M.I.T.: Murder Investigation Team (2003–2005)
|Genre||Crime, Drama, Mystery|
|Content Rating||TV-PG (TV-PG)|
Murder Investigation Team (TV series)
Murder Investigation Team is a British police procedural drama/cop thriller series produced by the ITV network as a spin-off from the long-running series, The Bill. The series recounts the activities of the Metropolitan Police's Murder Investigation Team, who are led by D.I. Vivien Friend (Samantha Spiro) and D.S. Rosie MacManus (Lindsey Coulson). The series, also starring Diane Parish and Michael McKell, produced 12 episodes between 2003 and 2005. In September 2005, The Sun reported that ITV would not be commissioning a third series.
Like The Bill, Murder Investigation Team was filmed in the London Boroughs of Sutton, Merton and Greenwich. Locations included the former Woolwich campus of the University of Greenwich. The first series debuted on 3 May 2003, and ran for eight episodes. This series was filmed with the working title Think Murder, and was produced by Tom Cotter. The first episode featured the team investigating the death of one of The Bill's most popular characters, Sgt. Matthew Boyden, who was killed in a drive-by shooting. Several members of The Bill's cast also appeared in the episode.
The first series also featured guest appearances from such actors as Gary Kemp, Paul Bown and Bradley Walsh. After a two-year hiatus, a second series of four episodes debuted on 11 July 2005. All four episodes had previously been broadcast in February 2005 in Australia. This series features the re-appearance of DC Eva Sharpe, who joined the team, transferring from the CID office at Sun Hill. Each episode in series two was extended by half an hour and was produced by ITV's head of drama, Johnathan Young.
Cast and characters
Main cast and characters
- Lindsey Coulson as Sergeant Rosie MacManus (series 1-2), an M.I.T. detective. MacManus has two children, and must balance work and family life. It is for this reason that she remained a D.C. for much of her career. Four months prior to the start of series 2, she is promoted to D.S. at the behest of newly appointed D.C.I. Wishart, who wants to rid M.I.T. of its "old boy's network" mentality. In series 1, she is partnered with D.I. Friend, while in series 2 she is assigned by Hands to oversee the work of Eva Sharpe.
- Samantha Spiro as Inspector Vivien "Viv" Friend (series 1), a fast tracked, university-educated D.I. and the senior investigating officer of the Metropolitan Police's Murder Investigation Team. In series 1, she is partnered with D.C. MacManus. Friend departs M.I.T. for promotion six months prior to the start of series 2, and is replaced as D.I. by her Sergeant, Trevor Hands. She is described as detached and methodical.
- Diane Parish as Constable Eva Sharpe (series 2), a D.C. recruited by D.C.I. Wishart from Sun Hill. Eva is described as being sharp by nature, as well as by name, and during her time at borough policing she had earned herself a reputation as a lone wolf whose attitude "cuts both ways". Eva initially has an adversarial relationship with Hands, because of his relative inexperience as SIO. She is partnered with MacManus. Prior to appearing in series 2 of M.I.T., Parish played Sharpe on sister series The Bill.
- Michael McKell as Inspector Trevor Hands (series 1-2), initially a Detective Sergeant assigned to Friend's M.I.T. team. Trevor is shown to be loyal to the old way of policing, and resentful of both female leadership and fast-track schemes. Following Friend's departure, he is promoted to D.I., a role he has held for six months by the start of series 2.
Supporting cast and characters
- Meera Syal as D.C.I. Anita Wishart, the Chief Inspector assigned to oversee the Murder Investigation Team during series 2.
- Richard Hope as D.S. Barry Purvis, an office-based detective who coordinates investigations and liaises between police stations.
- Andrew Somerville as D.C. Patrick Lincoln, a junior D.C. assigned to Friend's team in series 1.
- Joe Shaw as D.C. Scott Grainger, a junior D.C. assigned to Friend's team in series 1. His death at the end of series 1 leads to Friend's departure between series.
- Steven Pacey as D.C.I. Malcolm Savage, the Chief Inspector assigned to oversee the Murder Investigation Team during series 1.
- Hugh Sachs as Dr Charles Renfield, a Scenes of Crime Officer.
- Richard Huw as Dr John Cornell, a Scenes of Crime Officer.
- Vincenzo Pellegrino as Dr Fergus Gallagher, a Scenes of Crime Officer.
- Howard Ward as D.S. Jim Dawes, the crime scene lead on Friend's team during series 1.
- Abhin Galeya as D.C. Simon Tait, a junior D.C. assigned to Hands' team in series 2.
- Will Mellor as D.C. Jed Griffiths, a junior D.C. assigned to Hands' team in series 2.
