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- I never understood Angel's theory of Skinner being worried about his business. It is not like he actually owns the Somerfield in the village, if it were to close down he would be moved to a nearby store.
- It might be a franchise operation.
- This. Franchises are owned by the franchise owner, which in this case is Skinner.
- Alternatively, he might just have really liked living in Sandford and not wanted to be posted somewhere else (which could just as easily have been Scotland as a nearby town).
- Somerfield has offered franchise since 2004.
- How on earth did the NWA explain away the deaths of all those underage kids at the pub? Wouldn't more parents be up in arms and distraught over all of their kids having "accidents" at the same time? I mean, the rest of the movie I absolutely love and I know I shouldn't think about it too hard, but I can't help but wonder how they could dispatch all those teenagers and nobody noticed.
- It's not any more unlikely than the other dozens of murders the NWA committed.
- Yes but how come the police didn't investigate those "accidents" like they did the others? That's the part that just bugs me, I mean if everyone in town knows about the deaths of Eve Draper, George Merchant, Leslie Tiller, etc, wouldn't the death of all those teenagers at the same time at least be noted by the police?
- The chief of police could easily have identified them as runaways.
- I can see that, but then what did they tell their parents happened?
- ...they told their parents they were runaways after their disappearance was noticed.
- With the chief inspector being in on the plot, exactly how is higher authority supposed to notice anything suspicious? That would take either a suspicious anomaly in the annual crime statistics (which isn't going to happen, as this place is an isolated country district that's not going to look too abnormal if it consistently reports nothing serious going on), or if one of their (deliberately) lazy and inept homicide "investigations" is watched over by a more competent investigator from 'outside'. Which is exactly what happened when Sgt. Angel arrived, but not until then, as none of the instances of possible wrongful death were of people important enough to draw special investigators from London and Lord knows that no competent or energetic police detective would ever assign themselves to that district willingly.
- It's just as likely that the parents were in on it the whole time, and willingly murdered their kids for "The Greater Good".
- It's equally (or even more) likely that some people in Sandford knew, if not of the whole conspiracy, that something horribly wrong was behind the seemingly idyllic façade, but were too terrified of ending up victims of more "accidents". Proof would be that NWA members kept hidden firearms ready to use, as we see when the Final Battle breaks out, to strengthen their silent reign of terror. And, did you notice that on that day, when the judges for the "Best Village" contest were to come, barely anybody beside the NWA was out on the streets?
- They could be from families with less-than-dedicated parents, so to speak.
- Accidents happen all the time....
- On a similar note: Why kill the underage drinkers in the first place? The couple owning the pub knew that they were underage and let them in regardless. This was explained as being for the greater good, because at least when they are in the pub they won't loiter around in the streets. The pub is exactly where the NWA wanted the kids to be, so why kill them for it?
- They didn't kill ALL the underage drinkers, only the ones who, after being ejected from the pub, went out and caused trouble. Puts the motives of the pub owners into a somewhat lighter shade of greyin allowing underage kids in the pub, they really were keeping them out of trouble outside, and thereby saving their lives. Suddenly, their annoyance at Nick after he's emptied the pub seems a little less petty...
- Huh. I hadn't thought of that. And thusly, a headscratcher turns into Fridge Brilliance...
- The way I see it, far from lightening the shade of grey they occupy it actually just further exposes what nasty little hypocrites the NWA fundamentally are. They're quite happy to take the money of people contrary to their vision of a perfect shiny happy community, but when they no longer benefit from it they use their self-righteousness as an excuse to murder them. Those kids would also have been less likely to be causing trouble after being expelled from the pub if they hadn't been drinking in it in the first place. Or alternatively, they're grooming future victims; the pub would have to close and those kids stop drinking and get kicked out sometime even if Angel hadn't been there, and they'd be just as likely to cause trouble that would attract the attention of the NWA later rather than sooner (perhaps more so, since they'd be even drunker). Not to mention that even if we accept the above as true, their annoyance at Angel for making new victims didn't actually stop them from killing those victims; if they were that upset over the prospect of having to murder those kids they could, you know, not murder those kids. It's hardly anything to laud them over. It's more likely (to me, anyway) that they're annoyed because they've lost a good night's income and maybe have a bit more work to do in cleaning up the village and couldn't give a toss about the safety of those kids.
