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Episode guide > Season 3 > Ghost's Forge

Season 3, Episode 4
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corner imageSummary info
Writer: David Renwick
Director: Richard Holthouse
Original broadcast date: (UK) 18 December 1999 on BBC1
Filmed in: 16:9 aspect ratio
Guest stars
Stuart Milligan as Adam Klaus
Kezi Silverstone as Cindy
Lysette Anthony as Mimi Tranter
Gina Bellman as Samantha
Mark Aiken as Robin Priest
Sara Stephens as Shirley Priest
Jim Bowen as Duggie Dawson
Nicholas Amer as Bill

View guest cast

Ghosts Forge sign Adam Klaus drops off his latest lady friend who has just returned from Japan. She's given him a shirt with some Japanese writing on, and Adam tells her to get refreshed and back on Western time for her birthday party tomorrow.

Adam then goes to a florist and orders a huge bouquet of flowers. He's asked what he's like on the card and starts saying really romantic things about his latest fling. Halfway through he finally claps eyes on the florist, Samantha, and suddenly the rest of his sentiment is directed towards the florist and not his lady friend!

Jonathan is round Maddy's reading a letter she received from Mimi Tranter. Mimi used to work with Maddy when they were reporters. Jonathan asks what kind of name Mimi is. Maddy says that was the joke around the news desk, she was always "Me, Me" the glamorous reporter, women can't stand but men dribble all over.

"Like a urinal?" Jonathan quips.

"But without the charm" Maddy replies.

They are both waiting for Mimi to come round, and Jonathan comments that he can't wait much longer. Adam has another show going out tonight at eight O'clock.

A band starts playing outside Maddy's flat, and clearly, judging by Maddy's reaction they've done it before. She immediately goes to the window and dares the trombone player to start playing again - which he does. The doorbell rings and Maddy leaves the window to go and answer it. Mimi immediately goes to the window and asks the band to take a break - they do!

Mimi then turns to face Jonathan. She has something that's right up his street she says. She then comments that she loves the tricks Adam did recently on telly. Very impressive, of course she knows how it was done and proceeds to explain, much to Jonathan's annoyance. Mimi then says she's running late and that her latest boyfriend, Robin, is coming to pick her up soon. He's fantastic in every department, but of course he's married and has a six month old daughter, but she swears this time she wasn't looking to have an affair with a married man. She met him when she was assigned to write a story about him. He's a salesman who won first prize in a story writing competition. She went round his house and some pictures were taken to go with the article. His wife was there and you could tell they weren't getting on, but Mimi and Robin - they just clicked. Then one night after one of his new "business trips" they were asleep, but Robin was having a nightmare and started talking in his sleep. She said the name "Ghost's Forge", but when Mimi asked what or where Ghost's Forge was he said he didn't know. Later that day it came back to him, he'd read an article about an unsolved murder, and the bloodhound instinct took over, Mimi decided to investigate.

Ghost's Forge is a house in Norfolk whose owner, Ezra Carr, had lived a lonely life ever since his wife died 20 years previously. He never left the house or saw anyone. Eighteen months ago, a man was walking his dog and the dog managed to give him the slip. The owner caught up with the dog in the grounds of the house and noticed a strange sight in a window. It would seem that Ezra Carr died whilst looking out the window. However according to the police report (that Mimi just happened to get out of the police!) he was found with a knife in his throat. The knife had gone straight through and lodged in the window frame, keeping the body in a kneeling position and facing the window. The police investigated, and found some blood at the bottom of the stairs which didn't match Ezra Carr's. Maddy's not convinced there's a story here, a man found with a knife in his neck, so what? Mimi asks where the motive is? He lived alone, knew no-one, no-one knew him, plus there was a load of stuff that could have been taken by burglars, but nothing was stolen. He had no next of kin, and the property has all gone to the state who have sold it some property developer whose doing the place up to sell as flats. Mimi asks that if she can get them in to have a look around, perhaps Jonathan and she could go and visit the house. Jonathan agrees and they arrange to go next Saturday.

Robin then arrives and Mimi introduces him to Maddy and Jonathan. He spots the newspaper articles Mimi was showing Jonathan and asks what's going on. Mimi tells him that she was telling Jonathan about Ghost's Forge - Robin quickly changes the subject and they leave.

