A British plane crashes in
America, sparking off a national emergency and a
It emerges the incident
was the work of a British suicide bomber. With
the 'special relationship' between the UK and
the US under threat, the British Ambassador,
Sir Mark Brydon,
manoeuvres American Secretary of Defense,
into a public show of solidarity. But behind the
scenes, tension mounts between the pair.
The situation worsens when the Governor of
Virginia passes emergency legislation allowing
the Virginia National Guard to apprehend and
imprison all British Asians in the State.
The first casualties of the policy are a young
British Asian couple, killed while trying to get
over the state line from Virginia to Maryland.
When Mark visits the scene he knows immediately
his job has just become ten times harder.
Back at the embassy, the
Ambassador's right hand man,
accesses surveillance material. It seems to
suggest a link between the father of Mark's
and an order for trigger switches. Surely a
connection to the bomb?
Elsewhere, in the dead of night, a training
exercise takes place on a secure military site
in Virginia. Live ammunition is used, and one of
the men is killed. Unmoved, the leader of the
group ensures that the body won't be identified,
before dumping it into a nearby river. The
remains are discovered by a civilian the
a human rights lawyer on attachment to the
Embassy meets her client
a British citizen on Florida's Death Row. He
maintains his innocence, but unless his appeal
is upheld, he will be executed. Later, Luke sees
the face of the plane bomber and has a strong
emotional and physical reaction. What could be
The British Embassy in
Washington is besieged by British nationals
seeking sanctuary from the Governor of
Virginia's draconian policy to round up all
British Muslims in the state.
is happy to offer it. But as his level-headed
reminds him, there's a bigger picture. Priority
must be to get the policy reversed. Mark thinks
it through it's a high risk strategy but Chair
of the Security Committee Madeleine Cohen might
be open to persuasion. His meeting with her is
tough to read has he helped British citizens
or made things worse?
Counsellor for External
is pursuing separate business. There's evidence
to suggest that the unidentifiable body washed
up in a creek in Virginia might have been a
British soldier. But who would have gone to the
trouble of shooting his face off? Nicholas
agrees to help FBI agent
to investigate the case.
house for a dinner party, Mark's ambushed by
Caroline, Gordon Adair (CEO of Armitage Corp, a
major investor in Tyrgyztan) and
(former ambassador to Tyrgyztan and the
diplomatic untouchable Mark is forbidden contact
with). The regime in Tyrgyztan is corrupt. They
are pushing for change and want Mark on board.
He dismisses the offer. I am a servant of the
British Government we support the existing
regime, but later he remembers his own time in
Tyrgyztan and his certainties begin to waver.
With fresh information about Private Military
Contractors in his hand, Nicholas leaves
Washington for London. There, he expertly breaks
into Anthony Hanley's flat and begins searching
it. But is he on Hanley's side or against him?
In Florida, prisoner
appeal is denied and his death warrant signed.
Human rights lawyer
sees one last chance. She can plead his case at
the Pardons Board. When the shaky evidence that
convicted him is exposed they must surely admit
Meanwhile Gary Pritchard is in business again.
With his crew of mercenaries he's launching an
operation that involves 10 canisters of poison
gas and a Boeing 737. The operation fails when
the airfield is raided by the FBI and all are
taken into custody.
In the middle of the night, Mark's roused by a
phone call. It's good news in one way a coup
has been foiled. Bad news for the Embassy though
when it emerges that the mercenaries were
spins a proposition to
Support for the rogue regime in Tyrgyztan is
becoming untenable. The UK/US should consider an
approach to the democratic opposition. Mark's in
a position to make it happen...
to say he'll broker Eshan's visit. But James has
gone awol. He eventually finds James in a bar.
As Mark manhandles his old friend out into the
street a camera flashes. Losing patience he
walks away and James reels back into the bar to
take comfort with a hooker.
Later in the evening, Macintyre steps out of the
shadows, kills the hooker with cold precision
and presses the murder weapon into James'
Mark and Nicholas
Brocklehurst visit the Pentagon to sell their
Mark can get Eshan Borisvitch to Washington for
secret exploratory talks. Tyrgyztan's President
Usman need never know. After a moment's
hesitation Warner nods.