- Another theory is that the pub owners didn't want to kill them and may even have planned to take them home after they closed. It would be a very bad idea if they chased after the kids after Nichol as chased them out though (that would give people a chance to rob them which would look worse than urinating in public or make the owners look like creepers). It's a stretch, but it is possible that the owners weren't the ones who reported the drunken teenagers to the NWA (Nicholas did that for them) and that they didn't want the kids to die. However, their look of anger seems to be disconnected from what they know is going to happen to those kids. They look more annoyed than the "Oh God, kids could die for this" kind of look you would expect. Furthermore, it may be possible that they didn't want to help the kids once Nicholas kicked them out because that would be contrary to what the NWA wants. If NWA members are saving troublemakers from the NWA, it would look like a betrayal and the offending members would suffer "accidents". Just look at Tiller. If true, this still makes the pub owners look like selfish sociopaths.
- Alternatively, they could have killed the underage drinkers because they were caught. Having an epidemic of underage drinking would look bad in the crime statistics, but it wouldn't have to be reported if the perpetrators simply disappeared after being let off with a "warning" rather than being properly processed. For a similar reason, the shoplifter also turns up dead: the NWA don't object to petty criminals, but too many petty crimes making their village seem less than ideal. This also makes Nick Angel indirectly and unknowingly responsible for their deaths, since if he hadn't brought them in they wouldn't have needed to be killed.
- Which would also mean that Sgt. Turner potentially saved Danny's life. Having told him to sleep it off after Angel hauled him in meant Angel couldn't process him, but the underage drinkers (and the shoplifter) were processed. It could be that if someone gets on public record, they dispatch them so the records can stay right where they are, and never go through any part of the judicial side. It's like reverse padding of the statistics. Even with his father being who he is, had Angel properly booked Danny the first night he might have also signed his death warrant as well.
- That's all fine and dandy, but the shoplifter wasn't processed or, if he was, the charges were dropped by Skinner himself. The crime would never had reached the Judicial Branch in that case. The underage drinkers, however, were caught on public property meaning charges would have to be pressed if they were still around. There was little reason for the NWA to kill the shoplifter as everyone knows he was arrested (he run from the police in broad daylight) whereas they had plausible deniability with the kids. The mother, for one, would know her son was arrested from second-hand stories whereas the police and NWA could have simply withheld the fact that the teenagers were arrested. It would seem very suspicious if a known criminal with family just up and disappeared from the police station. Hell, Skinner hires criminals. He could have put the shoplifter to work for him, albeit with little knowledge of their conspiracy, as "compensation". Not only that, but the shoplifter is Danny's cousin, remember? "Auntie Jackie's sister's brother's boy" according to Danny. How did Frank explain that to his family? They probably weren't involved in the conspiracy. Maybe the shoplifter's parents disowned him or were neglectful or maybe Frank just said he went to jail or that he ran away when he was "released". The major problem with the movie is that it doesn't explore how the killers made people disappear using the bureaucracy. It shows how they caused "accidents", but they don't show how people disappear. Surely someone would eventually just call the police for information on their arrested child and Frank can't be there to answer EVERY phone call and Weaver's busy spying on people. Calls would most likely be handled by the deskjockies, ie. both Sgt. Turners, who would know next to nothing of the missing people (they weren't part of the conspiracy). Someone would just get so fed by that they would call the British version of the FBI, the judicial system, the prison system, the local town administers like the mayor or governor, or, really, anyone other than the backwater police station that can't seem to get anything done. You could make the argument that the NWA would make these people disappear, but how would they know who was reaching out for help elsewhere? Even if they could discover these people, killing them would just make MORE neighbors and family members suspicious who may then try to get outside help. I like the theory that the townsfolk are scared to speak up in this case. They may not know WHAT or WHO is causing these disappearances, but they would quickly notice that anyone who did talk about it vanished later on and that the police seem oblivious to it or that the police department was the major obstacle for their answer seeking. Or, you know, the movie is a parody and a comedy flick. It might just be that.
- The closest thing Britain has to the FBI is Scotland Yard—which can only be called in by the local police, not by private individuals.
- Well, not really—Scotland Yard is the HQ of the Met, London's police force—er, service. For historic reasons, the Met being the first officially-sanctioned police agency in the UK, they have a couple of England-wide responsibilities (counter-terrorism and VIP protection, for example) and offer assistance to other services in specialist areas like art crime, but the equivalent agency to the FBI—in that they investigate serious crimes that span multiple areas—is the National Crime Agency. Neither the Met nor NCA would have got involved in events in Sandford because it didn't involve any of the areas they have jurisdiction over. Obviously this is all overthinking a film that has an entire building destroyed by a half-ton of explosives with none of the inhabitants killed...