Jonathan gets up shortly and leaves as well. Maddy isn't happy as it would seem Mimi has worked her magic on Jonathan as well. Maddy's day doesn't get any better, because as soon as Mimi leaves the building the band outside starts up again!

At the theatre where Adam is putting on his latest show, Adam arrives a bit late for his own meeting. As he hands over to Jonathan who goes through the "dry run" of the water tank trick, Adam hands round a piece of paper to the rest of the group. It eventually gets to Jonathan. It's a newspaper clipping that says, "The Adam Klaus Show - Why anyone watches this is beyond me, " written by Duggie Dawson a local critic. As Jonathan is talking about getting a fireman with an axe to stand on the stage to build the tension in the trick, Adam says Duggie a small time fry and ends the meeting (before Jonathan is ready for the end!). Everyone disperses, but before Jonathan leaves he notices the new back drop on the stage as someone opens the curtains. It's a huge blow up of Duggie's review. Adam wants the audience to make up they're own minds... Adam then has to leave, he has a lunch date with Samantha - the florist!

Shirley Priest is at home with her baby daughter. She's doing the washing, and notices a strange smell on the collar of her husband's shirt...his name is Robin Priest...

Maddy get's sprayed with red paintMeanwhile Mimi and Robin, are in a bedroom. Mimi asks where Robin is supposed to be. He checks his watch, and replies the M3 motorway. Shirley is then seen going through her husband's things and finds a piece of paper and gets into her car and drives off. Mimi and Robin are now seriously getting down to business, while, Shirley reaches an address that was on the piece of paper she found amongst her husband's things. She rings the doorbell and (yes you've guest it!) Maddy answers the door. Shirley then proceeds to spray Maddy with red paint. Maddy tries to tell her that she isn't the one sleeping with Robin, but Shirley will have none of it. The least Maddy can do is admit it, she says.

Maddy walks back into her flat after the encounter not quite sure how to wash off the paint. To add to her troubles, the band outside the flat starts up again!

The following day Mimi is driving Jonathan and Maddy down to Ghost's Forge. She apologies to Maddy for Shirley's paint job - the remains of which can still be seen on Maddy's face - she had no idea Shirley would go that far. She then tells Jonathan that she loved Adam's show this week. Of course she guessed how the water tank trick was done, with some pipe under the stage? But, still, you could tell the audience was gob smacked. Jonathan's smile quickly fades.

While Mimi sweet talks the property agent for the keys (they are over 50 minutes late), Caroline looks over Jonathan's shoulder to see the newspaper he's reading. Duggie Dawson has gone to town on Adam's show after Adam's "back drop" antics. Duggie has written a two page spread that has a headline of, "Magic man fails to cast a spell". As Jonathan explains the history, his mobile phone rings - it's Adam. Jonathan suggests they take a different tack, invite Duggie over to a rehearsal and be super nice to him, the old hostage bonding with the kidnapper technique.

Mimi then returns with the keys and in they go. Jonathan notices the house sign on the imposing gates to the house as they go in. It says "Ghosts Forge". Mimi asks what the significance is - Maddy answers for him saying he can see things which they can't. It's bound to have significance later on, he just can't see it yet.

Inside the house Maddy is at a loss as to what they are supposed to be looking for. Not only has eighteen months past since the murder, but the decorators have moved in to convert the house into flats. "What are we hoping?" she says, "The killer's suddenly going to pop back and say 'I didn't by any chance leave a knife behind?'" She then spots Jonathan and Mimi looking at something at the foot of the stairs (see first picture at top of this page) and asks what has them so captivated. The blood the police report says was found at the bottom of the stairs is still there. Jonathan speculates the blood stains were caused by someone falling down the stairs. Jonathan goes into pensive mode as they walk to the room where the body was found, and Mimi asks what he's thinking. He can't get past the name of the house, "Ghosts Forge". The cuttings Mimi showed him never mentioned a forge, or anything to do with ghosts.

Suddenly a noise is heard, Maddy thinks it came from the attic room. They all slowly go up the stairs with a torch as the lights aren't working. As Jonathan pokes his head into the attic room the tension grows, only to be broken by a bird flying straight at him and then down the ladder where Mimi and Maddy are. They both scream, and Maddy manages to get herself caught up in cobwebs as she jumps out of the way - much to Mimi's amusement. Jonathan meanwhile spots a package in the attic and brings it down. It contains five copies of a book called "The Grave Digger" by Gerald Eastland.

