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Ghost Squad (Channel 4 2005, Elaine Cassidy, Emma Fielding)

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Crime drama series. Amy Harris works in a secret police unit thought by many to have been disbanded years ago. Her job is to go undercover as a regular policewoman rooting out corruption and prejudice amongst the police. Recruited to the Ghost Squad by the tough and highly successful Detective Superintendent Carol McKay, her new and powerful boss – they soon clash when Amy doesn’t tow the party line. Amy’s shadow and support in the Ghost Squad is Pete, a thrill-seeker with a dangerous edge. Depending on each other in the edgy world they inhabit, theirs is a relationship that is always electric.

Undercover for weeks or months on each case, the set ups are costly, and Amy can’t afford to fail. But what is success? In the complex world of political expediency nothing is clear cut. This was billed as an 8-part series but in the end the final 2-parts were shown as a combined double length episode and the series actually debuted one week earlier on Channel 4’s digital channel E4.

production details
UK / Channel 4-Company / 6x60minute episode 1x120minute episode/ 15 November – 27 December 2005

Creator: Tom Grieves / Executive Producers: George Faber, Charlie Pattinson, Tom Grieves / Directors: Dan Percival (episodes 1-3), Charles Palmer (episodes 4-5) and Richard Laxton (epsidoes 6-7) / Producer: Chris Clough

cast
ELAINE CASSIDY as Amy Harris / EMMA FIELDING as Detective Chief Superintendent Carole McKay / JONAS ARMSTRONG as Pete Maitland / CAL MACANINCH as Det Insp Mike Pearce / DONNA ALEXANDER as Kate / BROOKS LIVERMORE as Billy

THE EPISODES

SEASON ONE  15 November – 27 December 2005 | Tuesdays @ 10.00pm

1. ONE OF US (Broadcast Tuesday 15 November )
Amy Harris (Elaine Cassidy) loves being a cop and thrives on everything the job throws at her. But then the routine arrest of a young Asian man, Rakesh Homaine, turns into a murder investigation when Amy finds him alone in the police interview room beaten, battered and drowned in his own blood. Working against the clock and desperate to clear her name, Amy uncovers a level of endemic corruption in her station that forces her into a decision that will change her life forever…

Writer: Tom Grieves
Director: Dan Percival

 

2. HARDCORE (Broadcast Tuesday 22 November 2005 @ 10.00pm)
Amy , The Ghost Squad’s newest recruit, is thrown in at the deep end investigating a team of cops who’ve been working undercover for months, tracking a network of sex traffickers. But Amy’s boss, Detective Chief Superintendent Carol McKay believes that one or more of the team have changed allegiances. The team, headed by DI Mike Pearce, are expecting a hidden consignment of 30 young Eastern European girls to be shipped into enforced prostitution. The cops work is dangerous and extreme, and Amy can’t help but be impressed by the level of self-sacrifice these officers are making in order to maintain their covers. For Amy, this is policing like she’s never seen before.

In fact Mike, Kate (Donna Alexander) and Billy (Brooks Livermore) are so deep undercover Amy can never be absolutely sure which side they’re on. McKay watches Amy’s personal engagement with this team with a growing unease. Worried that Amy will take things too personally and put the secrecy of the Ghost Squad at risk, she instructs Pete (Jonas Armstrong) to watch and look after Amy very carefully. Amy may have got close to these tough, seemingly devoted police officers, but someone has betrayed them and it is her job to uncover who, and why.

Writer: Tom Grieves
Director: Dan Percival

 

3. HEROES (Broadcast Tuesday 29 November 2005 @ 10.00pm)
Sergeant Ralph Allen is an old-fashioned, no-nonsense copper; or a “dinosaur” according to McKay. She suspects he is bringing the force into disrepute and needs removing. Amy’s task is clear: get close to him, prove that he’s abusing his position and get him kicked out. Amy goes undercover to pair up with Ralph and follow up the disappearance of tearaway Danielle Parker, a teenage member of a notorious girl gang that runs amok on the local estate. Ralph doesn’t seem too bothered about the missing teenager, but when his friend Eddy is viciously attacked by Danielle’s crew, Ralph becomes determined to bring the gang to justice. But Amy finds that, despite his gruff appearance, Ralph is dedicated to his job and intent on making a difference for the community he serves. She starts to feel uncomfortable with McKay’s desire to remove him from the force.

Meanwhile McKay, who has asked Pete to spy on Amy, discovers that Amy is having an affair with married Deputy Assistant Commissioner Robert Townsend . Is Amy leaking information about The Ghost Squad to him? McKay orders Pete to bug Amy’s flat and plots to split them up…

guest cast
Brendan Coyle as Sergeant Ralph Allen / Jamie Cymbal as Eddy / James Weber Brown as Deputy Assistant Commissioner Robert Townsend

Writer: Tom Grieves
Director: Dan Percival

 

4. THE GREATER GOOD (Broadcast Tuesday 6 December 2005 @ 10.00pm)
Detective Chief Superintendent Sally Marshall is a rising star in the force and head of a Serious Crime Squad. But her clear-up rate is suspiciously high and there’s concern that she’s been cutting corners to get results. And cutting corners could mean framing suspects… With Sally in line for promotion to Commander, McKay is asked to find out if there is anything that the police should know before making such a high profile promotion. Amy is sent in to find out if Sally has any dirty secrets. Amy joins Sally’s team alongside DI Ian Sinclair (Paul Ireland), to investigate the brutal murder of a young woman.