Death Faked For You
- Why did Danny feel the need to fake Nicholas' death if he had no idea the NWA was murdering people? Just what did he think Nicholas was in trouble for? Just what did he think his dad was doing with all those people with clubs and pitchforks trying to kill Nicholas?
- Its pretty obvious that they were, y'know, trying to kill Angel, what with the knives and pitchforks. He knew he had to fake Angel's death in order to save him. The rest of it was obviously due to Danny being confused and uncertain as to what he should do with the NWA killing everyone; the fact that he immediately took up arms and joined Angel when he returned says he was wanting to stop them but was unable to do so on his own.
- Pretty much, yes. He was being dumb and in denial.
- No, but he knew that Nicholas was going on a suicide mission before he left for the castle, after the fight with Lurch. That's why he gave Nick his notebook—that was when he set it up with the packet of ketchup. So by the time Nick was attacked, Danny would have already guessed that eventually Nick would find out what was behind all the murders, confront them, and probably lose. Maybe he was hoping that Nick would give up the chase and not go the way Popwell did, but when they sent Lurch after him that made him give up being in denial.
- Danny didn't put the ketchup packet in Nick's pocket ahead of timejust the notebook. He used the ketchup packet by palming it as he "stabbed" Nicholas, squeezing it to make the ketchup squirt out in the right direction. The significance of the notebook was that, because Danny put it in Nick's pocket himself, he knew it would be there to block the knife. (He had the ketchup with him, as he explains in one of the extras, because he usually carried a couple of packets in case he got a chance to perform his "signature trick.")
- I don't think so. I think it was actually the opposite scenario. Danny didn't know there was a conspiracy going on until he saw the mob. While he didn't realize what was going on, it was obvious that his neighbors were trying to kill Nick. I think that he didn't put the notebook there so he could stab it and fake Angel's death, but he stabbed it because he knew it was there from before. That meaning, he wasn't planning ahead when he placed the notebook, but was improvising when things looked to be going South. He gave Nicholas the notebook because it's part of his strict protocol, not because it would be a good shield. We didn't see what happened when Danny first showed up to the lynch attempt. Maybe one of the others called him down, saying Angel was going insane and trying to kill them. And even if that's not the case, simple improvisation was still possible. It just doesn't sink in that this wasn't a simple crime of passion, but a deliberate conspiracy to kill everyone who would stain the community. Who would be crazy enough to have that be their first conclusion? Danny didn't even know about the other victims until he pulled Nicholas out of the trunk and Danny's little show of "loyalty" to the NWA (despite the fact that he had no idea what was going on), probably saved his life. Think of it from the NWA's point-of-view. The NWA would know Danny would be confused, but from their perspective Danny killed the "outsider" without questioning anything and then volunteered to dump him somewhere. He looked to them as having chosen the community instead of an interloper and any doubts they expressed would surely get Frank pissed off at them (they just killed Tiller, you think Frank gave a crap about a few more bodies?) Frank would defend his son to the last and the rest of the NWA would be smart enough to keep their damn mouths shut or else.
- I think it is vaguely suggested that Danny has, shortly before, been informed of the whole plot by his father, probably no more than an hour before he finds Angel. He had probably hoped that he would be able to get him out of town quietly, or organise a plan, but, alas.
- I don't think Danny knew about anything ahead of time... but I'll bet, while he was sitting alone with the unconscious Lurch, the little wheels in his head (greased by the examples of real police work that Nick has been demonstrating for him) started turning, and he figured out, if not the full extent of the conspiracy, at least enough to realize Nick was walking unarmed into a situation where he'd be outnumbered by some VERY ruthless people, and it might just be a good idea to provide him some backup. Then he gets there, sees his father among the people aiming sharp pointy things at Nicholas, and starts desperately winging it.