The FBI bust is top of the
recognises one of the players - Gary Pritchard,
Luke's old pal from his army days. In his cell
Luke's being measured for the suit he will wear
to his execution when he sees the same item on
Reading the papers, Macintyre sees his men on
the front page, then a story about Luke losing
his death row appeal. As he reads the two
stories, a connection is made which leads his
thoughts to the Governor of Florida. Do they
have any leverage? Can they lean on him if
speaks for Luke at the Pardons board. It's going
well, and the Board look like they might be
inclined to clemency. But as they retire to
deliberate, the Prison Warden gets a call from
the Governor's office. No clemency. Luke will
but perhaps the Ambassador will succeed where
she failed. Mark agrees to go to Florida in
person to speak to the governor. But Nicholas
has a distinct air of menace about him as he
puts pressure on Jane to say nothing to the
Ambassador of Luke's connection with Pritchard.
Whose side is Nicholas on?
takes his life into his own hands. He rings
Macintyre and applies pressure in an attempt to
get off Death Row. His hopes are extinguished
when Macintyre ends the call. Arriving in
Florida to plead Luke's case, Mark gets short
shrift from the Governor. He's left with the
uneasy feeling that someone wants Luke dead and
there's nothing he can do. In silence and shame
Mark and Jane watch Luke die.
unable to cut through the chill of what they
have seen, they make love in a cheap motel.
is pleased. Everything is coming together. One
last loose end to tie. This time it's Gary
Pritchard's turn. Dead men tell no tales
death, the letter he left for
takes her to Al Rivero's house in search of
Luke's 'kit'. After a scary moment when a
nervous Al pulls a gun on her Jane receives the
package Luke sent her for the package that
will explain everything.
Later in her
motel room she views rough, handheld footage of
a massacre in Tyrgyztan eight years ago. She
recognises Gary Pritchard, who murders a young
woman in a Tyrgyztani village and sees Luke
preventing him from murdering her baby too.
Though Jane has no way of knowing it the young
woman is Eshan Borisvitch's sister Saida
last lover. More is to come. The second DV shows
Luke coaching Hassan Khan, the Washington plane
bomber, in his new identity.
900 miles away in
Washington, Mark picks up the threads of a
delicate diplomatic manoeuvre. In darkness,
surrounded by security, he meets Eshan
Borisvitch, the leader of the democratic
opposition in Tyrgyztan. It's clear that the two
men have history.
through an apology for wrongs done a decade
before. He was the international envoy
responsible for smoothing President Usman's path
to power, turning a blind eye to human rights
abuses during Usman's so-called democratic
election, and indirectly creating the conditions
that led to Eshan's sister's death.
As Mark hosts a
lunch to broker talks between Eshan and
Jane arrives with Luke's kit. In a secure room
the DVs and a copy of a contract between CMC and
Armitage linking Armitage directly to the
massacre. The signature on the contract is
'Lynne Warner', CEO of Armitage in 1999, now
sitting upstairs talking to the Tyrgyztani
opposition leader in exile.
Next morning the
secrecy surrounding Eshan's visit is blown open
when a picture appears in a morning tabloid of
Mark and James staggering out of a bar,
accompanied by speculation that their row had
something to do with Eshan's arrival in
The fallout is
immediate. Usman denounces his traitorous
allies. Mark's Deputy
with fury: what made Mark think he could defy
diplomatic gravity? Warner is humiliated. Eshan
reacts at once. Usman will take his revenge on
the Tyrgyztani people. He must leave straight
away and attempt to limit the damage.
But Mark takes a
cooler view. Eshan should stay. This might play
in their favour. The US can't possibly continue
its relationship with Usman after this. His
hunch is proved correct when Warner calls and
invites Mark and Eshan to the Pentagon to talk.
Hope turns to
despair when Eshan is discovered to have left
the Embassy without security to meet James and
Azzam. Mark has to find him. They're due at the
Pentagon in an hour and with the tide in their
favour they don't want to mess Warner around.
Mark sets off to
look for Eshan. Nicholas follows his progress by
means of the tracker dot he's placed in his
fountain pen. Mark arrives at Rock Creek Park to
see Eshan, James and Azzam in the middle
distance. As he raises his hand to hail them a
sniper's shot rings out and Eshan falls to the
ground. Mark races over and cradles the dying
Eshan's body at the Washington morgue and
sharing a moment of grief with Caroline and
Gordon, his co-sponsors of Tyrgyztani regime
change, Mark returns to the Embassy. The scent
of disaster is about him and Phil, his deputy at
the Embassy is moving in for the kill. Mark
needs Nicholas, but he's nowhere to be found.
