Episode 3

Friday, 23 January 2009, 9:00PM on ITV1

The ‘accident’ occurs early evening at Gilberts Funfair. As the wheel turns with most seats taken, the last few customers get aboard and we pick out a very pretty teenager, Vicky. She is laughing and joking with her friend sitting beside her. The wheel begins its slow turn as the two girls get to the very top and now all seats are occupied. The wheel picks up momentum, and to screams of horror and terror the young girls safety bar comes loose. Both young teenage girls cling on as the team working the wheel shout for them to stay still. We see one of the fairground workers climbing up the wheel when Vicky topples from her seat and crashes to the ground below.

Connor and Satchell are winding down a case when Satchell gets a visit from a distant relative. He has never mentioned to anyone that part of his family on his mother’s side were not exactly travellers but had Gypsy connections. Teresa Southwood (Madame Zorna, fortune teller) turns up at the station. He has never met her, and knows little of this side of his family, and is very embarrassed.

Teresa asks Satchell to help her because due to the accident the funfair is in dire financial straights. She swears that the big wheel had been checked and double checked, and that it was not an accident but someone had tampered with the swing seat and loosened the screws on the safety bar.

Why would anyone want to do that?

Pops’ youngest grandchild, also called Tommy, although only a teenager, is a seasoned fairground kid. Tommy was part of the team over-seeing the Big Wheel when Vicky died.

The lease on the land, the owner and his son want to develop the land, but with a further ten years on the lease, and in a legal contract to Pops, they can’t sell.

Pops has had visitors making threats and told them to get stuffed. Teresa wants the police to investigate, and she implies that it was not an accident but murder.

Satchell has a word with Connor. She dismisses anyone from her team being able look into the situation. Satchell believes they should at least show some kind of ‘interest’ but again Connor refuses. No murder has occurred, but a tragic accident they cannot simply step in as a murder squad.

Satchell, in his free time, visits the Funfair. He talks to the group of men who run the Big Wheel, and they are adamant that all safety checks had been done. Even the young fifteen-year-old grandson Tommy says that he was there for all the checks which they do every day the fair is open for business. The Big Wheel is still not allowed to run until health and safety have finished their enquiry. The wheel is a big money spinner and out of action and the bad publicity the fair is not doing any business.

Satchell has a lengthy talk to Pops who, like his men, swear they were over-cautious regarding the wheel. Pops is sure somebody had tampered with it as he had refused to negotiate and sell the lease.

Satchell reports back to Connor, and again she is adamant that they can have nothing to do with the situation. She warns Satchell not to get too involved, if he wants to make enquiries on his own time that’s his prerogative but not as a Met officer. He should talk to the health and safety department and get their results.

Connor and Palmer discuss Satchell’s connections to the fairground and especially to Madame Zorna. Without mentioning it to Satchell they arrange an evening out at the funfair.

They walk around the funfair, buying candy floss and Palmer hits with a sledge hammer the weight target to ring a bell and gets a huge teddy bear. Although just having a ‘nose around’ they are never the less not exactly sight-seeing, but they are very interested by Madame Zorna’s booth and that she is the connection to Dave Satchell, something he has kept very quiet.

Connor has her fortune read, and is taken aback by the quiet rather frightening woman. Mrs Southwood is very good, and reading the tarot cards gives Connor a shiver.

Connor and Palmer board the Ghost Train. As it does its rather tacky journey there are some trailing cobwebs and skeletons, but the screams get to fever pitch when a massive spider swings across the train and right behind the spider and falling across the empty seat in front of them is the body of Pops. His head has been smashed with a sledge hammer.

Connor now has the murder enquiry. This new development closes down the funfair. It is also a nightmare of an enquiry as there were so many punters around, and trying to ascertain who saw what is problematic.

Walker can’t believe it – Connor and Palmer on a ghost train. Never mind the implications of their connection via Satchell.

Satchell is questioned by Connor again, and he is angry saying he had even warned them that the ‘accident’ was a murder. Connor now has no alternative but to link the accident and subsequent murder of Pops as one case. This is due to the fact that swing that broke causing the accident had loose screws, yet the mechanic swears he checked it before the evening. Tommy is also questioned and he says he even sat in the chairs to make sure the bars were safe.

Connor begins the mass of interviews and also meets with the health and safety team for more details on their report. The motive she believes has to be the lease situation, so the owners of the land become the prime suspects. The more she delves into the ‘accident’ the more she begins to suspect the Big Wheel was tampered with and the tragic result was the death of the young teenage girl.

The post mortem report on Pops – the blow to his head had not killed him, he actually died of a massive heart attack. Somebody therefore moved his body to the ghost train ride.

Walker and Connor thrash out the case to date – it’s very complicated, They can charge someone for moving Pops’ corpse to the Ghost train, for wasting police time etc but if they can prove without doubt the big wheel was ‘tampered with’ and resulted in the death of a teenager then that will become the main focus of a murder investigation. Has Pops’ murder merely been an illusion?

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