The Thief, His Wife and the Canoe (2022) s01e01 Episode Script

Episode 1

I think you've maybe forgotten, buddy, I cut you in on the Timberlake story.
And you made a fortune out of that mother, so just goddamn pick up, David.
Cos I know you're in there with her! Anne! What, you saw her? She just ran out of the back with some others.
- What's out the back? - A car park.
There's more than one car.
It's smart They're sending out decoys.
She's in the back of the Beamer! Shit! - Did it work? - I don't know.
How did they know where to find me? Journalists, it's what we do.
I'll try San Miguelito.
We'll lose them, for sure.
- Oh, Jesus, Stef! - You want me to lose them or not? - How are we doing? - I can't see anyone.
You think we've lost them now? I think we actually might have.
- Pete? - We're right behind you.
- No, you're not.
- Look out the back.
- What do you want? - Just one photo.
You can have the story, I just want a snap.
In the nicest possible way, Pete, piss off.
- Is he behind us? - No, he's bluffing.
- OK, he's not bluffing.
Faster, Stef! - On it.
'I expect you're wondering how I ended up here.
'So am I.
'All I ever wanted was a simple life.
' 'December 2000.
'The third worst Christmas of my life.
'This was a whole year before it properly began.
'But we'd already lost grip.
' Anne! Come on, love! Shake a bloody leg! Do you want to grab that, love? Strong as an ox, that one.
- Did you put the kettle on? - I was doing this, like you said.
No problemo, I'll do it.
How are we going to furnish it all, John? Or decorate it? Because every single room needs doing.
Of 13.
And how are we gonna heat it? Not to mention next door, which, by the way, you can hear on every floor through those bloody doors.
Drunks and drug addicts and people having sex.
I mean, just how are we gonna pay for any of it? With next door, love.
11 bedsits, which I will be doing up.
As I've explained a thousand times.
And how long before this isn't enough? I'll get all those bricked up, soundproofed.
We'll never need them anyway.
And this time, this is it.
I promise.
'Except, of course, it wasn't.
' Hang on, move in a bit, I can't see.
'John was a man who'd buy a Range Rover he couldn't afford' Now, say, "Cheese!" '.
And then spend 3,000 on a personalised number plate.
' Cheese! 'And all before we'd got the gas connected.
' Tea? Oh, thanks.
- There you go.
- Thank you.
- Happy New Year! - Oh, happy New Year! 'John was a man who wouldn't just buy number three, 'if he could kid the bank to lend him enough money 'to buy number four as well.
'On top of the 12 rental properties we already owned.
'John was a man who always needed more' John! '.
Of everything.
'To show just how far he'd travelled from the stink and the soot of the colliery town he'd come from.
' 'Except now '.
It was all finally falling apart.
' John, stop.
American Express called again this afternoon.
They've said they're going to have to send the bailiffs in.
And I just totted up the others.
You owe 64,000 on 13 different cards.
Never mind the mortgage.
Because the markets have collapsed.
I mean, I'm trying my best here.
I really am.
But there are never enough hours in the day to do it all.
The shifts at the prison, having to find new tenants all the time, the endless repairs.
And I know you're doing your best, love.
I do.
And I know it isn't your fault.
But we do still have to face up to reality now, because I can't go on like this.
No, I know.
- Do you? - Of course.
I know you think I don't take it seriously.
But I do.
In fact, I've been thinking of pretty much nothing else for the last six months.
And as far as I can see, we don't have a lot of choice.
As far as I can see, there is only one sensible solution.
And I know how hard that'll be.
I know how important it was for you to feel like you'd bettered yourself.
But I promise you filing for bankruptcy won't make me love you one single jot less.
- Bankruptcy? - Yes.
What are you talking about? You said there was only one sensible solution.
And there is.
But it's not bankruptcy.
Well, what on Earth is it, then? You're going to love this.
Well, I don't even know where to start.
I mean, apart from it being completely illegal, apart from it being totally immoral, what in God's name do you think it would do to our family? To our boys? To your dad, my parents, to any of them, to actually think you were dead? I think they'd be upset for a few weeks and then they'd get over it.
You've lost your mind, John.
- You are literally mad and - Enough! I am most certainly not mad, Anne.
What I am is a man who thinks outside the box.
Oh, are you? And no offence, but that takes a certain sort of brain.
So I need you to trust me here.
Because this is a very good idea.
Is it? OK, so talk me through it, then, please, in detail, this "Very good idea".
I have a canoe downstairs in the cellar.
