Tuesday 10 Dec 2013
Ashes To Ashes, starring Philip Glenister and Keeley Hawes, returns for a third and final series – and it's a real slap in the face for DI Alex Drake. Time-travelling copper Alex thought she'd made it home to the present day but wakes to find herself in a hospital bed back in 1983, having been shot by her boss, DCI Gene Hunt, three months ago.
Back in CID a lot has changed; Gene is on the run, Ray Carling has been promoted to DI and is running the show, DC Chris Skelton and WPC Shaz Granger have ended their romance and new discipline and complaints officer, DCI Jim Keats, is breathing down everyone's necks.
Jim has been sent by Scotland Yard to investigate the shooting of Alex, putting Gene and his team under the spotlight. But it soon becomes clear that Gene and Jim have history as Keats throws some unexpected light on past events. Jim's presence puts a strain on the team which is exacerbated when Gene is forced to turn in his badge until his name is cleared.
The team is investigating the kidnap of a young girl, Dorothy Blonde, who was abducted as her stepmother walked her to school. With a £50,000 ransom demanded for Dotty's life the team has to work fast. However, Dotty's father, David, wants to go it alone and when newly promoted Ray panics while running the sting, it seems the family may have been better off without CID's involvement. Gene is forced to put his career on the line as he's unable to stand by and watch a young girl lose her life.
Meanwhile, Alex is being haunted by the ghost of a young policeman and with a gentle nudge from Jim she decides her only hope of getting home is to discover the truth about Gene Hunt and unlock the dark secrets of the past.
DCI Gene Hunt is played by Philip Glenister, DI Alex Drake by Keeley Hawes, DI Ray Carling by Dean Andrews, DC Chris Skelton by Marshall Lancaster, WPC Shaz Granger by Montserrat Lombard, DCI Jim Keats by Danny Mays, Dorothy Blonde by Jadie-Rose Hobson, Marjorie Blonde by Tanya Franks and David Blonde by Simon Merrells.
Award-winning writer Guy Hibbert returns to the BBC with a powerful drama about two British women and their extraordinary journey deep into the hinterland of the Niger Delta – a beautiful but highly dangerous region of Nigeria. Blood And Oil boasts an impressive and diverse cast including Naomie Harris (Pirates Of The Caribbean, 28 Days Later), Jodhi May (Einstein – Eddington, The Street, Friends And Crocodiles), Paterson Joseph (Survivors), David Oyelowo (Five Days) and Peter Firth (Spooks).
In the remote jungles of the Niger Delta, heavily armed militants attack an oil installation, kill several security guards and kidnap four Western oil workers. A leading militant group is fighting for control of Nigeria's oil wealth and seeking reparations for the pollution of the Delta by foreign oil companies. Kidnappings of oil workers are common, and the ransoms generated are used to finance the group's operations.
One of the kidnapped workers is Mark Unwin. Back in the UK, his anxious wife, Claire, is assured by his employers, Krielson International, that his speedy release is a mere formality. As the kidnappings are motivated by money, the hostages are always returned alive and in good health. Nonetheless, Claire travels to Nigeria to seek her husband's release.
Ed Davis gives up-and-coming Krielson PR executive Alice Omuka the task of caring for Claire until her husband is released. Alice comforts Claire and the two women warm to each other. Almost immediately there is good news – Mark is to be freed the next day. Sensing a PR opportunity, Alice suggests that Claire could be present at the handover to greet her husband. But after journeying deep into the creeks to the handover point, they are greeted by a truly terrible discovery.
In the chaos that follows, the women discover that nothing is what it seems. Accusations are made by conflicting interests and life no longer appears safe. As the women dig deeper for the truth, Alice meets an inspirational local community leader, Keme Tobodo, who leads her to question her version of what she believes to be true.
Claire and Alice realise that they are being systematically lied to. But, why? Claire is stricken but determined to uncover the truth about the heinous events that have occurred and begs Alice to help her.
Mark Unwin is played by Tom Fairfoot; Claire by Jodhi May; Alice Omuka by Naomie Harris; Ed Davis by Paterson Joseph; and Keme Tobodo by David Oyelowo.
Claire's investigations into her husband Mark's activities before his murder lead her and Alice to a seedy bar frequented by oil workers, as Guy Hibbert's powerful drama concludes.
To her horror, Claire learns from perpetual bar slouch Malcolm that her husband was having an affair with Angel, a local girl. When she investigates further, Claire is told of her husband's involvement in a scheme to smuggle prostitutes to London.
Later, however, local journalist Noel insists this is just a ruse to get Claire to go home. He is certain there is a bigger secret to be unearthed.
Keme Tobodo is imprisoned and Alice threatens local military commander Tunde Toye in order to get him freed. She has made a powerful enemy – as she discovers when she is abducted by one of Toye's men. Alice manages to escape and returns to the hotel, where she finds pictures showing Noel's corpse. His shocking murder is a warning to her.
Determined to learn the truth about Mark's death, Claire and Alice go into the creeks to meet the militants who kidnapped him and his colleagues. After a terrifying journey into hostile jungle, they arrive at the camp. Held at gunpoint, they learn the shocking truth about what Mark had been planning and how gravely out of depth he became once corrupted by those around him.
Mark had been planning to blow up one of Krielson's oil rigs, to get the company to cease operations in Nigeria, thus allowing another company in, who would pay handsomely for the privilege. Krielson decided Mark had to be stopped. Toye, for his part, was only too happy to assist, as the discovery of the bodies would give him licence to strike back at the militants.
Alice and Claire finally return to the UK, keeping this revelation to themselves – Alice to preserve stability in the Delta, Claire to preserve Mark's good name. Behind the façade, Claire is left utterly bereft.
Months later, Alice returns to the Delta – but not in the employ of the oil company. This time she is working for Keme Tobodo. She is no longer part of the problem – she is part of the solution.
Claire is played by Jodhi May; Alice by Naomie Harris; Malcolm by Peter Firth; Angel by Abena Avivor; Noel by Nyahsa Hatendi; Keme Tobdo by David Oyelowo; and Tunde Toye by Getmore Sithole.
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