Episode 349 (The Bill)

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search

"Episode 349" is an episode of the long-running ITV police-procedural drama series, The Bill. The episode is significant in the show's history as it is the second of two episodes broadcast live. Episode 349 was broadcast live on 22 September 2005 at 8:00pm, to commemorate the 50th anniversary of ITV1. The episode was written by Graham Mitchell, directed and co-produced by Sylvie Boden, and produced by Donna Wiffen.

Synopsis[edit]

The episode follows on from the events in Episode 348, when the son of grief-stricken father, Jeff Clarke, is killed by a stolen car driven by thug Ashley Morgan. The subsequent verdict of accidental death and what Clarke thought to be insensitive treatment from Superintendent Amanda Prosser, leads to him Clarke taking a number of police and civilian hostages in the CID office, whilst the station celebrates their 50th anniversary on the ground floor. The episode also reveals that Constable Gabriel Kent is masquerading under the false name of his foster brother, and that Gabriel Kent is in fact David Kent. The actual Gabriel Kent arrives at Sun Hill Police Station to meet his birth mother, Sergeant June Ackland, but is subsequently shot. He survives nearly dying immediately after being shot. In episode 353 PC Gabriel Kent sets off the St. Hugh's fire alarm and tries to suffocate the real Gabriel. Gabriel Kent then takes June hostage telling her (and believing) that Gabriel was dead. Gabriel committed suicide and the end of 353.

Plot[edit]

The episode begins with Superintendent Prosser struggling to negotiate with Jeff Clarke at gunpoint, and is watched by David and the real Gabriel Kent as the anniversary reception begins downstairs; Detective Constables Jo Masters, Zain Nadir and Terry Perkins arrive at the CID office with guests, and are held hostage by Clarke along with Constable Dan Casper who was sent to look for Superintendent Prosser. During Jeff's struggle to gain control, a shot is fired which alerts the civilians and police officers downstairs of the situation unfolding upstairs. As plans are made by Superintendent Adam Okaro, Detective Chief Inspector Jack Meadows and suspended Inspector Gina Gold to evacuate the civilian guests and close the station and cordon off the station and surrounding streets due to the gunman having access to the CID office balcony, establishing an observation point staffed by June Ackland and Suzie Simm and arranging for CO19 to attend the incident. While held hostage, PC Dan Casper is encouraged by Superintendent Prosser to overpower Jeff, subsequently being shot in the arm while doing so. The real Gabriel Kent is also shot and falls from the top floor landing in the front office area, but the scuffle allows Jo, Zain, the false Gabriel Kent, Amanda and the guests to escape the CID office. Jeff is left with an injured PC Casper and DC Perkins, who stays behind to care for Casper. The real Gabriel Kent is eventually rushed to hospital, accompanied by the false Gabriel and Sheelagh Murphey. As the real Gabriel regains consciousness, the false threatens him to keep quiet about the identities. Following Clarke's refusal to negotiate, a power struggle develops between Adam Okaro and Amanda Prosser over who should deal with the siege. Despite specialist negotiators being held up, Prosser refuses to allow suspended Inspector Gold back on duty to negotiate due to her being the only trained negotiator in the building. Superintendent Okaro manages to persuade Amanda Prosser to allow Gina Gold back on duty to negotiate, and Gina manages to establish contact with Terry through a covert earpiece, without Jeff realising. As concern grows for the welfare of the missing boy who killed Jeff's son, Ashley Morgan, Superintendent Prosser refuses to give the order for armed police to fire upon Jeff, handing control over to Superintendent Okaro and Inspector Gold. With the assistance of Inspector Gold, DC Perkins manages to persuade Jeff to release injured PC Casper. Sergeant Ackland and DC Sim radio their suspicions about a car parked near CID, with the theory that the boy may be trapped in the car. Concern grows amongst Zain and Phil Hunter about Ashley. Against Detective Sergeant Sam Nixon's orders, Phil and Zain hurtle down the street outside the station in a vehicle, with shots fired at them by Jeff from the balcony, resulting in Zain losing control and crashing through roadworks. Meanwhile, in the CID office a distraught Jeff reveals to Terry how he planned to kill himself and Ashley by blowing up the car. Phil, Zain, June and Suzie try frantically to rescue the boy from the car, managing a few yards before it is engulfed in a fireball. Jeff later reveals how he shouted at his son and hit him, resulting in him running into the road in front of the stolen car driven by Ashley Morgan. Jeff breaks out of CID holding DC Perkins hostage, surrounded by armed officers demanding that his wife be told that he is sorry and that he loves her. Jeff moves outside the station with DC Perkins as hostage surrounded by armed officers, whispering to Terry that he will not hurt him. Jeff deliberately aims his firearm towards DC Perkins, intentionally doing so that he is shot. Subsequently, Jeff is shot dead by armed police.

Cast[edit]

References[edit]

Preceded by
The Sun Hill Fire (2005)
Notable storylines
2005
Succeeded by
Assault on Sun Hill (2007)