Hullo loves! Welcome to Paranoid, another British program from Red Production Co. of Happy Valley and The Five fame, starring several actors from favourites such as Scott & Bailey, Happy Valley, Game of Thrones, River, Doctor Foster. I'm telling you: it's got EVERYONE. Rolling S1:E1 after the break!
We open at a playground in a park. Lucy Cannonbury (Lesley Sharp from Scott & Bailey!) is watching the kiddos and smiling with a book in her lap, right up until an oddly dressed grunting man walks by her and sets everyone's ears up. He starts stabbing a woman who's pushing a little boy on a swing, what the bloody hell? In broad daylight?? In front of kids?? Lucy grabs the boy and runs
We're at the station house now, and Nina Suresh (Indira Varma from Game of Thrones!) is flirting with Alec Wayfield (Dino Fetscher) about his organic-Manchester-ian hairstyle. Bobby Day (Robert Glenister from Prime Suspect and A Touch of Frost!) doesn't have time for their Shakespearean carrying on; he and his hamster bladder are needed in the washroom. Bobby's got a lot on his mind and a lot IN his arteries, I'd wager, he looks like he's about to pass out.
Michael Niles (Neil Stuke - from Doctor Foster!) swans in just then, Nina checks with her boss to see if Shakespeare on the job constitutes a toxic work environment. He doesn't want to play either, but it's just as well as everyone's phones start ringing at once.
The murdered woman has been identified as Angela Benton (Emma Bishpham from Shameless and Corrie!) and even though 22 people saw the hooded man stab her, nobody saw a face. The detectives split up to interview all the witnesses, a reluctant Bobby gets Lucy.
Lucy knows quite a bit about the mums in the park and their schedule, she owns a cafe nearby and she knew Angela slightly from there. Bobby's not interested in her observations of the suburban set, he'd like to know about his morning, please. She gives an exact description of his movements; has she got a memory thing? No, she just likes to be present.
I swear, not rolling my eyes, but Bobby just stares
She's so present that she starts asking him some questions about HIS life, and so far has been the only one to notice that he's in extremis. She invites him to some Quaker meetings (like the pilgrims? or like the oats?) but he quickly declines (he's not having panic attacks, he never even said so!!) and raises his voice to show just how masterfully he's got himself under control.
Small aside... much is made of the victim being murdered in front of her son, but really, it was BEHIND him, thank the gods and wee boarlets, I think that would be scary even for a child actor to see.
Well now, that's odd, Bobby is being filmed secretly while outside the station.
Nina is interviewing the bereaved husband Luke Benton (William Flanagan from absolutely nowhere, according to IMdB he appeared out of a puff of smoke to portray Luke Benton as his sole role) oh WAIT! That's the wee lad! I'll dial back the attitude. This must be Eric Benton (John Duttine and he could stand a little updating on his IMdB, couldn't he? 70s beard in full swing and about 12 years old, ANYWAY, where were we?) and he's Angela's dad. Luke's father is abroad and Eric will not have Luke taken away by the likes of him!
Alec and Bobby have been searching the house while Nina's been interviewing, they pop in to ask what happened in the kitchen? Eric breaks down again, there was a gas explosion and Angela and Luke were very lucky that they weren't killed.
This is either a Final Destination sitch or a pattern. Nina and I have our ears up.
The detectives are back at the scene of the crime, Bobby's spacing out staring into the bushes, someone's watching them. Nina will take his mood swings, but "don't go getting paranoid" ohhhhhh. And they have a name of a violent paranoid schizophrenic that lives nearby: Jacob Appley.
Jacob Appley (Richard Kelleher) isn't home but his brother Henry (William Ash from Shameless and Scott & Bailey!) has already been found by his neighbours and beat up a bit. It seems Jacob is the sole violent paranoid schizophrenic I've ever heard of that never goes off his meds, he "waits to take them." Where does he go?
Sergeant Niles is giving the staff briefing, everyone's looking in various places for Jacob Appley and they must advise everyone to take the strongest precautions. Everyone will be watching after this horrible murder in a child's playground.
Alec's on the hunt for Jacob's psychiatrist, Dr. Crowley (Michael Maloney of The Five and River!!), but ooooh, the good doctor knows our Alec! In a creepy creepy way (getting inappropriate vibes) and he doesn't want to give information this evening, he's had a few glasses of wine. He didn't think anyone would want to talk to him tonight? What? On the evening after one of his patients MAY have gone on a rampage?