They leave the attic and wonder round the house and find a locked room. Suddenly Maddy is more interested, are we looking at a locked room mystery? Jonathan sees what looks like the key in the lock, but it won't budge. Maddy suggests Mimi and her go try and find a ladder - there's bound to be a window! So, while Jonathan tries to get in through the door, Maddy climbs up a ladder and enters the room via an open window. Jonathan asks if she's there yet and Maddy tells him to hold on for a bit she's just getting through the window - then all goes quiet.

A short while later Mimi gets fed up waiting and climbs the ladder. She enters the room only to find no trace of Maddy and the door is still locked with Jonathan on the other side. Maddy hasn't come out past him, so where did she go? Jonathan tries the door again, but still no joy. He tells Mimi to stay put and he'll come round and climb up the ladder. In the room Jonathan inspects the room and finally says they should called the police.

In Mimi's car she starts dialling the police on her mobile phone, but what's she going to say? Her friend has disappeared into thin air?

"Or not" Jonathan replies, and tells her to look in her wing mirror. Maddy is walking towards the car and gets in the back seat. Mimi is dumb founded, how did Maddy do it?

"Did you..?"

Jonathan asks Maddy. "Yes" she replies. How did he miss that, he wonders? Even Maddy's surprised it took him this long to fathom it! Maddy also takes great delight in winding Mimi up by not letting her know how it was done (all will be revealed later on, but if you can't wait, skip ahead to the solution).

Meanwhile Adam and Samantha have gone back to her place, and she steps into the shower to freshen up while Adam makes himself comfortable on the bed. Adam then spies a glass with a set of false teeth in, and quickly retrieves his suit jacket and scarpers - very quickly.

Later that night Jonathan is seen reading a copy of The Grave Digger while Maddy brings in a champagne dinner - she's celebrating her first successful attempt at an illusion. As she talks and checks her make up in a compact mirror (she still has red bits of skin thanks to the paint earlier!) she gets miffed when Jonathan isn't paying attention. He's still thinking about Ezra Carr. He picks up a magazine and compares it to the book. Remember that Robin won a writing competition? Out of curiosity Jonathan tracked down the magazine it was in and it makes for interesting reading. Why, what's it about? Maddy asks. It's not what it's about, that makes it interesting, Jonathan replies. He then mentions something Mimi did earlier - about the fact that Robin and his wife didn't seem to fit together. Maddy's met them both, what does she think? Maddy says she can see Mimi's point. Maddy clearly has a "why?" expression on her face, and Jonathan says he doesn't buy Robin's explanation for talking about Ghost's Forge in his sleep because he read a magazine article about it.

Maddy looks at the name of the house in paper, but it shouldn't have an aposhropheJonathan then returns again to the house name - Ghost's Forge. Why? Because it isn't the name of the house, he says. What did he notice when they drove past the sign? There was no apostrophe on the gate post (see earlier picture). Jonathan mentions a book called "Finigans Wake" and how people keep putting an apostrophe in when there isn't meant to be one. It's meant to be ambiguous, so people are made to think does he mean "One Finigan's funeral wake" or "several Finigan's wake up". Maddy totally missing the point so Jonathan moves onto safer ground, and asks what they know about Gerald Eastland, the man who wrote The Grave Digger. He was a cabinet minister in the late 1980's, flashy bastard, and surprisingly managed to turn out a few good novels after he retired. He died about four years ago. No James Joyce, Jonathan says, but he liked playing around with words. For example, The Grave Digger, isn't about a man who digs graves, it's about a miserable Australian. Now, Jonathan asks, why would someone send six copies of The Grave digger to Ezra Carr? Six? There were only five copies they found in the attic Maddy says. Yes, but if you look in the package they were in, there's space for one more - a missing sixth copy. Why would anyone send six copies to Ezra Carr. "Come on" Jonathan urges Maddy, "It's all here in front of us..."

