Murder City (TV series)

Murder City
Created by Robert Murphy (writer)
Starring Amanda Donohoe
Kris Marshall
Connor McIntyre
Laura Main
Tim Woodward
Amber Agar
Geff Francis
Alexis Conran
Composer(s) Mark Russell
Country of origin United Kingdom
Original language(s) English
No. of series 2
No. of episodes 10
Executive producer(s) Andy Harries
Francis Hopkinson
Producer(s) Mark Hudson
David Boulter
Tony Dennis
Running time 90 minutes
Production company(s) Granada Television
Original network ITV
Original release 18 March 2004 (2004-03-18) – 26 April 2006 (2006-04-26)
External links

Murder City is a British police drama that centres on two mismatched detectives who scour London solving complex cases. The series stars Amanda Donohoe as DI Susan Alembic and Kris Marshall as DS Luke Stone. Murder City premiered on 18 March 2004 on the ITV Network at 9pm, for a series of six episodes. The series returned for a second run in 2006, with a shorter run of just four episodes. The series was not renewed for a third run. BBC America began airing the series on 17 August 2006, and was subsequently released in four disc DVD box set by Image Entertainment on 14 August 2007.


Whilst the premise of the show features a murder squad investigating complex cases in and around London, the drama created is centered around the re-alignment of character team-ups. Although Alembic and Stone are the lead characters and partners, writer Robert Murphy frequently separates them at the beginning of each episode, by providing them with their own case to solve. While Alembic typically partnered with Dumfries, Dumfries also possessed his own cases which the episodes followed. Additionally, character personality alignment frequently varied. Episodes either switched between Stone and Alembic uniting against Dumfries' personality or Dumfries and Alembic conjoining to discourage Stone's theories. However, one episode showed all three sharing a laugh, despite Turner's chagrin. Despite showing the personality failures of each character, the series did not overtly lampoon any character or favour one crime solving style over another. Both the 'out of the box' and the 'by the book' characters contribute to the solution of their individual cases through their unique approaches.

Appearances of main and recurring characters

Character Actor Years Series Episode Count
DI Susan Alembic Amanda Donohoe 2004-2006 1.1-2.4 10
DS Luke Stone Kris Marshall 2004–2006 1.1–2.4 10
DC Alison Bain Laura Main 2004–2006 1.1–2.4 10
DCI Sebastian Turner Tim Woodward 2004-2006 1.1–2.4 10
Dr. Annie Parvez Amber Agar 2004–2006 1.1–2.4 10
DC Frank Craven Connor McIntyre 2004-2006 1.1–2.4 8
Dr. Simon Dunne Alexis Conran 2004-2006 1.1-2.4 8
DI Adrian Dumfries Geff Francis 2004-2006 1.1–1.6 6
DC Bruce Simner Tim Dantay 2004 1.3-1.4 2

     – Character has a major role in the series.


Episode list

Series 1 (2004)

Episode Title Written by Directed by Original airdate Viewers
1"The Critical Path"Robert MurphySam Miller18 March 20046.01m
DI Alembic investigates the disappearance and suspected murder of sixteen-year-old Grace Gilmartin, but interference from American psychic Calvin Moran infuriates DS Stone, who is quick to disprove Moran's theories, and in the process, get himself thrown off the case. DI Dumfries pairs with Alembic as Moran leads the detectives to a body buried in nearby woods, which is soon identified as Grace's biological father. Meanwhile, Stone and DC Craven investigate the murder of an inner city oil trader who was murdered at his desk, with the killer managing to evade being captured on CCTV. Stone uses mathematical reasoning to identify a 'critical path' - a sequence which occurs once every seventeen hours which allowed for the killer to enter the building, kill the victim and escape unseen.
2"Under the Skin"Robert MurphyAshley Pearce25 March 20044.70m
The discovery of a skull buried on a construction site intrigues DS Stone, but DI Alembic quickly re-assigns him to another case, in which an eighty-year-old is stabbed to death shortly after her own birthday party. Stone's usual efforts to be tactful and sensitive fall by the wayside, as he arrests a family relative without strong evidence, and soon finds himself being thrown off the case. DCI Turner assigns him to the discovery of the skull, and as he attempts to uncover its identity, he finds himself investigating a senior police officer whom he accuses of tampering with evidence. As the victims of a serial killer known as the 'Commercial Row' killer are re-investigated, Stone finds himself up against an ever-increasing tangled web of lies, deceit, murder and nonsensical evidence.
3"Happy Families"Robert MurphyRichard Spence1 April 20045.59m
The discovery of a dismembered body at a local rubbish dump leads DI Alembic and DS Stone on the trail to uncover the victim's identity. As they discover that the body is that of language-school owner Victoria Symmonds, the detectives struggle to find a motive for murder, until shoeboxes containing £35,000 in cash are found underneath her bed. Further investigation leads Stone to believe that Symmonds was a major player in the baby trade market, using contact information gathered by her sister, and using her brother-in-law as a handler. Meanwhile, DCI Turner comes face to face with an old friend, Superintendent Boyle of Essex police, while DI Dumfries and DC Bain find themselves on a wild goose chase, following the trail of a second arm found at the rubbish dump during the search.
4"Mr. Right"Stephen PlaiceRichard Spence8 April 20045.87m
The murder of Karen Harteson and Alan Scoby in a hotel bedroom proves to be a complex investigation for DI Alembic and DS Stone, with Stone convinced that Karen was the target, but Alembic convinced otherwise. As Alembic and DI Dumfries investigate possible suspects with Scoby being the target, they find themselves slap-bang in the middle of an upcoming murder trial, which sees Scoby as the key witness. With DCI Turner convinced that Scoby was the intended victim, he orders Stone to stay well away from the Karen Harteson line of enquiry. However, Stone has no intention of giving up, and presents his evidence to Alembic, who orders him to stick with it. As Stone uses his intuition to build a group of suspects, Dumfries and Alembic's investigation comes to a grinding halt when the prime suspect is shot.
5"Big City, Small World"Robert MurphyAshley Pearce15 April 20045.39m
A drive-by shooting in a packed high street, which leaves two dead and five injured, springs a surprise when DS Stone discovers that one of the supposed victims was already dead before he was shot. As DI Dumfries investigates a possible turf war between the Turks and the Kurds, DI Alembic and DS Stone investigate the murder of the second victim. After discovering that he was also poisoned, as well as being beaten and suffering a heart attack before he was shot, the number of suspects begins to increase rapidly. The trail leads straight to Ken Hill, a local fitness guru and part-time dealer. However, during a tussle with DS Stone, Hill himself dies of a seizure caused by poisoning. Alembic is convinced she can nail her prime suspect, but DCI Turner warns her to stay well away.
6"Nothing Sacred"Robert MurphySam Miller22 April 20044.11m
DI Alembic and DS Stone investigate the murder of an art trader, who is found in the boot of his car, having been dumped in the river. As Stone attempts to identify a motive for murder, he comes a little too close to a key witness and finds the line between love and professionalism slowly merging. Meanwhile, DI Dumfries is ecstatic when he arrives at the scene of a murder, only to find the killer standing over the body. However, a post-mortem reveals the deceased died of natural causes, and Dumfries becomes the butt of the joke. However, DC Craven uses Dumfries' suspect to help re-create a vital piece of evidence in the art trader's murder. As Stone edges ever closer to the truth, he discovers that secrets surrounding a 500,000-year-old text changing hands may be the motive for murder.