And I have that canoe because, as you know, I used to like canoeing.
Now, it would be fair to say it has been some time since I last used it.
So, for the purposes of phase one of my plan, we will need to remind people of my historic love of canoeing, but also of my intention, once again, to take it up.
And this will thus require, at appropriate moments in the coming weeks and months, that you and I drop it into conversation with people.
Saying something along the lines of, "John's thinking of starting up canoeing again.
" Right.
Meanwhile, in tandem, I will start to assemble what will essentially be a survival kit.
An emergency kit comprising everything I'd need to survive in the wild for an unspecified period of time.
A tent, obviously.
A sleeping bag.
A stove.
A torch.
A penknife.
Maybe some Kendal Mint Cake, whatever.
These examples are illustrative, rather than exhaustive, but I'm sure you get my drift.
Now, once I have assembled my kit, I will then start to monitor local weather reports, forecasts, tides, sea conditions etc, etc.
And then, on a pre-arranged day, when we are sure that the weather is fine, phase one of the plan will begin.
So you will go to work as if everything were completely normal.
And I will covertly survey the street, and then, at an appropriate moment, that is, when a neighbour is approaching, I will walk out of the front door with the canoe under my arm, ensuring I am seen.
I will then carry the canoe down to the beach, making sure a few people see me there as well.
I will then put the canoe in the water, I will get in it, and I will paddle out to sea.
I will then bank north and paddle along the coast for a few miles.
And then, at an appropriate point, now out of sight of any walkers, I will then paddle back in.
And once ashore, I will unpack my kit, I will break the paddle, throw it out to sea.
I will push the canoe out as well.
I will then make my way across country and find a wild and remote spot where I shall then hide.
- You'll hide? - I will then hide.
- In your tent? - In my tent.
So that very same evening, you will return from work, realise I am not there and spot that the canoe, which was in the hallway, has now gone.
You'll ring my work.
You'll ring a few friends maybe.
Well, we don't have any fr Then, finally, desperately worried, you will ring the police and raise the alarm.
They will then send a boat out for me.
- They? - The police, or the lifeboat people, or whoever, they will send a boat out to look for me.
They obviously won't find me.
And so, eventually, after a few hours, it'll be assumed I've had a heart attack or something, or the weather turned.
I thought you said the weather was good.
Anne, will you just? And so, you, meanwhile, have been sitting tight, as various formalities and procedures and whatnot - have been worked through.
- Whatnot? Which will all conclude, a week or so later, with me, tragically, being declared dead.
At which point, you will be able to claim the life insurance.
And at which point also, my dear wife, we will, ironically be home and dry.
What could be simpler? And then? What do you mean, "And then"? Well, what happens then to us, cos you'll be dead, won't you? So, how are we meant to be together? I mean, maybe you have plastic surgery and I marry this new bloke I've met who looks a bit like you.
That's actually not a bad Or maybe the plan's for me to give you all the insurance money and for you to run off with one of your tarts.
- Was that it? - No, that's not the plan at all.
No, John, I simply will not be a part of it.
I am not telling such an utterly dreadful lie to the police, to our family, but, most importantly, to our two beautiful sons.
I could not think of doing something so completely appalling, and I am so upset that you could.
So it's not happening, ever, OK? Well, I suppose I'll have to do it for real, then.
Do what? Top myself.
- What? - I'm sorry, love.
But I'd genuinely prefer to end it all .
Than face the shame .
Of bankruptcy.
I just couldn't bear it.
No, love, tell me you would never do it.
No, I would.
To lose everything I've worked for my whole life .
I would, my darling.
'I suspected it was a lie.
'But I couldn't be sure.
'And he knew that.
' 'Every day, for weeks, 'I continued to try to dissuade him, to resist him.
'But he was determined.
' I can just buy a new one.
I've come about your unpaid bills, Mr Darwin! 'In the end, I genuinely don't think he could see another way out.
' I'm not going anywhere until you do! It's tomorrow, then.
What? - I'm doing it tomorrow.
- No, John.
The weather's perfect, the tides are right.
Please, please, think of the boys.
For Christ's sakes, Anne, I'm doing it tomorrow.
I'm doing it tomorrow.
And I am asking you to support me, your husband.
John, please No-one is queueing up for a woman like you, Anne.
They weren't when I married you, and they certainly wouldn't be now! - Surgery.
- Annie I'll see you at the meeting point tonight.
Do not be late.
Nice weather for it! Sorry? I said, nice weather for it! For a spot of canoeing.
