Starring John Simm (Life On Mars), BBC One’s new three-part psychological thriller Exile tells “an intimate story of prodigal redemption”.
Created by Paul Abbott (Shameless) and written by Danny Brocklehurst (The Street, Clocking Off), Exile also stars Jim Broadbent (Moulin Rouge), Olivia Colman (Peep Show), Claire Goose (Waking The Dead), Shaun Dooley (Red Riding) and Timothy West (Bleak House).
Sunday 1st May 2011, 9pm
When Tom Ronstadt is sacked from his job and dumped by his lover, he has no one left to turn to and does something he hasn’t thought about doing for 18 years – he heads home, to the North. The drive forces Tom to think back to the fateful night that led him to leave. What made his seemingly loving, caring journalist father beat him up? What had Tom stumbled on that Sam so desperately wanted to keep from him?
Tom arrives home, to his sister Nancy’s surprise. She’s not only upset and hurt that her brother left; she’s also angry that he hasn’t offered to help over the past few years. With their father becoming lost to Alzheimer’s, things have not been easy.
Nancy leaves for a few nights away and Tom is thrown into an alien world of being a carer. He tries to explore his father’s mind, gently steering him towards that day in 1989 when he suddenly and inexplicably lashed out. Needing to get away, Tom heads to the pub while Sam is asleep. Flirting with barmaid Mandy, he gets up to his old tricks and spends the night with her.
Over a drink with old school friend Mike, Tom opens up about why he left. All he remembers is that he was brutally beaten by his dad and the name “Metzler” was prominently displayed on the paperwork in his office. Metzler is now Mike’s boss – the leader of the council. Is this a lead Tom can use?
Monday 2nd May 2011, 9pm
Focusing on the name Metzler, Tom looks into library and newspaper archives about him. Tom’s home town was the site for an institution for the mentally disabled in the Seventies, and he discovers Metzler was a doctor there.
Tom traces Sam’s old assistant, Wendy, to find out more, but she is cagey and gives nothing away. He hopes that by taking Sam to an annual charity event and being around familiar faces, he will spark a new memory. After many lost years, Tom is rebuilding his relationship with Nancy and helping her care for their father. Sharing the responsibility brings them even closer.
Mike is on the cusp of a breakdown following the news of Mandy’s infidelity. Being scared for her and the children, Tom takes them back to Sam’s house. When a car crashes into the back of Tom’s, he worries this may not have been an accident. Is Metzler behind this?
Tuesday 3rd May 2011, 9pm
Tom is rocked by the news he has received and is starting to unravel as a consequence. Nancy drives him back to Wendy’s house and demands more answers. Wendy not only confirms Tom’s suspicions, but also gives him a new lead.
This sends him back to Mandy and her mum, a former Greenlake employee. After more questions Tom is finally faced with the truth and is led to meet a frail, dying man. A man full of guilt and remorse for his past life, Ricky Tulse is shocked to see Tom.
Nancy is dealing with her pregnancy news, but after Sam becomes uncontrollable on a trip to the supermarket, she feels she can’t cope any more. Tom is stunned at the extent of the cover-up. The revelation cuts to the heart of who he is, and Tom will stop at nothing to make sure those involved get what they deserve.