Wednesday, July 26, 2006

BBC America Thriller: Murder City

You may recognize this actor from the awful “Love Actually,” but BeansTalk knows him as Nick, from the Robert Lindsay/Zoe Wannamaker Brit sitcom “My Family.”

The glossy, fast-paced Murder City, peppered with dark humor, stars Amanda Donahoe (L.A. Law, The Madness of King George) as tough, methodical detective, Susan Alembic, and Kris Marshall (Love Actually, Doctor Zhivago) as Luke Stone, her highly creative, unorthodox junior partner. Luke’s unconventional ideas set him apart from the rest of the team, but Susan realizes it’s sometimes his unique approach that unlocks the mystery. Working closely with the rest of the busy inner-city murder squad, their investigations bring them face to face with tormented pasts, grim secrets and deadly deceptions as each grisly discovery puts their own lives in jeopardy.

Murder City premieres Thursday, August 17, 9 p.m. ET/10 p.m. PT.

Susan and Luke make a killer team in ten, brand new cases. In the first, Luke uses complex math equations to stalk a lunatic murderer while Susan learns to trust a showboating clairvoyant. Then, when a fractured skull is found at a construction site, they have to unravel a long-closed multiple murder case involving a tangle of killings driven by sex, love, money, and vengeance. The third case sets Luke on the trail of a golden thong, which ultimately leads to a stolen baby ring. The next case leads them to a sacred religious society, the Magnati. The fifth murder case looks like a gang turf war at first, but turns out to be a family affair, while the final one is about a chick-lit writer who ended up with Mr. Wrong. Throughout all, Susan tries to curb Luke’s wild streak, while Luke sorts out his feelings for Annie in Pathology. And their boss, Turner, while sometimes impressed by their brilliant police work, remains most impressed with efficient staff members who save the department money.

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“Murder City shows promising signs of feeding the mind as well as the eye. Certainly it manages to be an original police series which is something like the perfect crime.” The Guardian
“Excellent casting of Kris Marshall and Amanda Donohoe as Luke Stone and Susan Alembic.” The Scotsman


D.I. Susan Alembic Amanda Donohoe (L.A. Law, The Madness of King George)
D.S. Luke Stone Kris Marshall (Love Actually, Doctor Zhivago)
D.I. Adrian Dumfries Geff Francis (Waking the Dead, Bad Girls)
D.C. Frank Craven Connor McIntyre (Drop Dead Gorgeous, The Jury)
D.C. Alison Bain Laura Main (The Forsyte Saga)
D.C.I. Turner Tim Woodward (Poirot, Murphy’s Law)
Dr Simon Dunne Alexis Conran (Wire in the Blood, Band of Brothers)
Dr Anwar ‘Annie’ Parvez Amber Agar (Green Wing)

Writer Robert Murphy
Directors Sam Miller, Richard Spence, Ashley Pearce
Producers David Boulter, Tony Dennis
Series Producer Francis Hopkinson
Executive Producer Andy Harries


Episode One
When Jennifer and Billy Gilmartin return home from a party, they find their teenage daughter, Grace, is missing and her bedroom covered in blood. While detectives Susan Alembic and Luke Stone are meeting with the family, a psychic, Calvin Moran, arrives at the Gilmartin house claiming that Grace is alive. Luke discovers that Calvin has done time for fraud and he tries to discredit him. The Gilmartins ask Luke to leave, but not before Calvin predicts Luke’s death is imminent.

Cut to Schwartz-Briscoe Futures. Brandon Healy, a young futures trader, is working late at his desk when an arrow fires into his throat, killing him. As Luke looks over the company’s security tapes, he can’t understand how there could be no footage of anyone entering or leaving the building before or after the murder.

Back at the Gilmartin’s, Susan runs through the last conversations Grace had in an online chat-room. Detective Adrian Dumfries checks Billy’s alibi and discovers he left the party for an hour. Led by the psychic, Susan also unearths a long-dead body that is directly tied to Grace. There are now three more directions to pursue, but which one leads to the killer, assuming Grace is in fact dead?