- I understood that Danny knew his father and the NWA were capable of killing Nicholas, but he was trying to justify it because it was his dad. "This is a one time thing", "there's no other way", "he brought this on himself". He tried to tell himself Nicholas Angel was wrong, that his father had nothing to do with the accidents, and his persistence has made him a necessary evil that the NWA had no choice but to kill—even though it would only take a small leap of logic to figure out that the only reason why Nicholas would be under attack from the NWA was if they were involved in the murders he was investigating. In short; Danny is in denial, and trying to think of a way in which nobody he loves is a bad guy; his father is doing what needs to be done, and Nicholas is sadly mistaken.
- This. Totally.
- How did Danny actually make the NWA believe that he killed Nicolas? I understand that Nicolas believes it, he's in shock because he thinks that the Danny he knew was a lie and passed out for some minutes because of that. But wouldn't the NWA make sure that he's really dead before letting Danny hide his body? At least they should have checked his breathing.
- I seem to recall at least one DVD special feature which suggested that after 'stabbing' Angel, Danny made a huge fuss about keeping everyone away from him in an anguished "DON'T TOUCH HIM!" fashion, which probably convinced everyone to back off a bit.
Angel's train changeover wait
- This is a really small thing to be bugged by, but Angel goes from London to Sandford on train with a long change over wait somewhere. It gets dark during this short montage and there's repeated cuts to Angel checking his phone. Throughout the whole trip his phone battery doesn't go down by so much as one bar. This strikes me as a little unlikely.
- Really? I've had a few phones and they can last for days without the power going down.
- More than a few trains now have charging ports solely for the use of mobile phones/laptops. It's possible that he's had it on charge for the bits that aren't part of the montage.
- Additionally, my phone tends to spend 90% of its time on full, then spend its last hour going down really quickly until it's empty.
- He may have spare cell phone batteries. After all, he had two pens on him when he was off duty.
- If my phone's fully loaded, it takes it more than a day to go down a power bar.
- Mine's solid for a day, then goes downhill quick.
- I have my cellphone on 24/7 and I don't think I've charged it in more than a week.
- Older phones with less software on them (like Angel's) hold their battery power very well. Mine is outdated by about 4 years, but I can leave it on for about 5 days before the battery bar drops slightly. Your modern iPhone or smartphone, which is more like a mini computer you carry in your pocket, tends to last just over two days or so.
- Also, assuming Sandford's supposed to be in roughly the same area as it's filmed (That is, Wells, in North Somerset), it only takes about four hours—or rather would, if there was a train station there—to get there on the train from London.
- Angel seems like the type who would carry extra cellphone batteries with him whenever he has to do some travelling.
- When Angel was equipping himself for the Final Battle, why didn't he take any of the station's riot gear?
- Riot gear is kept in the armory, not the evidence room. He would have had to explain himself to whatever duty officer (or equivalent) was in charge, as opposed to just taking stuff from the evidence room which nobody pays attention to because it's a small-town police station.
- Also, what good would the riot gear have done? He had the most important piece of equipment already, a bullet-proof vest. He was loaded for bear when he left the station; a riot shield and helmet would just have hindered his ability to use all that stuff.
- Also, when you see the other officers later on, they're all wearing the riot gear. He can't really use something that's already in use, right?
- Possibly a minor point, but it's not a bullet-proof vest. It's either an anti-stab vest or stab-resistant vest (depending on the local police service's vocab guidelines). Bullet-resistant vests tend to be issued only to Armed Response Units/Firearms Squads and occasionally as part of riot gear. While Nick was a member of the Met's Firearms unit, he was transferred out, and thus should have handed his back in.
- Which makes one wonder how exactly it stopped those two shots from Reverend Shooter.
- Reverend Shooter was using a pair of NAA Mini-Revolvers with 1 5/8 inch barrels. That is chambered for .22 LR and .22 Short. It is not difficult to believe that a .22 Short round, at 5 to 7 yards (Nick is easily 15 feet away from the Rev at the time of the shooting), could be stopped by even an anti-stab vest.
- Same reasons he rides in on a beautiful white horse wearing sunglasses, chewing a toothpick and packing enough heat to fight a small war; not only does it look cooler, it's also sending a pretty big "fuck you, I'm not scared of you tosspots, let's bring this shit ON" message to the NWA.
- Standard issue Police body armour is in fact both stab and bullet resistant (allegedly—I've never been that keen to test the theory at work). "Riot gear" (public order protection) is designed to protect the wearer from blunt force (bricks) and fire (which I know does work because you have petrol bombs smashed over you in the course of "riot" training). It is not kept in the armoury because it's not a weapon. And members of Firearms Units do indeed get issued enhanced bullet resistant body armour. However, every ex-Firearms officer I know kept theirs when they transferred to another unit; they're used to the extra weight and if you've got a good bit of kit, you keep it, you don't give it back to stores.
