Red Cap (TV series)

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Red Cap
Red Cap tv series titlecard.jpg
Genre Drama
Created by Patrick Harbinson
Starring Tamzin Outhwaite
Douglas Hodge
James Thornton
Gordon Kennedy
Blake Ritson
Raquel Cassidy
Poppy Miller
Opening theme "Set the Record Straight" by Reef
Composer(s) Hal Lindes
Sheridan Tongue
Country of origin United Kingdom
Original language(s) English
No. of series 2
No. of episodes 13 (list of episodes)
Executive producer(s) Patrick Harbinson
Gareth Neame
Mike Dormer
William Davies
Producer(s) Sarah Wilson
Cinematography Gordon Hickie
Editor(s) Paul Knight
Ian Farr
Xavier Russell
Running time 50 minutes
Production company(s) Stormy Pictures
Original network BBC One
Picture format 16:9 576i
Audio format Stereo
First shown in 28 December 2001 (2001-12-28)
Original release 7 January 2003 (2003-01-07) – 12 February 2004 (2004-02-12)

Red Cap is a British television drama series, produced by Stormy Pictures for the BBC[1] and broadcast on BBC One. A total of thirteen episodes were broadcast over the course of two series, beginning with a feature-length pilot on December 28, 2001. The series follows the investigations and personal relationships of a British Army Special Investigation Branch unit of the Royal Military Police based in Germany. The series initially focused on lead character, Sergeant Jo McDonagh (Tamzin Outhwaite), who was nicknamed McDoughnut, but later series played out as more of an ensemble piece, with several notable characters coming to prominence.[2] A number of fictional regiments were featured in the series, including the Bedford Light Infantry, the Royal Cumbrian Fusiliers, the Wessex Regiment and the Derbyshire Light Infantry.

According to BBC sources, Outhwaite spent a week familiarising herself with Army life at the Reserve Training and Mobilisation Centre in Chilwell, Nottingham, prior to filming the series.[3] Training included unarmed combat, 9mm pistol training, driving, drill, and understanding the Army's labyrinthine hierarchical structure. The series creator and writer, Emmy and Golden Globe nominee Patrick Harbinson, was in the army himself and previously wrote fifteen episodes of the ITV military series Soldier Soldier. A BBC spokesman said; "With such experience, Patrick infuses Red Cap with a tangible sense of realism." On March 13, 2004, Red Cap was axed by BBC executives, who cited; "At a cost of £10 million and an audience of just 5.5 million, executives thought it would not be worthwhile to renew it for another series."[4] Notably, the series has never been released on DVD.



Pilot (2001)[edit]

No. Title Directed by Written by British air date UK viewers
1 "Red Cap" David Richards Patrick Harbinson 28 December 2001 (2001-12-28) 8.41
A Special Investigation Branch team based in Germany are called in after a British corporal being chased for speeding down the autobahn attempts suicide. New team member Jo McDonagh and her colleagues, however, soon find themselves embroiled in a dark and complex case when they become involved in locating a captain's missing wife.

Series 1 (2003)[edit]

No. Title Directed by Written by British air date UK viewers
1 "H-Hour" Justin Chadwick Patrick Harbinson 7 January 2003 (2003-01-07) 6.90
During a live-firing exercise Private Andy Walden a member of the Bedford Light Infantry is killed. Meanwhile Corporal Jo McDonagh is investigating the theft of regimental mascot "Augustus the 14th". Shorthanded Sergeant Major Burns grudgingly reinstates her back to the rank of Sergeant and a full member of his SIB team. Lance Corporal Stowe, who made the fatal mistake, faces a charge of murder and more worryingly it looks like he was high on LSD at the time.
2 "Crush" Justin Chadwick Patrick Harbinson 14 January 2003 (2003-01-14) 6.39
An exhausted Private Tracey Walters of the Royal Logistic Corps is driving an army truck full of Royal Cumbrian Fusiliers back from a three-day exercise. There is a commotion in the back and suddenly a car is upon them from the other direction. Walters swerves but the truck goes into the car and crushes it. SIB and the German Police arrive at the scene and it seems clear Walters fell asleep or lost concentration. Worse still, Jo finds explosive flash burns on the tarmac behind the crash site.
3 "Espirit de Corps" Justin Chadwick Patrick Harbinson & Ben Rostful 21 January 2003 (2003-01-21) 6.00
Willi Hartung, a German Police Sergeant is shot dead by a gunman during a failed robbery attempt - just one in a sequence of similar crimes. Meanwhile, Jo and Roper investigate the apparent suicide of Corporal Luke Gemmill the driver for Lieutenant Colonel Cosgrove CO of the Wessex Regiment. Forensics prove that Gemmill was murdered - but why was his body found in the luxury car hired from a German ex-soccer star, Kramer. When Sergeant-Major Burns learns that British guns were used in both incidents, he initiates an investigation.
4 "Cover Story" Martin Hutchings Patrick Harbinson 28 January 2003 (2003-01-28) 6.18
Journalist Theresa Brock goes missing after following the lives of the Derbyshires on a chemical warfare exercise. Whilst a pornographic picture comes back to haunt some of the men.[5]
5 "Cold War" Martin Hutchings Patrick Harbinson 4 February 2003 (2003-02-04) 6.45
Sensitive information is stolen, while Roper is under threat from an IRA informant. Roper is warned that Liam Young has leaked information to the press. Since Roper investigated Liam in Ireland, there is a real danger that Liam might contact him. With his son staying with him, Roper fears what Liam might do.[6]
6 "Payback" Martin Hutchings James Mavor 11 February 2003 (2003-02-11) 7.41
Jo goes undercover to investigate a drug dealer who is suspected of smuggling illegal drugs out of their base in Germany back to the UK in army postal transport crates.[7]