Meanwhile, Luke finds an unlikely witness in front of Schwartz-Briscoe Futures, one that leads him to the arrogant, openly hostile Dylan Forbes, an actuary for the company. Could Dylan have used his probability and math skills to beat the security cameras?
Episode one premieres Thursday, August 17, 9 p.m. ET/10 p.m. PT.

Episode Two
Just as the team is investigating a skull found at a construction site, they get news that an elderly woman has been stabbed to death in her bedroom. When Luke is investigating the crime scene, he wonders why she didn’t pull the alarm cord by her bed. Did she know her killer? When he notices that her son, Michael, dressed in a rush and has wet hair, he arrests him. But Michael has a rock-solid alibi. Luke’s boss, Turner, takes him off the case, and sends him to investigate the skull.

Luke wastes no time getting a facial reconstruction of the skull and sending the image to the press. Meanwhile, Adrian has found a bloody earring in the elderly woman’s bedroom which points to another family member.

A woman has responded to the image released to the press. She says this man killed her sister, and that she distinctly remembers a conversation in a taxi where this man said he just got a hole in one. Luke latches on to this – surely the identity of this man will be found in golf course records. A visit to the club leads Luke to his prime suspect, but while visiting his home, it’s the suspect’s wife who gets Luke’s attention and moves the investigation in another direction.
Episode two premieres Thursday, August 24, 9 p.m. ET/10 p.m. PT.

Episode Three
When a body, severed from the waist down, is found at the dump, Luke traces the victim’s upscale gold silk lingerie to a small list of clients, eventually ending up at the victim’s apartment. Her name is Victoria, and a neighbor recalls that she left the apartment with a man late Saturday night, looking very drunk.

Back at the dump, Victoria’s arm is recovered. A skin sample under her nails leads to her sister, while the semen found on her lingerie points to her sister’s husband. Clearly there is something going on within the family, but when the team finds a huge amount of cash in Victoria’s apartment, they head to Victoria’s office, a language school.

When the team notices a connection between the cash overflow and a number of pregnant women at Victoria’s language school, the investigation takes a shocking turn.
Episode three premieres Thursday, August 31, 9 p.m. ET/10 p.m. PT.

Episode Four
When a gallery owner is found drowned in the trunk of his car, the team heads to his business and his ransacked apartment, where they find a smashed bottle of beer, expensive perfume and casino chips.

Meanwhile, a disheveled man has confessed to five murders, but at least one of the victims had a heart attack. What should they do with him? Adrian decides he can help with the tedious job of piecing together the beer bottle for prints while he gets to the bottom of the mystery.

At the casino, Susan talks to the casino owner, while Luke interviews a femme fatale, Rosa, in the ladies’ room. She claims to know nothing, but her perfume is just one clue that she’s the dead man’s lover. As the investigation moves from the art world, to the casino, to the realm of religious artifacts, Susan grows increasingly concerned about Luke’s compromising relationship with the elusive Rosa.
Episode four premieres Thursday, September 7, 9 p.m. ET/10 p.m. PT.

Episode Five
A drive-by shooting on a busy street in north London looks like a gang turf war, but the bullets didn’t stop once the gang target was shot. One of the dead found in the aftermath is Thierry Vasseur, a middle-aged, wealthy businessman. Luke is intrigued when the blood spatters in Thierry’s car are not consistent with a bullet in his head. When forensics reveals that Thierry was being poisoned, his wife and daughter become the prime suspects.

The name of health freak and jazz fanatic, Ken Hill, comes up more than once during the investigation. Ken has been recorded on the phone with Thierry making drug deals, and, even though Thierry’s wife, Ellen, denies knowing him, he has been photographed at jazz shows with her.

When Luke and Susan pay Ken a visit, he goes crazy, and is about to throw Luke off the balcony when he collapses from a heart attack. It’s hard to believe that a drug-dealing health nut would be sampling from his inventory. Is it possible that he’s also being poisoned?
Episode five premieres Thursday, September 14, 9 p.m. ET/10 p.m. PT.

Episode Six
A voice-over tells us that the stylish young woman we see on screen is looking for Mr. Right, but cut to a hotel bedroom and the same girl is on the bed with a lover — a single bullet through both of their heads.

