The Bletchley Circle

Thursday, 20 September 2012, 9:00PM – 10:00PM

Episode three:

At the Meredith Hospital Susan (Anna Maxwell Martin) is met by a man named Andrew Croft (Steven Robertson). He explains that they are being transferred to a new building and he’s the last to leave. Croft leads Susan up to his office where he tells her that the man she’s looking for, Dr Tremaine is retired, but he says he does remember the patient Malcolm Crowley.

Andrew Croft becomes more and more intrigued by Susan, especially when he realises how she ended up at the Meredith Hospital and how she pieced the puzzle together all by herself. Andrew Croft then says something which alarms Susan and she realises that her patterns have lead her here because she is in fact sitting opposite the killer. Andrew Croft IS Malcolm Crowley. As soon as she realises who he is, Susan makes her excuses and leaves. Crowley watches her go. Susan rushes back to Millie (Rachael Stirling) and Jean (Julie Graham) and tells them what happened. She can’t believe that she was face to face with the killer and he just let her go. They head back to the Meredith Hospital with a policeman and the excuse that a man stole Susan’s handbag and ran in the building with it. But when they reach Crowley’s office, the place is completely deserted. Susan returns home, she’s a mess and Timothy (Mark Dexter) is furious. Tonight was the memorial dinner for the man who saved Timothy’s life in the war. Although Susan is desperately apologetic, it is yet another incident, which just adds to the cracks in their relationship.

Susan goes back to see Cavendish (Simon Williams) and asks to see Crowley’s whole file, not just the bits that he was happy to show. Susan believes that there is something in Crowley’s past that will help them find where he is now. Eventually, Cavendish agrees to try and retrieve Crowley’s file from the archives, if that will help them find Crowley. When Susan arrives home there is a parcel waiting for her. It’s a book by Ovid. Susan freezes. Before she left Crowley’s office he recited something to her in Latin. She calls the women and between them they work out the relevance of the quote that Crowley repeated to Susan and its connection with the book by Ovid. It’s clear now that Crowley’s obsession with Susan has begun and the women vow to be very careful from now on.

Some days later when Susan is at home, Timothy gives her that day’s paper so that she can complete the crossword. But not only is it not their usual paper, the crossword has been completed, except for three answers. Susan realises that the three blank answers are the same as Cavendish’s house number – she tries calling him but there’s no answer. Once Timothy and the children have gone to the lido, Susan head’s straight out of the door and goes to see Cavendish.

At his house Susan discovers Cavendish has shot himself – it looks like suicide. Susan calls the women and they come to join her. They’re horrified, upset, and Lucy says she can’t bear to see another dead body – every night she still relives the sight of Mary Lawrence lying dead in the cellar. Susan, Millie and Jean force themselves to go into Cavendish’s study to see if they can find any clues in there. It’s clear that Cavendish must have been on to something, he must have been getting close to finding out where they could find Crowley and that must be the reason why Crowley killed him. Susan notices a stack of pictures on the desk. These are the pictures that Cavendish and his men produced in the war, which he told Susan he was not proud to have been associated with. Susan thinks it’s strange that Cavendish had been looking at the pictures and wonders whether there might be a clue in them. She also notices a stack of personnel files from Electra House in the desk drawer, and Crowley’s is missing.

Susan reports Cavendish’s death to Wainwright (Michael Gould) who tells her she should stop whatever investigation she is doing for her sake as well as Timothy’s. Following Cavendish’s death the women think very hard about whether or not to continue to try and find Crowley, but they know that if they don’t, then he’s just going to move on somewhere else and more girls will be killed.

The women’s investigation resumes. Susan is looking through the pictures she took from Cavendish’s study and in a separate pack she finds the ones that Crowley worked on after he became trapped in the rubble when the bomb destroyed the building he worked in. Susan notices that all the faces in the pictures are of the same woman.
Jean, Susan, Millie and Lucy visit Angela (Anastasia Hille) to see if she can help them find out who the woman in the pictures was. It was Julie Oakwood. Julie Oakwood was Crowley’s unrequited love, he was trapped with Julie’s corpse for three days and it is the very incident that fundamentally changed Crowley into the killer he is. The women believe that this is what Cavendish had discovered and that Julie Oakwood is the key to finding Crowley. That night, Susan is working late into the night when Claire (Jocelyn MacNab), her daughter comes downstairs. She’s adamant that the bogeyman is outside the house, watching her and she can’t sleep. Susan assures her there is no one there but is clear that this has really unnerved her.

The next day the women find a telephone number for Julie Oakwood’s father and believing that there must be a connection between Julie, her family and where Crowley can be found, Susan phones the telephone number for him. She tells the women that she’s going to see Mr. Oakwood as he remembers someone called Crowley hanging around Julie. Susan says that she will go alone because she doesn’t want Mr. Oakwood to feel overwhelmed. As Susan leaves the library we see her take Millie’s gun out of her bag and slip it into hers.

