Beech is Back
It was the second major storyline to focus on corrupt Detective Sergeant Don Beech. The storyline follows Beech upon his arrival in Australia, on the run to escape a prison sentence for the murder of DS John Boulton back in the United Kingdom. However, unbeknown to him, Boulton's girlfriend, and ex-DI Claire Stanton is hot on his tail – and is ready to bring him down at any cost. The storyline played out over seven consecutive episodes, broadcast during August and September 2001. The first episode, a ninety-minute special, was entitled Beech on the Run. Six sixty-minutes episodes were subsequently broadcast, entitled Beech is Back, parts 1–6.
Upon his arrival in Australia, Beech poses as Chief Inspector Derek Conway in order to fool two police officers into giving him a tour of the city. As he begins to discover the hotspots, he begins to set up a life of leisure and luxury funded by crime and various illegal scams, including robbery, drug and arms dealing, and even some dodgy fish importation. Stanton, meanwhile, has enlisted the help of the New South Wales Police Force in an attempt to extradite Beech back to the UK to stand trial for Boulton's murder. However, before she can do so, she discovers that the drugs intelligence squad (Australian Federal Police) are also after Beech, and if she wishes for him to stand trial, she must get to him before they do. However, attempting to stop him from escaping, Stanton shoots the boat that Beech is fleeing on, causing it to explode. Believing him to be dead, Claire returns to England believing justice has been served. However, it is revealed he had survived the explosion, and had used it to fake his death and also return to Britain. He attempts to organise a six-million-pound diamond robbery, only to find himself once again pitted against Stanton. His attempt fails, and he receives life imprisonment for murder, all the various crimes he had committed whilst a police officer, and his activities whilst on the run in Australia.
Originally, Beech was to be shot dead, at the end of "Beech on the Run", but ITV decided to replace this with an ambiguous boat explosion, and commissioned the subsequent following six episodes.
- Don Beech – Billy Murray
- Claire Stanton – Clara Salaman
- Frankie Nguyen – Miles Paras
- DCI Andrew Belmarsh – Anthony Green
- DS Ray Peters – Francis Johnson
- DS Jim Donohue – Paul Swinnerton
- Steve Keating – Gary Powell
- Rachel Rogers – Katherine Heath
- DS John Boulton – Russell Boulter (Archive Footage Only)
- "Life's a Beech for dodgy Don". Daily Record (Glasgow, Scotland). Aug 18, 2001.
The Don Beech Scandal (1999–2001)
The Sun Hill Fire (2002)