Sunday, December 16, 2007

BLUE MURDER - CRISIS MANAGEMENT

Jill Halfpenny, Richard Fleeshman and Katy Cavanagh guest star in the Blue Murder episode Crisis Management on Monday 17 December 2007 @ 9:00pm on ITV1.

The crime drama starts when K Troop are about to be redeployed overseas. A young female soldier sneaks out of a barrack party and meets her lover by the sports pavilion outside the base. The couple, Cathy Covington (Freya Parker) and Mike Blatt (Kevin Wathen), stumble over the body of Ray Pettigrew who has been beaten to death.

Having escaped from a house full of children, Janine (Caroline Quentin) is waiting for her friend in a bar when a handsome stranger, Tim Fairhead (Nick Reding), offers to buy her a drink. Janine asks Tim, “What do you do?” He responds “Health and Safety. You?”, to which Janine replies “I’m in crisis management.” Janine is interrupted by a phone call sending her to the nearby army base. Before leaving the bar she gives Tim her number. Arriving at the base, Janine and the team are introduced to Major Tim Fairhead. Not surprisingly this creates mutual embarrassment and some definite chemistry.

The investigation gets underway with Major Tim offering support from the Special Investigation Branch. Richard’s (Ian Kelsey) nose is out of joint, as he’s jealous of Tim, particularly in light of Janine’s obvious attraction towards him. Richard questions whether Tim and Janine have a conflict of interests, but Janine brushes him off.

The victim, Pettigrew, wasn’t particularly popular and had recently failed Gunner Tracey Duff (Lucy Gaskell) in a physical fitness test, which meant she probably wouldn’t be deployed overseas.

Lt. Rosie Parr had also come to his attention when a solider was injured on a live firing exercise. Parr was exonerated from blame in the incident, but Pettigrew had made comments about her. In addition Pettigrew’s wife Geraldine (Kathy Cavanagh) reveals she was in massive debt from internet gambling. Cathy is found brutally attacked outside the base. It looks as if Pettigrew’s killer may have tried to kill again, though Cathy survives.

Janine’s interest in Tim hasn’t gone unnoticed by Shap. Richard’s prejudices against ‘army plod’ officers’ leads him to rekindle a contact in journalist Kate Malin (Angel Coulby) when he feels the army are giving him the run-around.

When tyre tracks near Pettigrew’s body are traced to Sgt. Mark Turton (Neil Fitzmaurice) he's arrested. His wife Shirley (Carol Starks) arrives, claiming she had taken the car to the pavilion to meet Pettigrew, with whom she was having an affair. Shirley also says Pettigrew had asked her for money to pay off his wife’s debts.

Though Shirley has given her husband a motive, the DNA on Pettigrew’s body isn’t his and the detectives are back to square one. Reluctantly Turton is released, but questions remain. Richard is frustrated with the investigation and Janine’s closeness to Tim. Shap, for his part, is enjoying the attention from one of the female soldiers.

In trying to identify the DNA found on Pettigrew’s body we meet Sgt. Jackie Holroyd (Jill Halfpenny), her sixteen year old son Ben (Richard Fleeshman) and fourteen year old daughter Bethan (Larner Taylor). Jackie is about to be deployed with the regiment. While she’s away Jackie leaves the children in the care of Mark and Shirley Turton. Janine and Jackie bond over single motherhood and the difficulties of juggling work and family life. We then discover Mike Blatt is Tracey’s boyfriend, providing Tracey with a motive for both the attack on Cathy (jealousy) and Pettigrew (revenge). We see Tracey talk to her young teenage friend Ben. The investigation focuses on her, not least when she is found in possession of Pettigrew’s wallet.

Janine invites Tim round for dinner with the children. Their romantic evening is interrupted by the news Tracey has been found dead in woodland not far from the base. She’s taken an overdose of painkillers. Or did someone want her dead?