At the theatre Adam is going through one of his illusions. He then starts saying how he thinks his assistant's skirt is a bit on the short side, and could be considered exploitative. Jonathan walks in at this point and wonders what's going on. Duggie Dawson is in the stalls with his lap top computer. Adam took Jonathan's suggestion and invited Duggie to a rehearsal. Adam turns round to the rest of the staff and asks if there are any problems. "Just the one, tiny problem, Adam" a woman replies. It's Samantha, and she isn't happy about Adam doing a runner from her bedroom last night. Adam tries to fudge over the situation, but Samantha is having none of it. She wonders why Adam would have done a runner, and then fishes in her bag and produces a set of false teeth in a jar. Next time she takes she takes her Gran to the hospital after she's had a stroke, she'll find someone else to look after her teeth, she says. Jonathan visibly winces for Adam. Adam suggests they go to his room to talk about this, but Samantha refuses and says he has all the feeling of a dog turd. "That's Samantha Clarke, with an E" she says as she passes Duggie Dawson on her way out. Duggie stops his dictaphone.

Maddy arrives and has a look on her face which implies she saw the whole thing. "Any luck?" he asks. Maddy has just got back from Gerald Eastland's publishers after a very interesting chat. It would seem Jonathan's hunch was correct.

Mimi meanwhile appears at Robin's house. He's busy typing away on his computer and she surprises him. He's stunned she'd come to his house, especially with his wife there. "She knows anyway, what's the deal?" she asks. Shirley, his wife, then appears at the front room door and Mimi explains she got the wrong woman before, a slight case of mistaken identity. Mimi explains she and Robin are very much in love and that he'd like a divorce - Robin doesn't look convinced. He walks away from Mimi and tells her she can't just come in a take over his life (note the look Shirley has on her face at this point), she doesn't know. He then confesses that he killed Ezra Carr.

Shirley doesn't seem surprise. Then the baby starts crying upstairs so she goes to see to her. On her way there, she spots Maddy and Jonathan coming in the back door (it was open). Maddy says they should have a talk once Shirley has settled her daughter.

Adam suddenly doesn't like his new shirt after Duggie Dawson explains what the Japanese means.Meanwhile back at the theatre, Adam's trying a bit of damage control with Duggie Dawson. He tells him to speak to any woman in his life who got the real measure of him - they'll tell him what kind of man he really is. (He's come from his dressing room wearing the Japanese shirt his girlfriend bought him at the beginning of the episode). Duggie asks if he speaks much Japanese. Adam replies no. Duggie then tells him that he spent seven years in Japan with Reuters (big media group), and picked up the language. "Yes I think you're right." He says, "Any woman who brings you a shirt back with the words "I am full of shit", on it, I'd say, has got the measure of you very well indeed."

Back at the Priest household, Jonathan and Maddy start to explain all. The funny house name? Why would someone send six copies of a book by Gerald Eastland to Ezra Carr, when one was clearly enough? Maddy admits she was painfully slow on that one. They were author's freebies. All author's usually get half a dozen copies on publication, "Which in my case has been known to double the print run," she quips. Maddy then tells us what she learned at the publishers. It would seem Gerald Eastland's name was used to sell the books, but he never actually wrote a word of them - Ezra Carr did. Ezra Carr, Jonathan continues, left an ironic clue in the name of his house. If you break it down like a cryptic crossword clue, you get "Ghosts for GE" - In effect, here lives Gerald Eastland's ghost writer.

But, Gerald Eastland has been dead for four and a half years, you don't think he had anything to do with the murder? Mimi asks. Jonathan explains, the key to this mystery is the motive. It's generally accepted by the police that it wasn't a robbery, as too much stuff was left behind. But they're wrong. Something else was stolen that's more precious than money or jewels - Ezra Carr himself. It's strange how some names immediately give you a picture of that person. Erza Carr, just has to be some old man. When in fact he could just as easily be a young man in his late thirties who lost his wife twenty years ago. They all look at Robin.

So who was the man who was killed if he wasn't Ezra Carr? Jonathan asks Shirley to fill in the blanks from here on in. When Shirley was fifteen she was defiled by her wicked uncle Bill, a man three times her own age. It left her scarred, but she enjoyed every minute of it. Then one day she woke up and realised that he wasn't an older man - her lover. He was just an old man. She tried to leave, and would manage it for a few months, but he'd always hunt her down. And when she didn't have any skin left to bruise and the fight had gone out of her, she gave in and stopped running. He was an evil man, and made her evil as well. House breaking was one of their tricks. She'd knock on the front door and keep them talking while Bill slipped in the back and turned the place over.