Series 1 (2003)
|#||Title||Guest stars||Directed by||Written by||Original air date|
|1||"Moving Targets"||Tony O'Callaghan, Lisa Maxwell, René Zagger, Roberta Taylor, Cyril Nri, Trevor McDonald||Michael Offer||Jake Riddell||3 May 2003|
|Following the deaths of Sgt. Matthew Boyden and an unidentified black man in a drive-by shooting, the gunman makes a speedy getaway leaving the team with no idea which man was the intended target. Meanwhile, his own drug addicted daughter, Amy, hears the news from a custody cell back at the nick. Still in shock, evidence collected from his daughter and colleagues lead the team to discover Boyden wasn't always on the right side of the law. Sure he may have had a few skeletons in his closet, but did anyone hold a killer grudge? The investigation takes a surprising turn when Sam is brought in for questioning – her underage daughter has been involved with Boyden and she is now a suspect in the enquiry.|
|2||"Daddy's Little Girl"||Bradley Walsh, Dean Ashton, Tracie Bennett, Pete Lee-Wilson||Michael Offer||Jake Riddell||10 May 2003|
|Vivien investigates the murder of a young woman whose remains have been found preserved in a concrete tomb at a demolition site. The only clues to her identity are a healed scar along her left hand and a puncture mark at the base of her spine from a medical procedure. The investigation leads to a three-year-old missing persons case in which a young girl vanished from her parents' pub without trace. When the autopsy confirms it is the same missing girl, Vivien has to break the news of her death to her distraught parents. The strongest lead is a mysterious photograph of their daughter with an unidentified man. And then the pathologist reveals she was in the early stages of pregnancy.|
|3||"Rubbish"||Tim Faraday, Sam Parks, Courtney Phillips||Nigel Keen||Avril E. Russell||17 May 2003|
|The dismembered body of a small child is found on a Thames rubbish barge. A painstaking search through layers of decaying rubbish reveals some clues but a discovery during the post mortem is even more disturbing. The little boy's heart has been crudely removed from his body and it looks like his murder could be African ritualistic killing. The murdered child's parents have logged a missing persons report, but their priest prevents Vivien from making contact. Offering to act as their interpreter, the priest speaks on their behalf, but Vivien soon realises the parents do, in fact, speak English. Does the priest know more about the child's murder than he is letting on? And where is their younger child Francis?|
|4||"Reading, Writing and Gangbanging"||John Duttine, Elizabeth Conboy, Dickon Tolson||Nigel Keen||Jake Riddell||24 May 2003|
|The team are called out to a double murder on a rundown housing estate. A middle-aged teacher, Martin Ramsey, has been pushed from his third floor window, and an old homeless man, Nelson Fairgrave, is found floating in a nearby lake – but what is the connection between the two men? A promising line of enquiry opens up when the police find out Ramsey was being intimidated by an ex-pupil, but there is little information to be had about the homeless man. When the police find several different trainer prints near to the lakeside they know they are looking for more than one man, but who would have wanted to kill Nelson Fairgrave, and why has Ramsey's computer been tampered with?|
|5||"Red Heads"||Benedict Taylor, Lee Warburton, Debbie Arnold||Ged Maguire||Avril E. Russell||31 May 2003|
|When the body of Penny Wake, a young red-haired housewife, is found in undergrowth by a mother and son out jogging, Vivien and the team are called in to investigate her death. There are no signs of a struggle but her body has been cleaned inside and out with bleach, and the team know they are looking for a calculating and forensically aware killer. Her husband, Neil, has no alibi for the night of her murder and is consequently their prime suspect, but when another red-haired woman is brought into the local hospital drugged and disorientated, a new line of enquiry opens up for the team which leads them to one man's terrible and dark secret. The question is, is he prepared to kill again?|
|6||"Models and Millionaires"||Gary Kemp, Paul Bown, Darren Tighe||Ged Maguire||Jake Riddell||14 June 2003|
|Natasha McKay is the woman with everything – a glamorous modelling career and a rich property developer for a husband. But when her disfigured body washes up on the banks of the Thames it becomes apparent that Natasha's life was not all that it seemed. An ex-school friend comes forward to come clean about his affair with Natasha: they were in love and they were going to marry. But when the team interview her husband Dennis McKay, he has an alibi for the night of her disappearance. Soon enough, a ring of faked pornographic photographs and the gambling debts of one of McKay's co-workers reveal the true motive for murder – and Vivien is sure that the evidence is strong enough to warrant an arrest.|
|7||"Lambs to the Slaughter"||Billy Carter, Amanda Drew, Nigel Lister||Susan Tully||Tom Needham||7 June 2003|
