turned over a new leaf now, just as you told me to.
"You were cruel to be kind, and I thank you for it..."
Hey! Leave the lad alone.
"..Because I think I figured out how to do things right.
"I think you will be proud of me now.
"No more booze.
"I have a nice little place here, and will make friends I'm sure.
"Hope you are well and giving them villains a hard time as ever.
"Take care of yourself. No reply needed, you are busy, I know.
"Your old friend, China."
Subtitles by Red Bee Media Ltd
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