Warner seizes the
moment to step up the rhetoric for war. And in
Undersecretary for Defense
elegant apartment Nicholas burns Luke's tape in
front of his lover's shocked gaze. Knowing that
he's sailing close to the wind Christopher
reacts to close down the only witness who can
draw the lines together, by ordering a hit on
Defense Secretary Warner is well and truly on
the warpath - on her way to the UN to make the
case for regime change in Tyrgyztan. If they can
get a resolution there will be US planes in
Central Asia by nightfall.
meanwhile is in a dark place. Eshan has been
murdered. Downing Street are recalling him to
London. Just as it seems that his career is over
a lifeline is thrown from an unexpected place.
Defense Secretary Warner calls to say that the
White House would be unhappy to see Mark Brydon
removed from office. Mark's deputy Phil Lonsdale
is forced to stand by his boss.
Restored to duty Mark attends a function at a
downtown hotel then, suspecting he's being
bugged, slips away to meet James Sinclair. James
is shattered and frightened. Eshan's death has
been apocalyptic for him. He realises that he
has been a pawn in a terrifying game and
stresses to Mark that the people behind this
will stop at nothing.
Mark tries to persuade him to stay at the
Embassy - diplomatic immunity will protect him -
but James takes advantage of a diversion to slip
away, leaving Mark standing in Union Station
with James's son Azzam, no sign of James
As soon as he can Mark contacts the one man he
trusts in the US Administration, National
Security Adviser Carl Garcia. He has a
hypothesis: Defense Secretary Warner is behind
Eshan's death, a necessary sacrifice to enable
her to start a war. Carl doesn't deny that it's
There aren't too many people for Mark to trust
now. But he does trust Jane Lavery so when she
invites him to join her in a Washington hotel he
accepts. They make love for the second time and
both of them are grateful for the comfort. Mark
begins to open up, telling Jane of his losses,
not just James and Eshan, but Saida - the woman
who ten years ago brought them all together.
Jane is startled - she's heard that name before.
She puts two and two together and realises that
the woman Mark loved is the woman she saw
murdered in Luke's video.
Immediately she shares what she knows and Mark
realises they are both in danger. He looks out
of the window. The familiar figure of Vinnie
Swain, neatly suited, in a black Mercedes - the
killer who has dispatched so many others over
the last two weeks - is parked up at the other
side of the road. This is the hit that
Mark smuggles Jane out of the hotel and straight
into a car chase. They shake off their pursuer
and go to the airport. Jane should leave the
country. It isn't safe here. After delivering
her to the check-in desk for the flight to
London, Mark heads for Nicholas's apartment. All
that's happened over the last two weeks - the
leaks, the buggings, the secrets - they have a
spy's fingerprints all over them, and Nicholas
is MI6's man in the British Embassy.
The minute Nicholas opens the door Mark hits
him. Finally there's honesty between the two men
and it becomes clear that Nicholas has been
watching Mark's back all along, trying to derail
the express train to war while keeping his
Ambassador clean. Now Nicholas supplies a
missing part of the puzzle. Warner hasn't had
enough evidence to go to war against Usman until
now. Since the plane went down Nicholas has been
on the trail of the triggered spark gap switches
that Anthony Hanley drew to his attention.
If it was proved that these essential components
of a nuclear warhead had been ordered by Usman
the US would be able to make a case for war.
Nicholas suspects that Usman is innocent of the
charge but that a Pentagon Black Op run by
Warner and Styles will have ensured a paper
trail that leads all the way back to him. What
he needs to do to keep it all tied down is find
the missing switches.
As the two men pool their knowledge Caroline
Hanley and Gordon Adair are in a Boston customs
shed looking without understanding at a
consignment of triggered spark gap switches
addressed to Usman from Hanley International.
Warner has achieved her resolution.
As a sober end to a sober day, James Sinclair's
body turns up in the Potomac. And Mark returns
to the Residence to tell his son.
Jane meanwhile has defied her instructions and
taken a flight to Tampa where she has stashed
copies of Luke's incendiary DVs . Unfortunately
Vinnie Swain knows she's there and is on a
mission to eliminate her. A professional kidnap,
bundled into a waiting car, and it looks like
Jane can be silenced just like everyone else,
but Jane isn't going to go down without a fight.