|When convicted child sex offender Dominic Moreton is bludgeoned to death in his own home, it looks like the work of vigilantes. The team's most promising lead in the enquiry is a phone call that the victim made to a possible associate, Peter Taylor. Dominic had been calling Peter on a regular basis, so when they search his house and find photos of Dominic with Peter's wife, it throws up all manner of questions. Soon they discover that Dominic and Peter are the same person – Peter was an undercover SO10 officer – and that he recorded his own murder on his wife's answer machine. Vivien realises that if they can decipher the background noise on the tape, they might be able to discover what really happened to Peter.|
|8||"The Bigger the Lie"||Miah Choudry, Heather McHale, Valerine Minifie||Nigel Keen||Julian Perkins||21 June 2003|
|Tensions run high in the Bangladeshi Community when the body of journalist Ellen Merrick is found dead in a disused shop in the local market place. Witnesses are reluctant to come forward to the police so the only clue the team have to work with is a bloody trainer print and some fibres from a nylon tracksuit at the crime scene. The team urgently need to find out what story Ellen was working on at the time of her death, but newspaper colleagues are reluctant to co-operate and with silence from the local community, Vivien needs to move quickly if she is to catch Ellen's killer, but she certainly doesn't count on another case opening up before her eyes.|
Series 2 (2005)
|#||Title||Guest stars||Directed by||Written by||Original air date|
|1||"Phone Tag"||Kenneth Cranham, Clare Higgins, Stacey Roca, Oliver Cotton||Gary Love||Charlie Fletcher||11 July 2005|
|The team are called to the scene of a violent street stabbing, in which young Lithuanian Ed Villarin, collapses and dies in the street after being stabbed with an ice pick during a game of 'phone tag', in which strangers join the game over the internet and must 'hunt' and photograph the 'target' with their mobile phone. Initially, Trevor suspects that outside influences such as Ed's involvement with the importation of stolen mobile phones, and a violent argument with a former co-worker are the motives behind his murder. However, convinced that the answer lies somewhere within the game, Simon attempts to track down the controller. Rosie and Eva arrive to find for him, the next level of the game is the kill.|
|2||"Vipers' Nest"||Anthony Head, Cathy Tyson, Amanda Ryan, Melanie Thaw||Gary Love||Andrew Rattenbury||18 July 2005|
|The team uncover a vipers' nest of malpractice and drug dealing after a popular hospital registrar, Karl Anderson, is pushed off a hospital roof into a busy social gathering down below. With many suspects to question, and a number of leads to follow, the team soon find themselves under pressure to catch the killer before he strikes again. A search of Karl's house discovers a seventeen-year-old girl's medical file hidden between a collection of old LPs, and the discovery that she died just five days after a routine appendix operation. Suspecting that the hospital's clinical lead, Dr. Stuart Masters, may have botched the operation in order to save time, gives the team a perfect motive for his murder.|
|3||"Professional"||Jack Ryder, Tim Healy, Naomi Benson, Chike Okonkwo, Paul Antony-Barber||Reza Moradi||Mark Burt||25 July 2005|
|The pressure is on the team as the net tightens to secure a result when professional football player Sean Reynolds is found beaten to death near a local park. Suspicion falls on both his close and estranged family – as well as angry group of fans who were furious about his decision to leave the club – but no secure leads or forensic evidence can lead to a concrete conviction. The key to the entire case soon boils down to whether Sean's wife or his mother-in-law was the driver of her Mercedes Coupe, which is spotted on CCTV following Sean to the location of his death. Simon's interview techniques prove to be the catalyst for solving the case – but he's not convinced of who is responsible for murder.|
|4||"Sexual Tension"||Danny Dyer, Lee Ross, Vincent Regan, Andrew Tiernan||Gary Love||Andrew Rattenbury||1 August 2005|
|Sexual tension becomes rife among the team when a crime scene colleague is found strangled in her flat, with her underwear having been placed in her mouth. The initial investigation becomes complicated when a second victim is found dead in similar circumstances. However, there are a number of indiscrepencies with the second killing that make it out to look more like a 'copycat' rather than the same killer – but the team are baffled as to how the killer got hold of the information, when it hasn't been released to the press. When CCTV shows Trevor accompanying the victim home, he soon becomes the prime suspect – but can his best friend and colleague Rosie prove that he is not capable of murder?|
From 2011 to 2012, Acorn Media Home Entertainment (under license from talkbackTHAMES and FremantleMedia Enterprises) released the entire 12-episode collection/all 2 seasons of this British modern cult cop thriller series in Region 1 DVD, starting with the first season on March 1, 2011, and the second and final season on March 27, 2012.
|DVD release name||Episodes||Years of Series||UK Release Date|
|North American Release Date|
|Australian Release Date|
|Murder Investigation Team – Series One||1–8||2003||25 October 2004||1 March 2011||N/A|
|Murder Investigation Team – Series Two||9–12||2005||N/A||27 March 2012||N/A|
|Murder Investigation Team: The Complete Series||1–12||2003 & 2005||16 September 2013||N/A||5 June 2013|