From a credit card, Luke and Susan identify the woman as Karen Hartson, but they can’t identify the man, although he looks familiar. They learn that Karen had rented the same room on six occasions in the last three months, always on a Wednesday afternoon: Karen and her lover would have been simple enough to track, but which was the target?

Back at the station they realize the male victim, Alan Scobie, was a witness in a case. The trial is set for a week’s time, is it possible that the suspect had him shot? Susan investigates the case working back from Alan, while Luke tries to get into Karen’s head. When he finds a novel in progress at Karen’s apartment, it’s a great place to start.
Episode six premieres Thursday, September 21, 9 p.m. ET/10 p.m. PT.

Episode seven
When the dead body of a woman is thrown from the top of an apartment block, killing a man below, his fiancée, Lucy, is the only witness. Investigating the murder of the first victim leads Susan and Luke to a dating agency for married people.

The last person who saw the woman alive was Mark Drummond, a regular at the dating agency, so Susan goes undercover to ensnare him. But the investigation takes a turn when a shocking coincidence is revealed — Drummond and Lucy’s father know each other.

Susan finds herself in a dangerous situation. Drummond is telling her lies, and even worse, she’s falling for him. When Luke discovers that whoever pushed the woman off the roof meant to kill the man below, all signs point to an old family friend.
Episode seven premieres Thursday, September 28, 9 p.m. ET/10 p.m. PT.

Episode eight *note new time*
A 17-year-old girl, Bethany, is found dead at boarding school. It looks like she slit her wrists, but when bloody footsteps are found leading away from the body, Luke thinks they might be looking at assisted suicide — or even murder. When it’s found that she was pregnant, the girl’s best friend leads Luke to their teacher, Julian McDowell. He’s got an alibi, but he won’t tell them what he was doing during the murder.

Meanwhile, Susan is trying to solve the murder of Vernon Duffy by firing squad. Duffy was recently acquitted on a rape charge because of a police error, so the husband of the victim is Susan’s prime suspect. When the husband’s alibi checks out, Susan realizes that her next suspects might be the jury for the rape case. Could they have taken it upon themselves to exact revenge?

Luke and Susan now know that Julian was a member of that jury, which was why he would not reveal his whereabouts. Moving on, Luke discovers the person Bethany trusted the most — the same person who threw him off scent at the start of the case — is responsible for her demise.
Episode eight premieres Thursday, October 5, 10 p.m. ET/PT.

Episode nine *note new time*
When Greg is run over by a red car, it looks like it was done deliberately. His wife is set to gain financially from his death, so she becomes the prime suspect. But when the owner of the car, Adam, turns up, something doesn’t fit.

Meanwhile, a woman makes an emergency call from Ryan Everett’s apartment when he’s been shot in the head by a sniper outside his window. He’s young, rich, handsome — but not dead, like they thought. When Susan talks to him about possible enemies, she gets the feeling he’s hiding something. The investigation reveals that Ryan is a gigolo, and that he owes lots of money to Adam — but for what?

Ryan was not always a gigolo, so a look at his past relationships may be the key to what he asked Adam to do, and why.
Episode nine premieres Thursday, October 12, 10 p.m. ET/PT.

Episode ten *note new time*
A student, Alice, is found strangled in her apartment. Her boyfriend, Jamie, is a prime suspect, but when Luke and Susan go to interview him, he’s making out with her mother.

Meanwhile, across town, a man has been shot dead and the gun has disappeared. When they visit his girlfriend’s apartment, she’s nursing a hangover with the gun in her hand. She doesn’t know whether she’s shot her boyfriend, Sam, or not. It’s up to Luke to prove she didn’t.

When Jamie’s alibi doesn’t check out with the time his girlfriend, Alice, was killed, Susan and Luke go to pick him up. A hotel towel makes Luke think that Alice’s murder is connected with Sam’s. Not only was Alice a cleaner at the hotel, Luke also learns that Sam’s friends, Tony and Joe, lied about visiting the hotel on the night of the murder.
Episode ten premieres Thursday, October 19, 10 p.m. ET/PT.