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Low Winter Sun (Channel 4 Thriller, Mark Strong, Brian McCardie)

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The streets of Edinburgh set the scene for this dark two-part drama thriller starring Mark Strong and Brian McCardie.

In the kitchen of a Chinese restaurant a man is murdered, drowned in a tank of live lobsters. He is Detective Sergeant Brendan McCann (Robert Willox). His killers are detectives Frank Agnew (Mark Strong) and Joe Geddes (Brian McCardie), McCann’s partner. After the sudden disappearance of his girlfriend, Sinada (Irene Bagash), Agnew enlists Geddes’ help to eliminate the man he believes had a hand in her murder. So together the two detectives strap McCann’s body into his car, dump it in the sea and concoct an elaborate cover-up plan, confident that when the body is found, suicide will be the obvious verdict. They are clever.

But then another body is discovered in the boot of McCann’s car and Agnew finds himself leading an investigation into a spate of murders. When the police complaints commission get involved it occurs to Agnew that Geddes had more reasons to silence his partner after all. Soon DC Daniella Bonetti (Neve McIntosh) starts to suspect foul play, but only Geddes knows the extent of his dead partner’s corrupt dealings and why he had to put an end to it.

As the police complaints commission closes in, it emerges that DC Geddes’ dead partner, DCI McCann, was involved with local criminal brothers Val (Michael Nardone) and Liam (Alex Ferns) Carnegie, both well-known to the police, but who have always managed to evade criminal charges because of their connections with corrupt coppers. DS Agnew struggles with the realisation that his missing girlfriend Sinada may have also fallen foul of the Carnegie brothers. Meanwhile, DC Daniella Bonetti (Neve McIntosh) and DC Kenny Morton (Burn Gorman) unearth the true extent of the Carnegie brothers’ empire, as DC Geddes decides to once again take the law into his own hands and try to extricate himself from the nightmare once and for all. Will Geddes bring Agnew down with him, or will he manage to put an end to the Carnegie brothers’ reign of vice over the city, and the force?

Mark Strong also starred in a US remake in 2013, this stretched the storyline to 10 episodes. This was developed by Chris Mundy from Simon Donald’s original concept and story. Lennie James took the role of Joe Geddes.

Cast: Mark Strong (Frank Agnew), Brian McCardie (Det Con Joe Geddes), Paul Higgins (David Westwood), Burn Gorman (Kenny Morton), Michelle Duncan (Louise Cullen), Neve McIntosh (Det Sgt Daniella ‘Dani’ Bonetti), Michael Nardone (Val Carnegie), Vincent Regan (George Torrance), John Sessions (Prof Barry Lennox), Robert Willox (Brendan McCann), Mercedes Grower (Marilyn), Irene Bagach (Sinada), Alex Ferns (Liam Carnegie), Burt Kwouk (Mr. Gim Yeung), Fiona Bell (Sheena Baille), Jimmy Chisholm (Billy Lannigan), Richard Conlon (Adrian Elliot), Paul Donnelly (Soco officer), Fat Frank (Eugene), Gareth Glen (Man), Caleb Grummet (Boxer), Niall Macgregor (John Hoey), Michael McGrady (Brendan McCann), Shonagh Price (Pauline), Ralph Riach (Mister Gillot), Douglas Russell (Gary)

Writer: Simon Donald / Producer: Rhonda Smith / Executive Producer: Greg Brenman / Director: Adrian Shergold

UK / Channel 4 – Tiger Aspect / 2×90 minute episodes / Broadcast 14-21 September 2006