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Love Knot

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Love Knot
Episode number 13
ITV broadcast date 1st January 1990
(Monday)
Previous episode Flesh & Blood
Next episode Hostile Witness

Love Knot is an episode in Series 5 that first aired on 1 January 1990.

Plot synopsisEdit

A body is dragged up from the bottom of the Clyde, setting Taggart and Jardine on an investigation that they will never forget. They question and interview all of the suspects.

Full plot synopsisEdit

Opening Scene: A dredger is working on the River Clyde Scene shifts to the Highlands and two young climbers. The woman is wearing a ‘Think Pink’ T Shirt. They are preparing to climb. Back on the dredger climbers are ready to begin their ascent – the woman goes first. Back to the dredger – a worker spots something in one of the buckets – it’s a body. Woman reaches the top of the ascent, the boy starts his climb. Dredger operator ties another chicken bone to the string hanging in the operating room. Jim Taggart and Mike Jardine are on a boat making their way up the Clyde to the dredger. Jim refers to it as an’ old friend’ having been called out to bodies there in the past. When they arrive the dredger operator tells them that it’s the 8th body he’s seen this year. Dr Stephen Andrews tells Jim that she (the body) had been down there a couple of days, is about 19 years old and has ‘fearsome’ head and face injuries. Jardine takes a look. Back with the climbers the boy is half way up when he puts his hand on a loose rock and slips. He is saved by the safety rope, but knocks himself hard against the rock face. In the mortuary Stephen tells Jim and Mike about the weapon used in the attack. Having described it Mike draws it instantly recognizing that it’s an ice axe used in climbing. He also tells Jim that the knot in the rope used to tie the body up and the rope itself are used by climbers.

Back in the Highlands the boy finally makes it to the top. He is watched by two fellow climbers on the ground. They clearly know the boy and are camping in the area. The scene moves to a hospital ward. The woman climber is a physiotherapist. Back at station Mike tells Jim that there are three rock climbing clubs in Glasgow, two University run ones and one independent – the North Face Club which is based at the Carbeth Inn only 6 miles outside of the city. Jim and Mike make their way to the Carbeth Inn to speak to the club’s members. They are told there is no leader although a Susan Bryant takes on the role of secretary. Susan Bryant is the female climber. Jim and Mike speak to her, telling her that they are investigating an attempted prison break using climbing equipment. Divers on the River Clyde pull out another body – it’s a mannequin. Back at the climbing club the interviews of club members continue. Mike speaks to one of the men – seen watching the boy climbing earlier. He tells Mike that his son was killed climbing on Ben Nevis. They all have an alibi for the time of the murder. All the same Jim takes a list of all the club’s members not present. The young lad (Jason) appears at the door, there is clearly friction between him and other members. A traffic police patrol on the M8 spots a car speeding and pulls it over. The car is being driven by a Robby Meiklejohn. The car does not belong to him but instead belongs to the owner of the hotel in the Highlands where he works. Robby tells PC that he borrowed it to visit his parents in Glasgow. The PC recognises Robby – they were at school together. Consequently he runs a check on the car and lets him go on his way. Jim and Jean Taggart are at home. Jean is meditating using the Ackerman technique from a book she is reading. She tells Jim that she plans to go to a lecture by the author in Birmingham. Jim is his usual dismissive self.