- Oh, right, yeah, I guess.
- See you later, then.
Sorry! Thank you.
Buggeration! What bloody time do you call this? It's nearly half past! I'm dying of sodding hypothermia here! It'll all be over in a couple of weeks.
I promise you, love.
It'll be tricky for a few days.
And then people will move on and we'll be able to get back on track.
Trust me.
I love you.
Don't let me down.
The train at platform four is the delayed 20:16 TransPennine service to Carlisle 'I read this story in the Echo once.
'About a hot-air balloon that had escaped its mooring 'with a little boy in the basket.
'A lady had grabbed hold of a rope and tried to pull it back down, 'but she wasn't strong enough.
'And the balloon, with her now hanging on, 'had continued to rise.
'And as she considered whether she should let go 'and maybe break a leg, 'or keep holding on and hope her weight 'would eventually bring the balloon back down, 'in that moment, it had risen a further 30 feet.
'At that point, 'her only choice was to hold on and pray.
' 'Emergency 999.
What service do you require?' Police, please.
I think my husband might be missing.
And what time was he meant to have been at work? His shift was meant to start at seven.
Do you want to go and check on the neighbours, see if anyone saw him leave with a canoe? Anne, do you have a photo of John we could use, - just in case we? - No.
I'm sorry? He had a thing about having his photo taken.
I don't have any, I'm afraid.
None at all.
Are there any issues going on that we need to know about? Any rows, any money issues? You know, anything at all that might have caused him to want to get away for a few days? No, none at all.
So, he's 51 and fairly fit, you say.
But he hasn't used the canoe for a few years I've got a neighbour who saw him walk down to the beach with it.
And a dog-walker who saw him going into the water with it.
- Both about six hours ago.
- Ok.
I think we're gonna have to call this one in, Anne, get some people out looking for him, OK, so is there anyone that can be with you right now? My brother.
I had no idea, none whatsoever, how big it would get and how fast.
I'm standing now outside the Seaton Carew residence of the lone canoeist, named by police as John Ronald Darwin, who paddled out to sea earlier today, but has not been seen since.
Anne? - Oh, Michael, what am I gonna do? - It's OK, pet.
It's going to be OK.
I told him not to.
- I said, "Don't do it.
" - I'm sure you did.
Have you called the boys yet? I can't I can't tell them.
Please, don't make me tell them.
Please, I can't.
I can't.
It's ok, you don't have to tell them.
Because they're going to find him.
Very soon, I swear.
And if I know your John, he'll be absolutely bloody fine.
Full English, please.
And breakfast is between 7:00 and 9:00.
So there's your key, Mr Allen.
Number five, which is second floor, third one down on the left.
Thank you.
And so what sort of difficulties might a canoeist run into in these sorts of conditions? Multiple.
I mean, he might have lost his paddle.
He could have had an issue Anyway I think I'll turn in.
- Night, love.
- Good night.
We've got three boats, two choppers and one plane, so that's about 60 men and women, all told.
You have to eat something, love.
And they'll find him.
I know they will.
60 men and women, Anne, working on it day and night.
So Mam and Dad are driving over.
And I think it probably is time now that we let the boys know.
Anthony's on holiday in Niagara.
He's gone there to propose to Louise.
Maybe I'll try Mark first.
Anne? Are you all right? - Mark Darwin.
- Oh, hi, Mark.
I've got a man on the line who says he's your Uncle Michael.
Er, put him through.
Hopes are fading in the search for missing Seaton Carew resident John Darwin.
Mr Darwin, 51, who went missing over 24 hours ago, was last seen paddling out to sea in his canoe.
Despite being an experienced kayaker and favourable weather conditions yesterday, Darwin has failed to return to shore.
The Coastguard are still searching, but with every passing hour, the chances of fining Mr Darwin alive are significantly reduced.
No, no, no.
One second, Mr Darwin! Can you just give us? They're going to find him, Mam, I promise you.
And he He's going to be fine.
I promise.
No, sweetheart, I think we've lost him, I really do.
I think he's gone.
I did so many dreadful things over the next few years.
But this This moment will remain with me till the day I die.
Ladies and gentlemen, this is your captain speaking He was always having these hair-brained, get-rich-quick schemes.
And there was this time that he decided the future was in garden gnomes.
And he bought a load of them cheap somewhere.
And me and Mark and him spent weeks in the shed painting them.
Selling them at boot fairs.
I think for a loss in the end.
But we loved it.