Why do they have riot gear?
- On that note, why does the police force of a tiny village like that even HAVE riot gear? Considering how convincing the masquerade was, it wasn't like they'd have ever used it.
- Because they needed to spend their budget to ensure they didn't get it cut next year and there was an approved list of things they could spend it on. Truth in Television, if you run any government funded service unless you spend every last penny (some might say overspend) each financial year then the bean counters in the relevant ministry will cut your funding for the next financial year.
- That's how democracy works.
- They might not have even BOUGHT the riot gear, it might have been allocated to them by the county government. At that point there's really no getting rid of it besides throwing it in the trash. And they had the storage space, why bother doing anything but keeping it?
- Most police forces operate on a policy of being Crazy-Prepared for any eventuality; although they live in the quiet countryside, it's better to assume that they might someday need riot gear even if they don't use it rather than find themselves in a situation where they actually do need the riot gear and are caught with out it.
- They actually might well need it, often for big riots police are called in from neighbouring stations to supplement local forces.
- On the subject of that, I think it's an Artifact or whatever the trope name is for the time before the village became so corrupt, back when the police still gave a shit. The old riot gear from that was still around because why bother getting rid of it, especially when it might help Frank and the others in a desperate situation to instill "the greater good"?
- Sandford is in Gloucestershire, one county over from Somerset where the movie's filming location of Wells is located, so it's very near the site of Glastonbury Festival, one of the biggest music festivals in the world. Glasto is where riot police go to train in crowd control.
- Also keep in mind that Frank wanted the other officers to stay lazy and complacent. Keeping their spirits and morale high, being jovial, and making it LOOK like they were prepared for the worst while letting dust and cobwebs pile up on the gear is some major propaganda. "Yeah, we have it. Yeah, we may need it. But it's been years, almost decades now since we have had to. Sit back, relax, have some ice cream."
Glass in the door
- When Leslie Tiller gets murdered in front of Nicholas, he throws his baton at the door so it will shatter, so he doesn't have to open the door. Smart, but then he tries to force through it anyway, making him fall down, even though the door was already shattered. Just seems unnecessary.
- Actually, he doesn't try to force the door. He jumps through the unbroken glass of the other door. Apparently the doors had glass so nice they broke it twice.
- It looks like the glass had partially shattered, and Angel was just leaping through the rest of the way before the remaining glass had fallen.
- Maybe the door was locked? She was about to close shop when he came, wasn't she? Not that she'd lock Nickolas out but if the door locked on its own after him?
- Or you know, Nick locked it himself to be polite. Not likely given his eagerness to use his radio, but still a possibility. Besides, maybe making a little noise is no bad thing. It could spook the suspect and cause enough of a racket that people nearby may call the police which Nicholas had no time to do.
Transferring Nicholas to the countryside
- Im not that familiar with the structure and organization of the English police services, so I might be making a stupid mistake, but how could the London Metropolitan Police transfer Nicholas all the way to Sandford, in Gloucestershire? Wouldnt that be like the NYPD transferring a police officer to somewhere in Ohio?
- For starters, England is a much smaller country. Distance wise, it'd be more like the NYPD transferring an officer to upstate NY. Aside from that, I don't know much about the English police service either, but the implication in the film seemed to be that it was fairly standard for a big city cop to not-quite-retire to a quiet little town eventually.
- What I meant was, how can the Metropolitan Police transfer Nicholas to a town well outside of its jurisdiction? Or did they simply threaten to destroy his career if he didn't transfer on his own?
- Probably the latter as while it's perfectly valid for an officer to transfer from the Met to Gloucestershire, they'd normally have to request it themselves.
- The UK doesn't have a state structure like the US. The Met have jurisdiction everywhere.
- The Met are responsible for policing in the 32 Boroughs of Greater London only, with the exception of the City of London (which has its own police service). It does have national jurisdiction for counter-terrorism, the protection of the Royal Family and of the Government, however.
- Also, it is indicated that they pulled some strings with higher-ups to get Nick transferred. A significant part of the London police wanted to get rid of him anyway.
- It is mentioned on the commentary track by the two serving officers that it is not possible to get promoted to another service.
