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Wednesday 29 Oct 2014

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Missing series two: characters

Mary Jane Croft – Pauline Quirke

Mary Jane, or MJ as she likes to be known, is passionate about her work as head of the Dover Missing Persons Unit. Her experience in the under-resourced MPU has taught her that standard police procedure doesn't always get results. She's had to learn to be part family liaison officer and part psychologist.

But, even when cases are solved, MJ knows there's not always a happy ending. Sometimes people just want to disappear. She also knows the emotional impact of losing a loved one all too well, her sister Ellen walked out of her life 15 years ago, but now MJ has been given a second chance with her and they are slowly rebuilding their relationship. But it is fragile and the reappearance of their father Jack is likely to upset the delicate balance.

MJ still feels guilty about what drove Ellen to go missing and, in the intervening years, she has channelled her energies into a successful career – but at a high price.

Jack Croft – Roy Hudd

Jack Croft, MJ's father, is a young 75 year old, an exuberant man, full of energy. He's something of a rogue and has always been unreliable, although he manages to combine this with a twinkly-eyed charm – a lethal combination.

To most people Jack seems a friendly, likeable man. MJ, however, is more cynical and knows that underneath he has a cold, hard streak. She hasn't discussed their troubled family past with anyone, least of all sister Ellen, who she hopes to protect from some rather unpalatable truths. However, Ellen tracks Jack down and invites him back into their lives.

For Jack his motives are both selfish and genuine but, as ever, his way of doing things and inability to tell the truth lead to potentially destructive conflict. When he gives MJ a conciliatory present – a necklace – she discovers it is stolen and Jack's protests that he has been wrongly accused drive a massive wedge between his daughters' fragile relationship.

Jason Doyle – Felix Scott

Jason is young and ambitious. He was always one of the lads, not afraid to bend the rules if it meant getting a result. But this attitude got him into trouble in the past and, in order to smooth out his rougher edges, he was transferred to MJ's Missing Persons Unit. He has now matured into a key part of the MPU team and has been selected by MJ to take his sergeant's exams.

For Jason, Missing Persons was a stop-gap before bigger and better things, but his bravado disguises a thoughtful mind and an ambition to do well. His relationship with his colleague Amy falters as he now focuses on what he has to do to reach his professional goal – and Amy, he decides, is an unwelcome distraction who does not feature in his plans.

Amy Garnett – Pooja Shah

Amy is a tech-head. CCTV, photo-ageing, phone-tracing, bank searches – you name it, she can do it. A civilian, hired in as a specialist, Amy gets a buzz from working for the police and the MPU allows her to indulge her passions, although she has a healthy scepticism for the force and its obsession with protocol.

When Jason suddenly and unexpectedly ends their relationship, Amy struggles to cope with her emotions. The fall-out affects her work and this does not go unnoticed or unremarked in the office. But, when Jason suffers a personal crisis, Amy is there for him without question. Has he made a big mistake ending things so soon?

Danny Hayworth – Mark Wingett

Danny quit a long-term career as a crime reporter to host his own show on Radio Dover. After initial worries, he has now established himself in his new career, but knows it's a hard slog to keep the ratings up.

Danny and MJ go way back – MJ was one of his many police contacts and their professional rapport naturally grew into friendship. They often confide in each other after hours over a whisky or two. But Danny is having a midlife crisis and, when his wife turfs him out, a night on MJ's sofa turns into many more and tests their friendship to breaking point.

Danny's journalistic vein runs deep – and sometimes his need for a good story also crosses the line.

DCI Christine Ford – Adjoa Andoh

After a rocky start, MJ and DCI Ford now often collaborate on inter-departmental cases – DCI Ford more than willing to utilise the extra resources and specialist skills the MPU can bring to bear on a case. DCI Ford is now MJ's direct line manager – an additional burden on her already heavy workload.

Ford isn't impressed by MJ's maverick style, but she manages to keep her in line. However, when a suicide on police premises means she must launch an internal inquiry into the running of the MPU, Ford's already difficult relationship with MJ is put under even greater strain.

DC Josh Kemplin – Jamie Belman

Josh Kemplin joins the MPU as part of his officer training scheme. Bright, cocky, self-assured and incredibly charming, MJ is suspicious that he has been planted by Ford to spy on her department.

Amy is warmer towards him and even accepts a date. Jason's initial frosty welcome thaws as he gets to know Josh and they bond when MJ sets them to work together on a case. Jason thinks he might have found an ally, however he's yet to realise how ambitious and manipulative DC Josh Kemplin can be.

When Jason is finally put in charge of his own case Josh appears to be supportive, but his advice steers Jason in a direction that could ultimately threaten his whole career.

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