Over the next few days, the police came and went.
Somehow, they managed to find absolutely nothing in John's effects and documents that suggested anything other than what I'd told them.
And then, four days after he'd gone missing a new officer came over.
I'm afraid they are now calling the search off, Anne.
And I think we probably do all need to prepare for the worst.
Obviously, not now, but at some point, I will need you to make a statement.
Sorry, that's me.
Hello? Hi ya, love.
It's me.
Are you OK, Mum? Anne? Anne, can you hear me? - Mum? - Anne? Sorry, it's a friend from the choir just checking in.
One second, Jean.
Are you insane? I've got the police here, John, not to mention our family, my brother, the boys.
- Well, how was I to know? - Well, clearly.
I mean, how you could ever have thought this would all be over in a few days - It will be.
- No, John, it won't be.
It's huge, the whole thing is snowballing.
And I cannot believe I let you convince me.
Well, it's no bloody picnic here, either, let me tell you! My mattress keeps deflating.
I've had no hot food for three days.
And I've got chilblains! I'm sorry, John, I really can't talk to you right now.
Well, call me tomorrow, then.
At this number.
Seven o'clock.
- No, I'm sorry, I can't.
- Please, Anne.
Please, I really need you.
I'm so lonely.
And I'm sorry about the things I said.
I didn't mean them.
I'm just scared, and I want you to know - I'll give you a call.
- Yeah.
- I don't know.
- No, no, no, no, no.
No, you have to guess, that's the game.
I'm not in the mood for games, John, just tell me, where have you decided to live when it's all calmed down? Number four.
What? Think about it.
Where's the last place anyone would ever think of looking? Next bloody door! It's genius, Anne.
We'll do up one of the bedsits.
We've got all the interconnecting doors.
It's perfect! Annie? Anne? Anne? Anne? In the end, I came to my senses and realised I couldn't let the boys lose both of us.
Over the next few weeks, I felt I had no choice but to speak to John every couple of days.
If I never eat another Mars bar, it'll be a day too soon.
And meat pies.
Oh, Anne, the indigestion! And every, single time, I begged him to turn himself in.
If not for me, for his boys.
But he never wavered, not for a second.
He had total belief that he was doing the right thing.
And, of course, I should have just turned him in myself, but 'maybe I still hoped I could bring the balloon back down to Earth somehow without anyone getting too badly hurt.
'And then, finally, 'the boys had to go back to their jobs and real lives.
' 'Anne?' Hello, John.
- Gotcha! - Oh, my God! You stupid idiot! Well, it's nice to see you, too.
Oh, my God, John, when did you last wash? Open your window, that's disgusting.
- Come on.
Give us a kiss.
- Get off me! Sorry.
It's still not too late, you know, to own up.
The worst is over now, pet.
I promise you.
It'll be so much easier from here on in.
Or you could just tell the boys.
Because they've been so upset, John.
Absolutely devastated.
I promise you, if you'd seen what I've seen Well, we could tell them, but if it ever goes tits up, they'd be implicated, then, wouldn't they? I mean, they could end up in prison.
And do we really want that, Anne? Do you? There.
What are these? Front door for number four and then room number eight.
I've put fresh sheets on the bed.
There's money in the meter for hot water and a microwave ready-meal next to the sink.
Anne, love, hang on.
What are you talking about? I'm staying with you tonight, aren't I? It's been a long three weeks, love.
For both of us.
But we need to stick to the plan, John.
The one your "certain kind of brain" came up with.
If I think it's safe, I might let you in for breakfast at nine.
Anne Can you open the door, please? Anne I'm so lonely.
It was that posh one.
Thingy Fox.
We saw it at The Majestic.
I don't remember it.
Yeah, you do.
Anyway, he gets a fake passport easy-peasy.
So, I'm just going to do the same as him, maybe without the assassination of the French President bit.
Of course.
No, that's fine.
OK, see you then.
Bye, now.
So, we should probably talk about getting the insurance claim going.
The police are coming over.
- Say what? - In about 20 minutes.
They said it's routine, but they want to do another search.
Fuck! OK, yeah.
No problem.
Did you find anything? Not here, no.
What do you mean, not here? I'm so sorry, Anne.
So what now? Well, I need to speak to my boss.
But I don't think we're in any doubt now about what's happened here.
That your husband's had some kind of accident at sea and has, tragically, lost his life.
So, to be honest with you, Anne this is pretty much case closed for us now.
'At that moment, he truly thought he'd got away with it.
Next Episode