Susan arrives at the terraced house that she believes Julie Oakwood’s father lives in. And down in the cellar of the house is Malcolm Crowley, the same man that she came face to face with at the Meredith Hospital. Crowley had planned this all along. He killed Cavendish and planted pieces of information, which would ultimately lead Susan to him. When Susan called the house, it was Crowley who answered and who threatened to harm her family if she did not go to him. This was his ultimate plan, to die with Susan and replicate the time when he almost died with Julie Oakwood. Susan is in the cellar of the house with Crowley, he has a grenade in his hand and a wire runs to a munitions box of explosives. He draws her closer and asks her to put on the perfume, the same distinctive perfume she smelt around Mary Lawrence’s body. There is no escape for Susan as she sees Crowley start to pull the cotter pin from the grenade. Is this the end for Susan?

Thursday, 13 September 2012, 9:00PM – 10:00PM

Four ordinary women with an extraordinary flair for code-breaking and razor-sharp intelligence skills are the focus of ITV’s new murder mystery drama, The Bletchley Circle.


Susan (Anna Maxwell Martin) attends Mary Lawrence’s funeral. She returns to the women in the back room of Jean’s (Julie Graham) library that has now been transformed into a full-scale investigation room. The women now believe that the killer is either a guard or a ticket inspector who has worked on the stopping service from St Pancreas to Barking.

The women manage to narrow their list of suspects down to just three men but without doing a vector analysis (a very lengthy process used at Bletchley) they won’t be able to reduce the possibilities any further. With the police appealing for help from the public and only a few days until the killer is due to strike again, the women decide that Susan should take their information to Scotland Yard so that the police can investigate the three men and find out which one is the killer.

At Scotland Yard, Chief Constable Wainwright (Michael Gould) is called into another meeting and Susan must discuss her theory behind their three suspects with D.C.I. Compton (Simon Sherlock). Unfortunately, D.C.I. Compton is really only interested in hard evidence and dismisses her information as just ideas. Susan gives the names of the three men – Tommy Casterwell, Anthony Cross and Gerald Wiggins to D.C.I. Compton but she knows that he hasn’t taken her seriously.

With the police not listening to Susan and her friends, they realise it is now up to them to stop the killer before he takes his next victim – which according to the timetable he has been working to, will be in 3 days time. They decide to do a vector analysis on the data they have for the murders and this uncovers a very significant detail. Every aspect to do with the first murder is exactly the same as the last, there is no variation at all – it’s as if when the first girl was murdered, the killer already knew what he was doing. The women think that perhaps the murderer has killed before, perhaps in other parts of the country. Jean and Lucy head to Colindale Records Archive to see if they can uncover articles from the past about similar murders outside of London. Meanwhile Susan and Millie decide to do their own investigation by talking to the wives and neighbours of their suspects under the guise of selling house insurance. The information they gain from Mrs. Casterwell (Sarah Finigan) and Mrs. Cross (Joanna Brookes) is enough for them to rule out those two men as suspects, however, when they talk to Mr. Wiggins’s neighbour, they realise that Gerald Wiggins may indeed be the killer.

All the women meet back in the library and Jean and Lucy relay their discovery. They found seven other cases of murdered girls in other parts of the country, which are exactly the same as the murders in London. The murderer has killed before but he has also set up other men to take the blame, because other men have either been hanged or committed for life for the crimes.

Jean recognises that many of the skills that the killer is demonstrating are reminiscent of those used in a special department in the war called Electra House, which dealt with forgery and deception. She tries to track down the name of the head of the specialised department through an old colleague Angela Barker (Anastasia Hille), but she denies all knowledge.

Susan goes to see Chief Constable Wainwright to tell him about the other murders but before she has a chance to explain, Wainwright informs her that the police did follow up on the names she gave D.C.I. Compton and they have arrested Gerald Wiggins. The police found enough evidence to connect him with all three of the murdered girls but they are not making the arrest public until they have a full confession. Susan is distraught, this is what she feared would happen, and she was too late.

With the police no longer looking for the murderer and also withholding information about the arrest of Wiggins, the women realise they have no option but to try and lure the killer out themselves. They know the exact train line and time of train where he is due to strike, and they know what kind of women he is looking for, so at Lucy’s behest she puts herself forward to be the bait. The women help to dress Lucy in alluring clothing and as a final touch, Millie dabs a drop of perfume onto Lucy’s wrist. The women freeze, they all recognise that smell – the perfume from the cellar where they found Mary Lawrence. Millie had acquired a bottle of the perfume from her connection on the black market thinking it would add to the effect – and then it dawns on the women how the killer is getting the women off the train. He lures them off with the promise of hard to obtain items that can be bought on the black market.

