"WHERE WAS I?"
written by PETER MILLER
directed by JEREMY SUMMERS
Series 2, Episode 9:
Eddie agrees to help a psychiatrist restore a patient's memory. But the
man is in danger if he remembers too much…
Original BBC1 tx:
14 DECEMBER 1980
2115 - 2210hrs,
watched by 9.4 million
29 September to 14 October 1980
Keith Amery, overworked and stressed, disappears without telling his family where he has
gone. Amery buys camping equipment and heads for the moors. Whilst there, he spots a
helicopter landing by a tractor and cement mixer. The helicopter bears down on Amery, who
falls and hits his head. Still being pursued, he manages to leap into a passing farmer's van.
Returning home, Amery tells his angry wife that he can't remember anything.
Eddie, unsuccessfully attempting to persuade Don to buy him a car phone with Radio West
expenses, manages to get his boss to consider a pager instead. Dr Fischer, one of the team in
the hospital Eddie stayed, brings Keith Amery's wife to Radio West. She explains her
Daryl and Mal, two Australians, take Amery's tent to Ellery, the owner of a Bristol camping
equipment shop. They are searching for the name of the owner. In turn, Eddie visits the shop,
to ask if Amery stated where he intended to camp. This proves to be unsuccessful, and he
then calls and picks up Amery's car, which he deserted in a Bristol car park.
Sitting in the car, Amery remembers the blue pick up truck loaded with milk. Eddie gives
Amery's clothing to Erica, who in turn passes the garments to forensic scientists at the police.
Denise, Daryl's sister, visits Tom Laidlaw, inmate of a prison near the moors. She tells him that
eveything, in terms of a scheme she is working on with her brother, is going to plan.
Ellery meets Daryl at the hut by the sea where he is a lifeguard and tells him about
Shoestring's enquiries, in the hope that he will et cash in return for his information.
Denise dupes Don Satchley into believing that she is a representative of a small Australian
Radio Station that wants to have a 'private ear' of its own. Eddie, much to his annoyance, is
asked to let her follow him for a few days.
The forensic team report that the mud on the boots is from the moors, and that there is soot on
the clothes, which, along with the ticket in the jacket pocket, suggests a steam train.
Visiting the steam train preservation society of which Amery was a member, Eddie and Denise
travel on an old locomotive. The ticket inspector tells Eddie that Amery was on board the train,
and tells him where he jumped off.
Walking across the moors, Eddie finds the site with the tractor and cement mixer. Denise and
Eddie also meet the farmer who drove the milk van. He lets them use a horse and bicycle to
Returning to the station with Amery, Eddie finds that Denise is sticking closely to his side
once more. Amery is kidnapped by Daryl before Eddie can get him onto the train.
At Radio West, Sonia finds a dictaphone, with which Denise has been recording her
conversations with Eddie. Sonia can find no trace of the radio station Denise claims to be
employed by, and describes the sand inside the beach buggy the impostor drove. Eddie drives
to the nearest beach and watches as Daryl, Denise and Mal leave the lifeguard's hut in a range
Finding Amery tied, gagged and blindfolded inside, Eddie releases him and the two escape
before a bomb attached to the telephone detonates. The two men use the beach buggy to drive
to the moors. Reaching the deserted building site, Amery remembers that he had camped
there, and then mentions the helicopter.
At this point, a prison bus arrives. The prisoners of a nearby jail use the site for outdoor work.
Among the inmates is Tom Laidlaw. A helicopter occupied by Mal, Denise and Daryl
approaches, and Eddie realises that Amery had witnessed a 'practice' escape attempt before
he lost his memory. Running for the helicopter, Laidlaw is tackled by Eddie and falls to the
ground. The helicopter leaves, but Don tells Eddie that the occupants had to land, due to bad
SYNOPSIS BY NICK:
The penultimate Shoestring episode presents another original case for Eddie, in which he
must uncover what a man has forgotten. Viewers know what Amery has seen, but its
significance is witheld from both Eddie and them until the final moments. The twist is rather
obvious, in retrospect, but the number of plot turns, the pace of the script, the eccentric
characters (the car park attendant and Ellery) and situations (the steam train, Eddie on the
bicycle being towed by the horse) sustain the episode on repeated viewings.
"Where was I?" displays the series' strength of blending off-kilter characters and situations
within plausible settings and plots to produce a believable whole.
ADDITIONAL COMMENTS BY DENE:
"WHERE WAS I?" deals with
a plan to spring convict
Tom Laidlaw from prison
Jeremy Summers was an Avengers director, a fitting choice to helm this episode which is
about as near as Shoestring ever gets to that classic 1960s adventure series (not that near
really, but still…).
The teaser is a strong one, dealing with the plight of Keith Amery, out camping on the moors
when he happens upon the rehearsal of a plan to spring a convict from prison, and
culminating in a nice dramatic zoom in on his face as he tells his wife that he really has no
idea who he is.
In these last few episodes the regular cast are obviously having a ball, and so are the
viewers. All are totally at ease, and the scenes between Eddie & Don here (Don still
concerned with Eddie's expenses) are warm and witty.
The Avengers connection occurs to me because of the quiet countryside setting, the
railway station, the steam train and the ticket booth attendant who -- with a change of cap --
doubles up as the ticket collector. Perhaps The New Avengers is a more apt comparison.
Whatever, it is certainly one of the more action-packed of Eddie's adventures, and quite a far
cry from the first few episodes produced only the previous year.
Sonia hears the tape Denise has
made of her conversations with Eddie
Keith Amery's memory finally
begins to return at a crucial
moment in "WHERE WAS I?"
Eddie & Denise try to trace
Keith Amery's journey
Dr Fischer (actor ALAN DAVID, first seen in
Series One's "HIGHER GROUND"), who
treated Eddie at Fordingdale, reappears here
to enlist his ex-patient's help
Eddie is cheered by a
last-minute news report
Denise cons her way
into 'shadowing' Eddie to
gain access to Amery
"WHERE WAS I?" is very much an action-packed Shoestring. Despite its relatively
short lifespan the series saw a number of different storytelling styles.
CAST & CREW
Eddie's latest client:
amnesiac Keith Amery
Don and Eddie: still