Their prime suspect is Keith Warren, arrested for a similar crime 18 months before. But the evidence was circumstantial and Warren walked free. This time, Marshall is determined to nick him. But is she willing to break the law in order to get her man and win herself the promotion she craves? And matters become even more complicated when Amy spots Sally having lunch with Robert, Amy’s senior police officer boyfriend. Amy begins to realise that she has unwittingly become a pawn in other people’s political games.

guest cast
Clare Holman as Detective Chief Superintendent Sally Marshall / Paul Ireland as Det Insp Ian Sinclair / James Weber Brown as Deputy Assistant Commissioner Robert Townsend / Stuart McQuarrie as Keith Warren

Writer: Tom Grieves
Director: Charles Palmer

 

5. FIREWALL (Broadcast Tuesday 13 December 2005 @ 10.00pm)
The Ghost Squad is a powerful and fast-paced drama dealing with the murky morality of policing the police. Amy has three targets within the Witness Protection Unit: DC Richard Ellis, DS Tony Sharpe and DS Jimmy Franks. One of them is corrupt and desperate to prevent Brendan, the sole witness to a murder, from giving evidence. Without him, the murderer, Warren Cole, walks free. Amy is assigned to work alongside them, finding herself baby-sitting Brendan in a safe house, giving him constant reassurance that he’s safe and doing the right thing. But when a funeral wreath with Brendan’s name on it is delivered, the atmosphere changes. Amy and Pete (Jonas Armstrong) are most suspicious of Jimmy: he’s secretive, his behaviour is unpredictable and he has repeatedly slipped their surveillance. And the plot thickens when Pete finally manages to keep tabs on Jimmy: he follows him to a meeting with a certain DCS Carole McKay…

guest cast
Neil Bell as DS Tony Sharpe / Jason Flemyng as DS Jimmy Franks / Paul Popplewell as DC Richard Ellis / Tony Maudsley as Brenda

Writers: Bamber Afzali, Tom Grieves
Director: Charles Palmer

 

6. NECESSARY MEANS (Broadcast Tuesday 20 December 2005 @ 10.00pm)
PC Sarah Houghton works for the Community Safety Unit, and her profile suggests she’s a good cop and dedicated to victim support. But the Financial Crimes Unit have found irregularities in her bank account. Large payments are going in and out, well beyond the salary of a police officer. McKay thinks it’s a money-laundering scam and Amy’s job is to find out where the money is coming from. The girls get on well, but Amy soon finds that Sarah isn’t the most popular officer in the chauvinistic station. Her commitment to victim confidentiality means refusing to share intelligence with the Serious Crime Unit, headed up by DS Vinny Thomas.

As Amy investigates deeper, she uncovers a ring of deception centred round Vinny – dealing drugs and involved in an abusive relationship with Sarah. Needing to be accepted as one of the lads on the team, Amy realises that the only way to get closer to Vinny is to betray her friendship with Sarah. But as the pressure on Sarah from the rest of the station to join them becomes increasingly heavy, Amy realises that she is unwittingly forcing an innocent policewoman to break the law.

guest cast
Neve McIntosh as PC Sarah Houghton / Joseph Millson as DS Vinny Thomas

Writer: Declan Croghan
Director: Richard Laxton

 

7. COLOUR BLIND (Broadcast Tuesday 27 December 2005 @ 10.00pm )
The Ghost Squad two hour feature-length series finale sees Amy Harris take on Gus Philips; he’s handsome, charismatic and one of the few black Detective Inspectors in the Metropolitan Police. Gus has been accused of sleeping with his informant, Geeta Patel, dealing drugs, pimping prostitutes and using the local estate as his own personal kingdom. But at first Amy can find no evidence to substantiate the allegations. The case seems to be going nowhere until PC Terry Dewhurst is savagely murdered by a gang of black youths on a housing estate. Terry was one of the officers who had made the allegations about Gus, and was killed on the estate where Geeta lives and where Gus trawls day and night. Amy thinks it’s just a horrible coincidence, but Pete and McKay wonder if Gus had Terry killed to silence the accusations.

As the murder investigation gets underway, Amy finds that her attraction towards Gus makes it impossible for her to believe that he could be corrupt. But Pete is convinced that Gus is playing Amy. And when an envelope containing compromising photos of Gus and Geeta arrives on Amy’s desk, it seems all the accusations that she has so vehemently denied could be true. Has Amy made a terrible mistake? And her fears are compounded when she learns that Gus has been interfering with the suspects in Terry’s murder. He’s been to see gang members Pedro Collins and Mickey Borne in their cells, unaccompanied and without Murder Squad permission. But were the photographs of Gus and Geeta all that they seemed? Are Pete and McKay trying to frame an innocent man? Is The Ghost Squad itself a corrupt unit?

guest cast
Adrian Lester as Det Insp Gus Phillips / Samantha Schefele as Geeta Patel / Shane Attwooll as PC Terry Dewhurst

Writer: Tom Grieves
Director: Richard Laxton

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