She knocked on Ezra Carr's door pretending that her car had broken down. Ezra couldn't have been more helpful, he took her in and gave her a hot drink (it was raining heavily), and they sat an talked. It felt like that after years of writing books for someone else, he just wanted someone to talk to. He told her his story, of how he lost his wife when they were eighteen, and suddenly Shirley forgets why she's there. All these fantasies are running around her head - fantasies she know can't come true. After all who is she? A liar and a thief. Suddenly a noise is heard upstairs, and Ezra goes to investigate. Shirley didn't really know what to think - maybe she wanted him to get caught this time?

Ezra goes upstairs and finds Bill going through his deceased wife's jewellery. He tells him to get his grubby hands off, but Bill produces a knife. Ezra fights with him, but sadly falls down the stairs and gets knocked out, leaving traces of blood at the foot of the stairs. Bill didn't care about what he'd done he was more interested in finishing the robbery. This sent Shirley over the edge - she no longer cared either. She ran upstairs with the knife and stabbed Bill in the neck. He staggered to the window and falls against it, landing in the position he was found in. Shirley sets about putting all the jewellery. back in its place, when Ezra comes into the room. But something was wrong, Shirley could tell. The concussion had made him loose his memory. All he remembered was a knife and a struggle the rest was a blank - his life up to that point was gone. If he hadn't had said "I killed him," Shirley may have never come up with the idea. She pretends to be his wife, and gives him the name "Robin". She tells herself she's helping him escape from the life he's been leading.

Gradually she "rebuilt" his memory into what she wanted it to be. They had been childhood sweethearts always on the wrong side of the law, and they had to use this experience to get back on track - start a family. For eighteen months she lived from day to day hoping he wouldn't gain his memory back. The one thing she didn't count on was that he would meet someone else.

Maddy and the decorators discuss covering up the right hand door into the coriridor from inside the room.

The room now only looks like it has one door - but this door leads into a cupboard!

Ezra is understandably upset - he's been programmed after all. He made her believe he'd killed a man. Which, is why he was haunted by it in his dreams. And when he started writing again, it was a dead give away. Ezra still can't see it. He can't remember anything. Mimi tells him - perhaps it's for the best. Twenty years of grieving is enough for anyone.

Maddy and Jonathan get up to leave, but before she goes Maddy asks if Mimi is still wondering how she disappeared from the room yesterday. Mimi confesses she is, and Maddy's glad. They leave without explaining anything to Mimi!

Back at Maddy's flat, Jonathan comes across a hose pipe in her living room. Jonathan asks what it's for, and she replies for the window box. She doesn't have a window box he says.

Maddy changes the subject and asks what gave her away - after all he didn't tumble to her trick right away. Jonathan replies, that in hindsight, it was probably what she said on the landing - that a noise was coming from the attic room? How did she know there was an attic room, unless she'd been there before.

Maddy soaks the funeral procession.Maddy explains she was wondering around the house when she bumped into the decorators. The room had a doorway and a cupboard next to it. She started to think like Jonathan and saw the possibilities. What if the right hand door was blocked off from the inside and made to look like part of the room? The decorators were certainly up for it once Maddy explained about Mimi. She had to pay them as they would have to change things back afterwards, but it was worth it. She comes back and finds they've done a brilliant job. So when she comes back with Jonathan and Mimi she puts her plan into action. She climbs in the window and gets in the cupboard holding the door shut. And when Jonathan rattles the handle of the door, she improvises and rattle the door to the cupboard, so Mimi doesn't guess what's going on. (If you skipped ahead, return to where you were above).

She asks for marks out of ten, and Jonathan grudgingly gives her a six. She starts to protest saying it was worth at least a nine, when the band starts up again outside her window. She picks up the hose pipe and proceeds to soak the band out the window. She then looks at the band and notices that a coffin is following it. It's a funeral procession.

corner imageGuest cast
Adam Klaus
Adam Klaus
Mimi Tranter
Mimi Tranter
Robin Priest
Robin Priest
Shirley Priest
Shirley Priest
Duggie Dawson
Duggie Dawson
Season 3, Episode 4
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