Taking advantage of a momentary lapse in the
driver's concentration she kicks out, the car
crashes. At least if she goes she'll go on her
Warner's ready to
put troops on the ground in Tyrgyztan. Her
adviser, Carl urges patience and caution and all
but accuses her of profiteering if her husband
still has shares in Armitage.
At the Pentagon
events are catching up with Warner's right hand
man Christopher Styles. George Blake has been
doggedly piecing together the shards of evidence
from all the apparently unrelated stories. She's
close to something now. One of the men in the
car crash with Jane carried Defense Intelligence
department ID. What does Christopher know about
Mark's on the
phone to Downing Street putting on record that
he believes the UK and the US are being
manipulated into war. He later receives the news
that Jane Lavery is in intensive care after a
car crash in Tampa that killed two of her
companions and seriously injured a third. Mark's
shocked - what was she doing in Tampa? And who
was she with? He leaves his meeting without
hesitation - but Nicholas stops him. 'Not this
time. Don't go off piste again. She's OK. We
have a job to do here.' Mark concedes but not
before putting the hospital on suicide alert on
Jane's behalf. She will have a 24-hour guard.
Even as he puts the phone down a masked killer
in scrubs enters the intensive care unit. But
this time it's not Jane they're after but the
cold blooded young killer Vinnie Swain. This is
an end that will not be left untied.
With Jane looked
after, Mark puts together a posse to do the
legwork he can't do. He sends Matthew Weiss of
the Washington Press to go to Tampa to find out
who was in the car with Jane?; who could have
put pressure on the Governor of Florida to
ensure Luke's death; and how are the two things
Then he goes on
to Caroline Hanley and George Blake and urges
them to keep up their investigations and share
with him anything they uncover.
As the rhetoric
speeds towards war George's investigations take
her to Charles Macintyre's office where she
finds the knife used to kill the hooker and
implicate James Sinclair.
From Tampa Mark
receives Jane's copy of Luke's DV and finally
sees what happened to Saida. All the evidence
points to one thing. Seven years ago when she
was CEO of Armitage, Lynne Warner ordered a
massacre designed to eliminate the democratic
opposition in Tyrgyztan. This is big. This is
the kind of thing that could bring down an
administration on start a war. But something
about it feels wrong to Mark. Warner's a
straight-talking girl. This Machiavellian plot
isn't her style.
As the great and
good gather at the British Embassy for a round
table discussion on post-regime change Tyrgyztan,
Mark lays his trap. They're bugging his office?
He'll give them something to listen to. With the
guests waiting outside he takes Warner into the
library and confronts her with what he knows.
Slowly the two realise how they've been played
and then Warner reveals that the man in charge
of CMC's ventures in Central Asia in 1999 was
Caroline Hanley's boyfriend, co-sponsor with
Mark of Eshan's visit to Washington, Gordon
In Tampa Matthew
Weiss turns up the final piece of the puzzle.
Armitage is about to pour millions of dollars
and thousands of jobs into Florida when it opens
offices in Orange County. Now they know who
leant on the governor, who needed to make the
last witness of the Bukek massacre disappear -
Armitage CEO Gordon Adair.
the last piece of evidence from her father's
laptop. The man who ordered 125 triggered spark
gap switches to be sent to Tyrgyztan was Gordon
The end game
plays. Warner sacks Christopher Styles who goes
home to his apartment and takes an overdose.
Nicholas, anticipating that Macintyre won't want
any loose ends arrives at Styles's department
and waits for Macintyre to turn up. When he does
Nicholas shoots him but is too late to save
Christopher. At Armitage HQ Caroline confronts
Adair and Mark arrives in time to hear him crow
that there's nothing anyone can do. Armitage
keeps the US running. Who's going to send him
to Matthew Weiss's exclusive linking Gordon
Adair to the death of an innocent man on Death
Row and the many innocent victims of the 1999
massacre in Tyrgyztan. Adair will have a case to
answer after all.
And at the
Pentagon Mark and Warner stand eyeball to
eyeball for the last time. With a once in a
lifetime opportunity to rid the world of a
dangerous man Mark doesn't hesitate. 'This war
is illegal, Lynne. Stand the planes down.'