Oh no, wait, he was sleeping, and what is this guy's problem? He's almost frantic with worry that someone will blame this murder on him for releasing Jacob; this is the least-together mental health professional I've ever seen! And I've seen some doozies. You could almost say he's...
Nina comes rushing up to the bar, she's late but she's here to give her boyfriend's dad a kiss! Dennis (Jason Done) who isn't having it. He breaks up with her on the spot, he promised himself he'd do it tonight. She can't believe her ears! They're been together for four and a half years and she's late, not...But he's been planning it for awhile; ignoring her protestations that you don't date a woman in her thirties without taking it seriously. He struts off and she looks so alone.
I need to address that immediately: there is very little that annoys me more than someone saying that there is a timeline for relationships for women in their thirties, as though women "go bad" or spoil or what? Dry out? What about dating in forties and fifties? Are men supposed to come to the first date with a ring? Pfft.
Well it seems our Lucy had quite the effect on Bobby, he's shown up to be present with the Quakers while smiling at her. Hmm
Alec finds a distraught Nina in her car and fills her in on the progress, she doesn't care, piss off Alec. Did she miss the party? She missed the party. She cries and he climbs in while she works through a laundry list of grievances against Dennie: she's going to hit him. Not without Alec there, she's not. He's not getting out of the car. He doesn't want her to lose her job.
Bobby and Lucy are awfully chummy, aren't they? Going for a walk after the meeting, shoulder to shoulder, discussing his panic attacks. He can't control his anger at things that used to not bother him; amplified buskers and people like Jacob Appely's neighbour attacking Henry. "Life has claws. You know it never used to have claws."
Would he like a cuppa? He would like someone to sit with him for a while. Now THAT'S the shite I expect from a psychiatrist.
Nina goes straight for Dennis, she'll change, she can do better! This has been a wakeup call! He sloughs her off but she doesn't want to let it go yet, so she carries on and Alec gets out of the car in case she hits Dennis. Instead, she stares at Dennis while plaintively crying "I want children! I want children!" and I suppose that's the loophole to my "dating in your thirties rant."
Bobby and Lucy have found Jacob Appley; he's jumped off the wall and he is no longer a threat to society.
Bobby's in to see his mental health professional, Dr. Parcival (Shobna Gulati); she's concerned about his anxiety and decides to add medication for that to his anti-depressant. Lucy mentioned specifically not dealing with the panic attacks with drugs, so it's not a surprise when he looks at them and puts them in his pocket outside.
Again, someone is watching and following him.
During the next squad briefing, Nina and I notice a very attractive young female PC eye-cuddling with the big boss, who dat?
Nina thanks Alec for his help the previous evening, he suggests she try to look at things from Dennis's point of view to try and figure it out. You know, step inside his skin. She doesn't want to be inside his skin, she wants to "peel it from his bones" and NOW I see my Ellaria Sand from Game of Thrones!
Bobby has come to see Lucy for that cuppa now, young Luke is there happily playing in a sand box.
I have to mention, because I feel I would be remiss if I didn't: when Lucy grabbed wee Luke at the park, I wondered if she didn't have something to do with it, so she could get the kiddo. I know it's whack, but now that the lad is hanging at her cafe, I had to say something. I'm probably just...
Lucy fills in a little more detail about the approach of the murderer, it seemed as though he knew Angela, she mentioned that to the detective who came by last night. Last night? Who dat?
It seems none of the detectives went to see Lucy last night, it must have been whomever is stalking Bobby. Niles is kind of a jerk, isn't he? Calling Lucy a weirdo (sneaking in another jab at his young PC pal) and suggesting she's lying as her evidence is too good. He sends Nina after her, let's see what they can dig up.
Alec and Nina are tag-teaming Lucy, but she's as calm and exact as ever. Detective Galen asked her essentially the same questions they wanted to ask her, her recall is bringing the detectives ears up. Plus he asked some really good questions, apparently, was there anyone else around? Did Dr. Benton (she was a doctor!) have anything with her? No and no and it's Nina's turn.
She hits hinky Lucy straight out the gate, asking why she would read somewhere noisy like a park. Lucy proves to me that she has no idea what she's talking about when she says "traffic is noise. Children aren't noise." Spoken only as a non-parent with limited time among the young can.
