‘The Shadow Line’ episode guide

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Coming to BBC Two in May, Hugo Blick’s seven-part conspiracy thriller The Shadow Line delves into the heart of human morality.

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Jay Wratten is played by Rafe Spall, DI Gabriel by Chiwetel Ejiofor, DS Honey by Kierston Wareing and Joseph Bede by Christopher Eccleston.


Episode 1
Thursday 5th May 2011, 9pm

Two years ago Harvey Wratten, one of the UK’s biggest crime lords, and his nephew Jay Wratten were imprisoned. After serving only two years they received a Royal pardon – but just four hours into their freedom Harvey is murdered. The Shadow Line begins…

DI Gabriel has just returned to work after being shot on an undercover job; his partner was killed and Gabriel suffered amnesia with a bullet lodged in his head. Gabriel starts to investigate the Wratten case with his partner DS Honey. Joseph Bede, one of Wratten’s men, is keen to find out who killed Wratten, and also wants to track down Glickman, their money man. With Wratten dead and Glickman missing, Bede is left holding the fort.

Meanwhile, Jay Wratten is a loose cannon… Bede sends his foot soldiers on a mission to find Glickman, and also the missing driver who collected Wratten from prison, Andy Dixon.


Episode 2
Thursday 12th May 2011, 9pm

DI Gabriel goes to the reconstruction of the murder site. Gabriel intuits that Wratten must have known his killer because he lowered the window to talk to him, and reports this to his boss, DS Patterson.

DS Honey tracks down the identity of the driver of Wratten’s car – Andy Dixon. Gabriel goes to Dixon’s house but is beaten by Gatehouse – a terrifying, shadowy figure. Gatehouse tells Dixon’s girlfriend, Sara, to trust no one – her boyfriend must call only him. Bede goes to Turk drugs boss Babur with a plan for a new drugs deal. Babur agrees but tells him he’ll kill him if it goes wrong.

Meanwhile, Gatehouse visits Andy’s mother and warns her not to trust anyone but him. When Andy finally breaks cover, a chase ensues, with Gabriel, Honey and Jay Wratten all trying to reach him. Andy calls his mum – who calls Gatehouse…


Episode 3
Thursday 19th May 2011, 9pm

On Gatehouse’s orders, Andy Dixon meets Jay Wratten, as Hugo Blick’s sophisticated and gripping conspiracy thriller delving into the heart of human morality continues. Dixon tells Jay that he drove Wratten to meet a man – he didn’t see who, but heard him say “Bob Harris says hello” before Wratten was shot. On hearing this, Jay goes to Bede to tell him that Bob Harris was responsible for Wratten’s murder.

Andy goes home but Gatehouse arrives – with dire consequences. DS Honey hears that the cops think Gabriel is a thief: impounded heroin had been “double dipped”, with monies still missing. However, Patterson agrees that Gabriel can continue to investigate the Wratten case.

Meanwhile, at Harvey Wratten’s funeral an unknown man arrives. Honey follows him. Bede wants to do business with Harris, while Bede’s wife’s Alzheimer’s is deteriorating. Gabriel and his wife are trying another round of IVF – but when Honey follows Gabriel, she sees him arrive at a house to be greeted by a woman and child. Gabriel has a secret life and second family…


Episode 4
Thursday 26th May 2011, 9pm

Rent boy Ratallack is picked up by drug baron Harris – watched by Gatehouse. Meanwhile, customs officer Beatty is still following Wratten’s case and shows DI Gabriel the files. Later he makes a drugs bust, and arrests Harris’s man Stephen.

Elsewhere, journalist McGovern, convinced there is more to the Wratten case, visits retired Police Commander Penney. Harris meets Bede and calls off their deal. On Ratallack’s tip-off he blames Jay Wratten for his busted drug line.

Gabriel thinks Andy Dixon (Wratten’s dead driver) was helped. On CCTV footage he sees that Dixon was joined by a man in a trilby hat. Stephen confesses that he was working for Harris and selling the drugs to Wratten. But another man had made the exchange, wearing a trilby hat… Gatehouse goes to Leonard’s (Glickman’s son) house where he plays an evil game with Frieda and the baby. Leonard calls his dad – a call which Gatehouse traces.


Episode 5
Thursday 2nd June 2011, 9pm

Lessing, an American tourist in Dublin, visits a clock shop and is sure that he recognises the owner, Donnelly, as his old business acquaintance Peter Glickman. Gatehouse goes to “Donnelly’s” shop where Glickman is waiting for him. They have a showdown, blaming each other for “Counterpoint” and Wratten…

Gabriel and his wife Laura are at the hospital having a scan. He takes a call from Glickman, who tells him to “follow the drugs”. He does, and he and Honey learn that Delaney (Gabriel’s dead partner) had stolen coded drugs from the evidence room. Gabriel tells his boss, DS Patterson, and Police Commander Khokar what he now knows about Delaney.

Bede tells Babur that Harris has pulled out of the deal, but reassures him that the plan will go ahead and he will find another buyer. Ratallack goes to Bede – he now wants to buy the drugs – and Ratallack intends to “handle” Harris.


Episode 6
Thursday 9th June 2011, 9pm

DI Gabriel has a brain scan with his consultant who says there has been a significant development – his memory is returning. Gabriel meets Glickman, who tells him to follow the money and “Counterpoint” – and then the man with the answers, Gatehouse, will find him. Gatehouse, meanwhile, makes a deal with Ratallack, telling him that he’s part of the game now.

When Bede meets with Babur and opens the drugs line, the deal is on. Sergeant Foley is willing to give information to either side of the line – to the highest bidder.

Gabriel visits Commissioner Penney and asks about “Counterpoint”. Penney warns him that the last person who came to him asking similar questions – the journalist McGovern – is now dead. Gabriel visits Alison and his young son and pleads with her to go into hiding – but Gatehouse arrives, with Glickman not far behind.


Episode 7
Thursday 16th June 2011, 9pm

Gatehouse shows himself as the master puppeteer. Gabriel warns Khokar that Gatehouse will now be coming for him.

The drugs deal gathers pace and Gatehouse and Ratallack meet; while Bede continues his deal with Babur and Ratallack. Gabriel tracks down Penney on his sail boat, who reveals the truth about “Counterpoint”. He tells him Gatehouse will now kill all the old players and start the game with new players.

Meanwhile, Julie’s health is radically declining and Bede is beside himself with grief – but then Jay Wratten comes knocking. Gabriel tells Patterson he wants to prosecute Commissioner Khokar on the grounds of conspiracy to promote and profit from state-controlled crime (“Counterpoint”). Then Gabriel receives a call from Gatehouse and agrees to meet him…