He Kills Coppers

Sunday 6 April 2008 9:00pm – 10:00pm

Mrs. Thatcher and Arthur Scargill hector the British public nightly from the TV. Battle lines are being drawn all over the country.

Tony’s career is on the skids – exiled from Fleet Street he now edits a tawdry magazine called Murder Monthly. When a publisher shows interest in his unfinished manuscript on Billy Porter, Tony knows this could be his final chance for genuine success. But the book needs an ending – he has to find Billy. Over the years he has continued his relationship with Lily Porter, pretending to care for her, all the while clinging to the hope she will reveal something new about her son.
When he discovers she has been receiving letters from Billy, Meehan finally cracks and all his pent up rage and anger spills over at being so deceived. In a fit of anger he lashes out and strikes Lily. The force of the blow, sends her reeling and she hits her head and dies.

Unrepentant, he searches her bedroom and under the mattress finds a stack of unsigned birthday cards. From the postcodes he works out that Billy must be part of the ever-moving new age protest trail. He almost has Billy in his grasp.

Frank has managed to keep climbing the greasy pole and is now a DCI. But the rank doesn’t bring the satisfaction he had anticipated. Jeannie wants a divorce and his son Johnny hates him. When he hears of Lily’s death he thinks this may be his last chance – perhaps Billy will show for the funeral. Tony laughs at his naïve optimism.

Billy has managed to lose himself in the new age travelers. So much time has passed that he is really starting to inhabit his new persona – Mick, the shy travelling artist who decorates the travellers’ vans. But the tone of the protesters is slowly changing – the hippy idealism is fading and a more confrontational element is creeping in. To bait the police they chant “Billy Porter is our friend, Billy Porter is our friend, Billy Porter is our friend – he kills coppers”. Billy is astonished – the man he had nearly forgotten has become an anti-establishment folk hero.

And then, out of the blue. a reporter called Tony Meehan shows up claiming to be doing a piece on the increasing militarization of the police. Billy clocks him immediately – he waits until dark and then grabs him by the throat – who is he and what does he want? Tony is overcome by emotion. He has been waiting for this meeting for nearly twenty years, he admires Billy so much, he wants to tell his true story, he just needs to know what was going through Billy’s mind when he killed the officers. Billy pauses. “Nothing, nothing at all…” And then he slits Tony’s throat.

When Frank realises that Tony has disappeared he follows his trail to the protest camp at Stonehenge. But Billy has already gone. However this time he has left a trail and Frank’s policing skills come to the fore. He works out that Billy has decamped to a squat in Vauxhall.

Billy knows the end is nigh and welcomes it. He gets himself a gun. He cuts his hair and beard and transforms back into the Billy we recognise from 1966. When the squad cars arrive at the squat he is ready for them – a gun in his hand and a hostage held by the neck. He is going to do this on his own terms.

An unarmed Frank runs into the building. He is finally face to face with Billy – this is the moment he has waited for, for nineteen years. The two men look in each others eyes – each sees a mania that he recognises. As they hold the face-off an SO19 officer breaks in and shoots Billy dead. It is all over.

Frank sleepwalks away from the squat and over Vauxhall Bridge as London awakes – he heads towards the West End and an uncertain future.

Sunday 23 March 2008 9:00pm – 10:00pm on ITV1.

DC Frank Taylor is an ambitious police officer fresh from the advanced course in Bramshill and only weeks away from his dream job with the Flying Squad. He’s a natural born cop. His temporary secondment to the clean-up Soho squad is just a brief detour on his rapid career path. His old mate Jon Young is on the team too – they‘ll have a laugh, just like the old days.

Posing as gullible punters they meet the beautiful clip joint hostess Jeannie. Both men have an immediate, powerful, unspoken sexual attraction to her but getting involved with a tart is a sure way to mess up your career – as is Jon’s insistence on investigating Jeannie’s allegation that the club regularly pays bribes to West End officers.

Frank suspects that Jon and Jeannie have slept together and a potent mix of jealousy and self-interest make him determined to sort this mess out on his own terms. He gets Jon transferred out of Soho and away from Jeannie, much to Jon’s disgust. With Jon out of the picture his true motives become clearer – his growing obsession with Jeannie overwhelms him and he risks everything just to sleep with her. Jeannie tells Jon about the liaison and Frank and Jon’s friendship is shattered beyond repair.

Life hasn’t treated Billy Porter well since his national service in the Far East. The army wouldn’t give him a full commission and a civvy job doesn’t come easily to a young man with a borstal record. Seven years in prison have isolated him even more and a life of crime seems to be his only option. But even this frustrates him. His mates Jimmy and Stan are pathetic losers content with small jobs on bookies and petrol stations. Billy wants more – and he’ll use force to get it. A big job is planned and this time Billy will use a shooter.

Tony Meehan has a way with words – and an obsession with violent murderers – perfect qualifications for a casual reporter on one of the more salacious red tops on Fleet Street. His quest for a full time job is greeted with a distinct lack of interest by his editor. Stories like the arrest of the hostess Jeannie at the clipping joint make good copy but if he wants a full time job he’ll have to come up with something a lot juicier than that. His own continuing battle with his sexuality leads him to haunt public toilets and the meat rack at Piccadilly Circus in search of a connection but his desire is always overcome by his innate self-disgust. This is a man on the edge – his brutal attack on a man in a public toilet in Whitehall is just a glimpse into the dark soul of this troubled man.

The lives of the three men are finally inextricably linked on the day after the World Cup Final.

When Stan’s van is routinely stopped by a three police officers on the road near Shepherd’s Bush, Billy’s boiling fury finally erupts. He grabs for his gun and calmly mows down the officers one by one.

Tony is the first reporter to arrive. He is thoroughly exhilarated by the scene of appalling carnage that greets him – he grabs the camera from his photographer and starts snapping away furiously, capturing for perpetuity the mangled bodies of the dead officers. Tony is dragged away from the scene by a furious Frank, who has just arrived. When Frank returns to examine the carnage properly he is horrified to see the lifeless face of Jon staring back at him

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