Nina asks for a description of the faux detective, Lucy starts with "genuine" which pisses Nina off. That doesn't help. Oh but she does have real information, height, build, hair system, etc. Alec tries to step up for Lucy, knowing the detective came across as convincing and professional actually IS helpful but Nina will not be undermined by her Shakespeare-quoting junior. Button it. The only other thing Lucy can remember that might help is that he had all his questions written down.
Bobby lays into Nina after, she didn't have to crucify Lucy like that. Nina's had enough of Lucy, her eye-cuddling with Bobby and her careful evidence. She thinks "Quaker sex-bomb" Lucy is looking for attention.
Back at the station, Bobby's sulking to Alec about how cruel Nina was to Lucy so Nina decides to announce her newly-single status to everyone in excruciating detail. Then blames Bobby for it.
The fictional Detective Galen has gone to see seven more witnesses, so Nina has to admit that Lucy wasn't lying after all. Who could have seen that one coming? Alec doesn't want to call him Detective Galen, it will direct their thinking. I suggest they call him Boaty McBoatface! Or the Ghost Detective, sure, fine.
They're reviewing the Ghost Detective's questions as young PC CutiePie makes her way through the office with a pile of mail, including a large parcel marked Bobby Day. Ah, CutiePie is Megan Waters (Anjli Mohindra - I don't know her but she was on Holby City, where a new storyline has some friends of mine VERY excited!) and inside the box is a series of cards, starting with
The detectives are back to see Eric Benton again, what happened in Angela's past? Angela met Luke's father in Dusseldorf, but he's reluctant to give Alec his name. Eric's much more upset this time, hmmm. He says Angela doesn't have a computer, come on now! What century is this set in? A doctor without a computer? He scares off the rest of the team with chest pounding, but Bobby stays behind to get the scoop. Luke's father's name is Rueben Laghana (it's not in IMdB so I got fancy).
Nina's still fixated on her lost relationship, but I'd say she got out when she should have. That tosser Dennis kept promising to have children "next year. After we're settled" and she's clearly better off. Alec's giving her a pep talk again while she complains that she's always been good! Never did the casual thing and perhaps if she had, she wouldn't have been so intent on keeping that loser and feeling entitled to a good relationship when she was clearly willing to settle for much less.
I fear Nina and I will not be going out for drinks any time soon.
She pumps herself up for a bit then makes the move we've known was coming since their first scene: she plants one on him and leaves without letting him formally reject her.
A stunned Alec (he really should have seen that coming) flops into his car to be startled by Dr. Crowley knocking at his window, he's prepared a packet of information about Jacob. It seems Dr. Crowley has a past with Alec's mother, oh ho!
The information he brought is about psychopathic schizophrenics in general, mostly, Alec wants to know how a schizophrenic that doesn't typically feel regret would kill himself? Another confusing talk from the doctor, essentially there are no objective tests for schizophrenia. What?????????? I'm off to confirm that is shite, be right back. That's shite, there are recognised behaviours accepted across the board and you certainly wouldn't treat someone with anti-psychotics if you weren't sure, would you, creepy Dr. Crowley?
Dr. Crowley offers to see Alec's mum, to reassure her that he wouldn't try to mess with Alec and I don't follow but I'm sure it will become clear in the fullness of time.
Alone at the station late at night, Bobby takes his anti-anxiety pill.
It's the slightest bit awkward in the office the next morning between Nina and Alec, they decide to pretend it didn't happen, or it did and he can't be understanding, he has to be a jerk and ANYWAY: he's dug up a detective from Dusseldorf to Skype with.
Detective Linda Felber (Christiane Paul) is more than happy to speak with them, entirely too happy and entirely too chatty all togetherl. They leave the Rueben LeCana (see? I can just spell it however I want!) investigation in her hands.
Det. Felber is a bit of a nut, yeah? Climbing into Rueben's yard in the middle of the night to peer through his windows, she doesn't even have backup! It seems she doesn't need backup anyway, Rueben is floating dead in his pool.
Bobby's found more things in that package delivered earlier, I'm confused. Wouldn't they have given that to the forensics team since someone clearly has a bunch of knowledge they don't? There's a DVD of him being watched and another card that says "YOU HAVE NO IDEA WHAT YOU ARE UP AGAINST"
And that's it, we're out and done our first leg of this 8-part series. Until next time, cheers!