- He did have the credentials though. Maybe they forged an application for him? Either way, you have to start the plot off somehow.
- Met officers can be (and regularly are) seconded out to other forces—er, services—but normally when they have particular expertise (e.g. anti-terrorist officers going to other big cities), and again it can't really be done against their will. It's also not unheard of for diagonal promotions to happen between services but it's normally at much higher levels (e.g. Bernard Hogan-Howe started in Yorkshire, and moved to Liverpool and then to London to chase promotions), so it could be that Angel wanted to be a Sergeant more than he wanted to stay in London—blocking his promotion would certainly be within their power.
- If they transferred him out there against his will, why couldn't they transfer him back against his will?
- As the troper above says, they probably didn't transfer him out against his will (not entirely, anyway) the first time, but made it perfectly clear that if he didn't accept the promotion, he'd be blocked for the rest of his career. Angel probably decided he'd rather move to the country to accept a promotion rather than remain in London as a constable for the rest of his life. In any case, even Nicholas Angel is only going to accept a certain amount of screwing around with his life on part of the Metropolitan Police before he likely quits, sues them, and goes to the press about how the brass have been repeatedly dicking around their best officer out of little better motivation than spite, jealousy and arse-covering. This isn't exactly a better outcome for the Met.
- There's also the point that Nicholas desperately wanted to keep being a police officer. He initially tried to get the other officers on his side just to see they had prepared a "going away/get the fuck out" party. Besides that, who wants to stay in a service where everyone hates you? Yes, Nicholas could sue for extortion. However, it would take months, if not years to sort it all out. After it was all done, would any service want him back? Nicholas loved his job more than his pride. That's why he lost his girlfriend. Nicholas after his time with Danny might have turned to legal action. Before that? Unlikely.
Analyzing the blood from the murder scene
- Just a small one. Why didn't it occur to Nick to get the blood left on the glass from Leslie Tiller's murder analyzed?
- With Stadford being small they wouldn't have the technology to do it, and it would take days for it to be sent to the nearest place to be analyzed and sent back, taking up to much time.
- And that's assuming the stupidly uncooperative police force would send it off in the first place.
- Not to mention: testing the blood will tell you that... it's blood. There's still provisions in UK law for DNA testing requiring consent or a warrant, so without someone to test it against, it's useless as evidence.
- He could have tried it, though.
- What are they going to even find in the blood? Fragments of the shears she slipped and fell on?
- OP is referring to the shard of glass that the murderer cut their leg on.
- Could be that he just didn't have the time: maybe he was planning on doing that after confirming that Skinner had the wound, and after it turned out Skinner didn't have it, he was a) pretty agitated b) waiting to find another suspect? He could have gotten back to work the next day but then he was attacked and found out about the conspiracy.
- Forensic blood typing takes at least 24 hours, DNA fingerprinting at least a week and normally months. The CSI shows have really fucked up people's perceptions of forensics.
Everyone has guns?
- Here's a glaring one: Why are English police/farmers in possession of firearms?
- Did you somehow get the impression that firearms are illegal or something in England? Because they aren't. Not remotely. It's police policy for cops not to regularly carry guns, but that doesn't at all mean that no cops in England have or use firearms. It says right in the intro that Angel was part of a specially armed response squad.
- The heated political discussion in the US (sometimes on both sides, even) seems to imply that "gun control" is the same as "gun ban". That's not true. It's more like how there is control over who gets to drive a car but that doesn't mean that driving a car is illegal. It just means you have to be over a certain age and acquire a license for it.
- As for farmers, they have guns for the same reason farmers everywhere usually have guns—to get rid of vermin and pests that could potentially threaten their livestock and/or crops, and thus consequently their livelihoods. The gun rules in the UK are a lot stricter than they are in America and other places—those farmers will still need permits for them—but guns are by no means unheard of, even if they're not common.
- Well rifles and shotguns are pretty common in rural England but handguns are a LOT harder to get a license for but if I recall correctly only one or two of the villagers were using handguns.
- The OP specifies 'farmers', not 'villagers in general'. In any case, similar point—guns aren't unheard of in the UK. It would be harder for the villagers to acquire their guns, but it's certainly not impossible. There's the black market, there's weapons people have stored from the war, and so forth.