Back at the station Mike discovers that one name (Russell) was missing from the list Susan provided of club members and what’s more he used to be her boyfriend. Russell is now employed as a PE teacher in a local school. Mike goes to speak to him, but is told by two students that he’s probably in Kelvin Hall where he teaches rock climbing. Jim goes to the hall where he speaks to Jason (the young lad) and Susan as to why she missed Russell’s name from list. She tells Jim about the friction in the club between Russell, a fellow climber Ken and Jason. The older members of the club don’t like younger members joining. She also tells him about a climbing incident involving all three men. The divers on the Clyde pull out a suitcase. Mike tells Jim about the suitcase and they go to take a look. The contents include a bottle of whisky and a name – Elizabeth Von Aschenberg. Up in the Highlands a lady (Countess Von Aschenberg) in a green sports car passes a man (Jack MacFarlane) on a fish farm and arrives home. She goes inside and picks up the post. The phone rings, she ignores it but it continues to ring so she answers it. There is no one there. She hears a car on the gravel drive, the doorbell rings, it's the police. Robby arrives back at the hotel where he works. The owner, Richard Smiley is there to greet him. He wants to know about the police check on the vehicle. There is clearly quite a close relationship between Richard and Robby. Back in station. Supt McVitie tells Jim and Mike about the Von Aschenbergs. The daughter, Elizabeth was in Glasgow after answering an ad in the paper for a nanny. McVitie has run the checks on the address for the ad himself, it doesn't exist. In Highlands, the Countess Von Aschenberg answers the phone again - no one is on the other end. Jim and Mike go to the post office and enquire about the address. The mail was re-diverted to what was believed to be the correct address for the Mr Carnegie who placed the ad.Jim and Mike go to the address and find all replies to the ad un opened. The Countess and Jack MacFarlane fly to Glasgow to identify Elizabeth's body. On the way to greet them the PC who stopped Robby Meiklejohn on the M8 tells Jim about the incident stating that the car belonged to the Von Aschenberg estate. Jim tells the PC to put the details on his desk. Jim and Mike introduce themselves to the Countess Back in the Highlands a man is pitching a tent The body is identified as that of Elizabeth Von Aschenberg. The Countess states that she knew nothing of the ad for a nanny. She tells McVitie that Elizabeth wanted to get away and be independent so she didn't think that anyone in the Highland's drew her attention to the ad. Did Elizabeth have any friends in or from Glasgow? Yes, but only Robby, the bar man from the local hotel who she had been seeing until the Countess split them up. Robby has been working the hotel for 3 years as he likes it up there because of the good climbing. At the hotel, Robby is working. Richard is worried having heard on the radio about Elizabeth's death that the police will want to speak to Robby. Man, who had pitched tent goes to stream to wash his face. Jim speaks to the PC who stopped Robby Meiklejohn on the M8. PC tells him that he didn't turn the car out because he knew Robby. Jim tells him that had he looked in the back he'd have seen that it was full of climbing equipment! Jack MacFarlane and the Countess return home. Jim is packing a bag at home. Jean Taggart is listening to Jazz and painting - part of the Ackerman Technique - 'surprise yourself, surprise others'. Jim and Mike leave to interview Robby. Robby is speaking to the Countess. He tells her that he was away in the Lake District climbing when Elizabeth was in Glasgow. The man from the tent is watching them talking. In the hotel, Jack and Richard are talking about the murder. The police arrive looking for Robby. They interview him, asking him how hw met Elizabeth and how the Countess split them up. He tells them that he has an alibi for the time of the murder - he was in the Lake District climbing. He helped the bar man of a local pub bump start his car. The bar man remembers him. Jim still thinks that the answer to the case is in the Highlands especially as having spoken to Richard he learns that Jack Macfarlane is not popular and that Elizabeth didn't like him. Jim and Mike are taken to a small B&B by a loch. The establishment is run by Mrs Macbeth an officious lady! They share a room and the beds have nylon sheets!! Jim and Mike go downstairs to have something to eat, phone rings, it's for Jim. The Countess wants to talk.

Jim goes to the Countess' house. She talks about the family and it's origin and how Elizabeth liked to see herself as modern and independent. Mike goes to see Jack MacFarlane and learns that Elizabeth resented his relationship with the Countess. Back at the house the Countess tells Jim that she believes that Robby had nothing to do with Elizabeth's death. She blames herself for driving Elizabeth away confessing to listening in on her phone calls etc. The man returns to his tent and finds a note addressed to a Mr Carnegie. Jim rings McVitie and tells him they plan to stay another day. Man goes to meet the note sender. He helps a fellow hiker, but on one turns up to meet him. Back at B&B Jim and Mike try to sleep - it's late but not dark and the nylon sheets are less than comfortable!