Looking the part, but scared as hell, Lucy gets on the 6.15 train from St Pancras to Barking and Susan watches her from a short distance in another carriage. But the operation goes horribly wrong, and Lucy is assaulted not by the killer but by an ordinary clerk looking for a good time. When Lucy returns home, her husband Harry (Ed Birch) notices the bruises on her thigh and assumes that she has been adulterous and punishes her by severely beating her.

The women are truly shaken up by the incident on the train and the decision whether or not to carry on is not taken lightly. Jean goes back to see Angela and blackmails her into giving her the name of the head of Electra House. Jean gives Susan the information and she goes to see the retired spook, Mr. Cavendish (Simon Williams), who thinks he knows who the killer could be – a man named Malcolm Crowley who worked in his department, but who apparently died in a fire after the war. Cavendish admits that he always chose not to question Crowley’s death, but now that his suspicions have been confirmed he hands over all the paperwork he has on this man, which isn’t much.

When Susan arrives home Timothy (Mark Dexter) tells her that Millie phoned – Lucy’s been in an accident. Susan rushes over to Millie’s flat where the women are looking after Lucy. As they sit with Lucy they listen to the wireless and hear the report of Wiggins’s arrest. Later that evening and Susan is restless – Millie suggests that she should go and to talk to the psychiatrist Dr Tremaine at the Meredith Hospital who assessed Crowley during the war. Susan heads to the Meredith Hospital; completely unaware of the danger that awaits her…

Thursday, 6 September 2012, 9:00PM – 10:00PM

Four ordinary women with an extraordinary flair for code-breaking and razor-sharp intelligence skills are the focus of ITV’s new murder mystery drama, The Bletchley Circle.

Twice BAFTA award-winner, Anna Maxwell Martin (South Riding, Bleak House) stars as Susan, Rachael Stirling (Women in Love, Boy Meets Girl) is Millie, RADA graduate Sophie Rundle (Episodes, Garrow’s Law) plays Lucy and Julie Graham (Lapland, Survivors, William & Mary) is Jean.

1943 – Bletchley Park

Inside one of the machine huts Susan (Anna Maxwell Martin) is analysing reams of decrypted German data when suddenly something catches her eye. For anyone else, it would be lost in the confusion, but Susan’s specialty is patterns, and she thinks she’s seen one here. Checking the details with Millie (Rachael Stirling) and Lucy (Sophie Rundle) they confirm her initial thoughts; she believes she has spotted a code for German battle orders within the cipher. Jean (Julie Graham) instructs Susan to take it straight to the top, to the Colonel, and the women wait anxiously for Susan to return. Some hours later Susan re-joins the group and tells them that their theory was correct – the British troops now know where the next German battle is going to take place.

May 1952 – London

Nine years later and Susan is now a housewife, married to Timothy (Mark Dexter) and mother to their two children. Her code-breaking days at Bletchley Park are a distant memory. But when Susan thinks she has spotted a pattern in a string of murders happening in London, it’s clear that her mind is still as sharp as ever. Susan approaches Timothy about taking her theory to the police. Timothy is shocked that his wife is concerning herself with such awful business but eventually agrees to help her meet with the Deputy Commissioner of Scotland Yard, Wainwright (Michael Gould), who he served with in the war.

Susan meets with Wainwright and explains her pattern to him. She explains that although four girls have been found, she believes there is another missing girl whose body has not yet been discovered. Although at first cynical, Wainwright soon becomes intrigued by Susan’s noticeable intellect and realises that she must have done more than just clerical work in the war. Wainwright instructs his men to search the area that Susan has pinpointed. But the police return empty handed, no missing girl is found, and Susan is forced to return home.

Feeling upset and defeated, Susan takes down all of the newspaper cuttings and information she had collected in secret on the murders, and burns them. When she comes across a picture of Millie, Lucy and herself, taken at Bletchley Park, she stops. The words ‘Never be ordinary’ are written on the back and this strikes a chord with Susan. She decides to contact her old friends from Bletchley and bring together their skills to catch the serial killer before he strikes again.

Susan and the women meet under the guise of a ‘Philosophy and Literature club’ and Susan explains why she has brought them all together. Initially Lucy and Jean are reluctant to get involved, it’s incredibly dangerous and something the police are dealing with. The women leave Susan’s house with no plans to carry on Susan’s investigation into the murders or even meet up again. But just as Susan predicted, another girl, Mary Lawrence, goes missing, and the women all realise they cannot stand by and do nothing. Susan, Millie, Jean and Lucy set about finding Mary Lawrence before its too late.

Treating the crimes like a code to be cracked, the women gather all the information and evidence they can find. They obtain the full mortuary reports of the murdered girls and discover that they weren’t just murdered; they were murdered and then raped. Then through a sequence of clever deductions relating to the location of the bodies, the dates and times they were found and the journeys they were making on the day they died, the women realise that the killer is using the rail network to find his victims.

By following the pattern the killer has been making and by cross-correlating their train data, the women work out where the missing girl, Mary Lawrence, must have been taken. Will they reach her in time to save her before the killer claims his fifth victim?

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