- There's a brilliant explanation in "Fridge". To sum up, there were several large firearms amnesties in the '80s and '90s, during which large amounts of illegal firearms, mostly war souvenirs, were collected. In Sandford, the chief of police siphoned off the cream of the crop and stashed it, just in case.
- Still doesn't explain from where Arthur Webley got his stash. It could be that the NWA was providing him with the weapons as "gifts" or left them around for him to find. They could simply sneak in and take whatever they needed whenever they wanted. The stash being discovered would make Webley worthless to them and hence why is later found dead. But seriously? A sea mine? How the fuck did he get that? Are they any where NEAR the ocean? Actually, it's just as likely that Arthur Webley was just that Crazy Awesome.
- Occasionally weird caches like that do show up. Normally they're old war surplus stuff (they found a bunch of mustard gas shells buried in the middle of London a few years back(!)), but there's some pretty up-to-date kit in that barn. Webley said he "found" the stuff—maybe the NWA hid their stash in his field?
- Or Webley was in on the conspiracy, and was storing the guns and covering for the others. As for "up-to-date", there is nothing in there which is later than 80's vintage, which could mean war souvenirs from The Falklands. As for the sea mine... I got nothing.
- I highly doubt Webley was in on the conspiracy—it seems odd that he'd so easily hand over the stash to Angel if he were.
- Agreed. Nicholas asks Webley if he has a license for his gun to which he responds that he has one for "this one". He then willingly and casually shows off his collection. Even Danny is shocked. It's clear that Webley is just an old coot with a collection hobby. Nicholas has to point out just how dangerous the collection is to which Webley responds with hitting a sea mine with the butt of his gun. Of course, maybe he had paid or asked someone to bring him the mine and never really handled it himself, so he didn't think it was dangerous at all (or assumed it was deactivated), but it's clear that Webley isn't all the way there in the head.
Why Move Angel's Body?
- After Angel confronts the NWA at the church, and discovers all the corpses hidden in the catacombs (with enough space to hide a whole CARAVAN and still have room to spare), why does Danny stab Angel, pretending to kill him, and then take the body out of the village? They have no problem with dumping plenty of bodies in the catacombs, and have clearly been doing it for a decade at an absolute minimum. Why didn't they simply dump Angel's body in there with the others? It may simply be a plot-hole for the sake of having Angel leave and return triumphantly, but the NWA believed Angel to be dead, and they opted to have Danny drive the body out of the village to dump it somewhere. Not only is this highly risky, but what is Danny's explanation for his care? The obvious answer is he burned his car with Angel's body in it, a usual tactic for disposing of evidence, but that's still a highly risky thing as anyone, from Sandford or not, could see the burned out car if that was indeed the plan all along.
So in short, why did they decide to take Angel's corpse out of the village, when they could have simply left it in the catacombs with the others? Angel is alive, but they don't know that, so Danny took the body out to help his friend escape, but that still doesn't explain why the NWA agreed to this plan.
- Danny probably told them that he was going to take Angel's body to the catacombs, but wanted to do himself privately out of respect for his friend. Then, when everyone's gone, he dumps Angel into his car and slips away.
- Or this:
Okay, let's dump him in the catacombs. Danny
: (still panicking) No wait! I heard him on the phone after he took out Lurch. He may have told someone where he was going. If he's reported missing, they'll check there first. You deal with that, I know a good place for this.
- That would bring up the point of why they didn't dump Angel with the rest of bodies in where ever they had to go, but see the above comments about the commentary stating Danny screamed the others away from Nicholas's body. He killed his friend, he would deal with it. Plus the others had a clean up to do and one less body to deal with would be helpful.
Ghost Town Climax?
- Where is everyone else in town during the big shootout? There was no one else out on the streets! You would think someone would have been in the supermarket or on their way there despite all the hubbub.
- While the rest of the town might not be aware that the NWA is killing everybody, I could still see the NWA "nudging" them all to stay indoors and keep the peace while the judges are there, hence why it's only NWA members outside.
- Chances are, almost everyone not in or with the NWA had already been killed.
- Jossed. There are only 24 conspirators. Many, many people are seen wandering around or at social gatherings in the town. More mentions are made to townsfolk who weren't even seen. More likely, the town had at least a few hundred people in and around the farms. The police force did have like a dozen people and the town had a super market so it's not like it was THAT small. Just look at how many people are at the carnival. Also, did anyone else notice that Tony Fisher had a son? It's not like the characters we saw (conspirators included) didn't have families that we didn't see (didn't know about the plot). After all, the shoplifter was Danny's cousin. Not to mention we didn't see Danny's aunt, the aunt's brother, or the aunt's brother's sister who was the shoplifter's mother.