Man in tent is asleep - a vehicle pulls up not far from tent - the lights are visible. The man wakes up - a shadow passes the tent. The canvas on the roof of the tent is ripped open followed by the skin on the man's face - he is killed. Weapon is clearly an ice axe.

Jim and Mike check out of B&B paying what they owe - £24.00 each!! They are just about to leave when Mrs Macbeth arrives with the phone. Jim is told about the murder. He and Mike go to the scene. Jack MacFarlane is also there, he owns the land but he doesn't know who the camper was. Mike finds part of the note in the fire - you can just about read 'Mr Carnegie' Back in the hotel, Robby is shaving in his room. Richard bursts in telling him about the new murder. He wants to know where Robby was. Robby tells him to leave and is clearly un concerned. Jim and Mike tell the Countess that they want to see a sample of Elizabeth's handwriting. Again Jack is in attendance. Jim and Mike examine the writing comparing it to the original ad placed in the Scotsman for a nanny. The writing's the same meaning that Elizabeth posted the ad herself and Mr Carnegie never even existed, hence the false address and un opened replies. Jim and Mike speak to the Countess about the letter. It's Jim's guess that it was Elizabeth's way of escaping her Mother. The Countess tells him that right up until she left she was picking up the other phone extension to listen into her daughter's calls When she did the caller always said 'cross wires' and hung up. The Countess thought it was Robby. All week after Elizabeth left, the phone still continued to ring, but on one was ever on the other end. it had to be Robby, who else could it have been? Jim and Mike go back to the hotel and take Robby in for questioning. Still Richard is adamant that Robby was with him. The local police search Robby's room and find an ice axe.Jim and Mike talk to Robby at the local police station. Robby is telling them about climbing and how all climbs have names. He runs through a few and mentions Cross Wires. Jim asks him if other climbers would know the names and Robby replies yes, climbers are always meeting with climbers and so would Elizabeth. Robby tells them about a teacher called Russell that Elizabeth was mad about for a while. The Countess never knew anything about it. Was Robby jealous? No he was glad because he didn't like her getting to heavy with him anyway. Mike suddenly realises that the rugby shirt the man in the tent was wearing when he was killed was from the school he had visited to see Russell. It was his body in the tent. Jim and Mike leave for the airport and ask local Inspector to call McVitie and get him to meet them. Jim's sure the killer is Susan Bryant.Susan and Jason are at home. She is washing his things. She is agitated. Jason approaches her but she tells him not to touch. After she's done the washing she wants to go out climbing. Jason wants to sleep. At Glasgow Airport Jim and Mike arrive back. Susan killed Elizabeth and Russell with the aid of an accomplice - reason = jealousy. Jim walks in on Jason at home. Where is Susan? Jason won't speak. Jim asks him if he helped kill Elizabeth as well as Russell.Susan is out in the hills. Jim, Mike and back up drive to the spot where Susan's car is parked. They start searching for her. Searching amongst the rocks, along by a stream something catches Mike's eye - it's Susan hanging dead. Jim gets home to find a note from Jean, she's in Birmingham at her lecture. On the table is a picture covered by a piece of newspaper. Jim removes it, it's Jean's masterpiece and rather a good likeness of him too. Jim laughs.

CastEdit

Jim Taggart - Mark McManus


Mike Jardine - James MacPherson

Jack McVitie - Iain Anders Stephen Andrews - Robert Robertson

Jean Taggart - Harriet Buchan Robby Meiklejohn - John Michie

Countess Von Aschenberg - Jenny Runacre

Jack MacFarlane - David Robb

CI Fraser - Nicholas McArdle

Susan Bryant - Shauna Bird

Jason - Ewen Bremner

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