Series 2 (2004)[edit]

No. Title Directed by Written by British air date UK viewers
1 "Betrayed" Justin Chadwick Patrick Harbinson 8 January 2004 (2004-01-08) 6.61
Sergeant Jo McDonagh is in Bosnia on Close Protection detail as part of an international operation to capture wanted war criminal Radan Vladic. At the remote farmhouse of Vladic's proposed arrest, only the slain remains of an advance Special Air Service (SAS) team are found, seemingly murdered in an ambush. The SAS Major at the scene is ready to call the deaths collateral damage and move out, but Jo thinks there is more than meets the eye and insists the area is preserved as a crime scene.
2 "True Love" Justin Chadwick James Mavor & Will Davies 15 January 2004 (2004-01-15) 6.25
While boar-hunting, Lance Corporal Clive Morrigan becomes the victim of a rogue gunman. Initial investigation suggests that at the time of his death, Morrigan was engaged in an affair with Captain Helen Springer (Natasha Dahlberg). Subsequently, suspicion turns towards his wife, Cassie (Kay Bridgeman) and Springer's husband Mark (Dominic Mafham). The investigation takes a surprising turn when Helen subsequently disappears, and her husband's car, containing hair fibres and blood traces, is found beside a railway line fifty miles from base. While Harriet is convinced of Mark's guilt, Jo focuses her efforts on another target, Cpl Jake Tollman (Ian Dunn), who she finds rifling through Helen's private possessions in her quarters office. Meanwhile, as Jo and Hippy's feelings for each other continue to grow, Bruce finally plucks up the courage to ask Angie out.
3 "Red Light" Justin Chadwick Patrick Harbinson & Nick Harding 22 January 2004 (2004-01-22) 6.00
When Corporal Mike Fryman falls to his death from the top floor balcony of a city hotel, Bruce finds himself becoming emotionally connected with the case, having previously been in a relationship with hotel manager Mira Schellenhaus (Feo Aladag). When teenager Anna Veseli is later found dead nearby, having been the victim of a forced overdose, Fryman's motives for being at the hotel on the night of his death are called into question. Jo discovers that Fryman was involved in the sale of stolen army supplies, and was being blackmailed by Sgt. Stuart Hodnett (Anthony Flanagan), who in return for his silence, agreed that Fryman would hand over two teenage girls that he rescued while on duty in Kosovo to a prostitution ring being run by Captain Rolf Mertens. As Bruce's involvement with Mira is uncovered, Captain Howard has no choice but to reassign him.
4 "Fighting Fit" Justin Chadwick Steve Bailie & Will Davies 29 January 2004 (2004-01-29) 5.41
When private Damon Swinton dies during routine platoon exercise, suspicion falls upon his unpopular Sergeant, Lennie Raeburn (Geff Francis), who has a reputation amongst his men for having a short fuse. When evidence suggests that Swinton was pushed from the riverbank where he died, Raeburn is immediately considered as the prime suspect. However, a post mortem on the victim reveals that he in fact died from a brain haemorrhage, caused by clotting which occurred as a result of a beating some seven days previously, and investigations lead McDonagh and Roper to the location of an underground fight circuit, where Swinton was being trained as a fighter by fellow private Robbie McCoy (Neil Jackson). As evidence of an extortion racket comes to light, private Oliver Teale (Aled Pugh) disappears and Corporal Jason Dwyer is found badly beaten.
5 "Friendly Fire" Justin Chadwick Patrick Harbinson 5 February 2004 (2004-02-05) 4.85
When Lance Corporal Paul Engels is killed by a stray mortar, and Sgt. Charlie Fleckner (Andrew Tiernan) narrowly escapes, SIB are called in to investigate what appears to be a tragic accident. But it soon becomes clear that there are just too many suspicions to write off Engels' death - suspicions that are compounded when Engels' brother, Darren (Darren Morfitt) claims Fleckner's innocence might not be that clear cut. The team's investigations lead them to photographs that indicate Engels and Fleckner shared a secret - they were involved in an apparent war crime in Iraq, which appears to have been buried by their commanding officer, Captain Dorian MacKesy (Tristan Gemmill). However, the situation soon escalates when the team uncovers evidence of an illicit love affair that involves blackmail, betrayal and retribution. Jo and Roper's relationship intensifies.
6 "Long Time Dead" Justin Chadwick Charlie Fletcher 12 February 2004 (2004-02-12) 5.11
Private Simon Barham decides to celebrate his nineteenth birthday by taking the wheel of an armoured personal carrier while blind drunk and tearing through the base like a mad man. When Barham crashes the vehicle into an abandoned communications building, the team arrive at the scene only to discover that the accident has uncovered a mummified corpse hidden in a ventilation pipe. The corpse is identified as one Private Exner, who had supposedly gone AWOL the night before his unit were deployed to Iraq, following a fight with fellow private Stevie Stebbings over his involvement in Cannabis cultivation. His platoon sergeant, Terry Canavan (Bryan Dick), claims to have received a phone call from him three days after he was last seen, but when his version of events is called into question, suspicion turns towards Stevie's widow Tricia (Georgia Taylor).


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