Series 2 (2006)

Episode Title Written by Directed by Original airdate Viewers
1"Wives and Lovers"Robert MurphyRichard Spence5 April 20064.85m
The murder of Jackie Aston, a married woman with a penchant for extra-marital affairs, puzzles the team. DI Alembic goes undercover to try and obtain information from the prime suspect, while DS Stone and DC Bain trawl the evidence in an attempt to uncover clues which could point to the killer's identity. Stone is convinced that a second man found dead at the scene, who died after the dead woman's body was thrown onto him from the top floor of a tower block, is the intended victim after all. With Susan working on the basis that Jackie's murder was the catalyst rather than the weapon, the case is thrown on its head when the fiancé of the second victim reveals that she has been stalked by a family friend, who also knows and associates with Susan's prime suspect, since she was a teenager.
2"Just Seventeen"Robert MurphyIan Knox12 April 20065.18m
The team are divided to investigate two separate cases. DI Alembic and DC Craven investigate the execution of Vernon Duffy, who was tied to a tree and shot in a game of Russian roulette. DS Stone and DC Bain investigate the suspected suicide of a schoolgirl which turns out to be a very carefully planned and executed murder. The two cases soon interlink when the prime suspect in Stone's case turns out to be one of the twelve people involved in Duffy's execution – which soon gives him a cast-iron alibi. Determined to nail all twelve suspects involved, a clue provided by a young witness in Stone's case leads Alembic to discover that it was none other than Duffy's jury at his rape trial which staged his execution. Meanwhile, Stone is convinced the dead girl's best friend is her killer.
3"Death of a Ladies' Man"Robert MurphyRichard Spence19 April 20065.28m
The team investigate two separate cases. DCs Bain and Craven investigate the murder of Greg Osborn, who is killed in a hit-and-run incident. Meanwhile, DI Alembic and DS Stone investigate the shooting of Ryan Everett, a gigolo who appeared to have been the target of someone who he owed a serious amount of money to. Everett momentarily dies in hospital, but after regaining consciousness, is able to provide little information as to who would want to kill him. During a search of a house owned by prime suspect Adam Brady in the Greg Osborn murder, DC Craven finds a gun which is later identified as the weapon used to shoot Ryan Everett. Stone and Alembic try to piece the complicated aspects of the two cases together to find out the motive for a tangled web of lies, blackmail, deceit and murder.
4"Game Over"Danny MillerIan Knox26 April 20064.80m
The murder of hotel worker Alice Fleming leads the team to suspect that they are looking for a serial killer. However, the shooting of Sam Glazer overshadows the investigation, when it appears that the two seemingly unrelated cases are linked through hotel towels found in both of the victims' homes. As the team trace the scene of crime back to the Fountain hotel, suspect Nathan Wallace reveals that a third murder took place on the night, for which the team have found no body. DS Stone interviews a key witness who reveals that no third murder occurred, and that simply a joke between an actor and stuntman had taken place, which leaves Wallace's motives for murder unquestionably in doubt. But despite admitting to Alice's murder, the team are no closer to catching Sam Glazer's murderer.
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