- When giant gunbattles start raging in the streets, most people exercise their forebrains and go home and stay inside, away from all the bullets.
- Why is Lurch, who is mentally handicapped, doesn't know the difference between right and wrong and is clearly afforded leniency under the law, tossed in jail with the people who knowingly and willfully murdered tons of people?
- He, along with the rest, wasn't being tossed in jail; he was shown being arrested and processed, the first part of the British arrest system (and the info-notes made sure to point out that he was the only one to show regret during his picture taking). It is without doubt that there is going to be waves of testimonies (not at least from Nicholas Angel) to prove that he is mentally handicapped and that he is going to be sent to a care facility before long.
Cause of death doesn't match murder method
- Why, in his murder attempt, did Lurch try and stab Angel when the cover story was going to be that he slipped and broke his neck? Surely even the idiots in the Sandford Police Service would have realised that he hadn't slipped because of the gigantic knife wound in his chest?
- Actually, if you look closely during the fight, for most of it Lurch is trying to take on Angel in hand-to-hand, likely trying to subdue him so he can break his neck. It isn't until Angel proves to be a lot more than Lurch can handle with his bare hands that he resorts to the knife. That being said, the NWA could easily have changed their cover story to go from "slipped and broke his neck" to "slipped and broke some glass that stabbed him in the heart."
- Lurch also isn't exactly the smartest of men, and the police were so house-trained that they'd probably believe anything they were told; the details would probably change slightly but the overall effect would remain the same. They'd just remove the knife and replace it with something else.
- More likely, they probably would believe it if that happened. This is, after all, the same police force who, after looking at a woman with garden shears stabbed into her neck and listening to London's top cop talk about how he chased the murderer, say "Yep. Accident."
- You forgot that the doctor that determines cause of death is a member of NWA, so he can write whatever cause they need and person who were supposed to find Angel was a member too.
Tall Poppy Syndrome
- I understand the whole Tall Poppy Syndrome thing, but I don't really understand how Angel having one of the best arrest records in London Metropolitan Police would make everybody look bad. Yes, to be sure, his fellow colleagues would be jealous, but wouldn't his section chief and superiors get plenty of compliments about how well they are keeping the peace? I just found it a bit weird that a whole chain of superiors would decide to transfer the best member of their team.
- The implication of the opening scene is that even the chief thought Angel was kind of a twat and couldn't stand to be around him.
- There's also the implication that the higher-ups would demand that of every officer under the chief's command or that Angel might take his job soon.
- The whole idea was that everyone else looked bad in comparison. If he gets, say, 100 arrests, and the next-best gets 25, third 24, etc., it looks like the rest are lazy and he is the only good cop, which could, potentially, have a demoralizing effect. If, on the other hand he wasn't there, the arrests would be a lot more equally distributed. I think they had counted on his arrests being somewhat divided among the remaining officers, not that the perps would mostly all escape. The logic and reasoning might not be sound, but I don't think they were supposed to be.
Angel obsessed with law?
- Don't you think that Angel is a bit too much attached to the police law? During the climax he never shoot to kill. Considering all the monstrous mass murders the NWA committed and their demented reasons don't you think Angel should have gone in a Roaring Rampage of Revenge?
- That misses the point of his whole character, and of the rest of the movie.
- It also serves as a perfect refutation of the methods of the NWA, who went outside the law and became monsters; while his methods there are perhaps on the extreme side, Angel stays within the law and manages to bring them to justice, thus demonstrating that the system ultimately works.
- Exactly. Of course he's not shooting to kill—Angel believes in the law above all, and would want to bring the NWA to justice. See his backstory, the bit about believing that upholding the law being something pure. Killing when there's a way to avoid it is exactly the sort of behaviour he would consider himself above.
- One thing that some people don't seem to know about gun safety is that there is really no such thing as "shooting to disable." With any kind of gun, if you are willing to even point a gun at something, that means that you are definitely willing to kill or destroy it. Angel is characterized as a by-the-books cop, and when a cop gets shot at, they take cover, call backup (if they can, he can't until later), and shoot back as accurately as possible to end the problem for everyone involved. Either Angel is such an incredible shot that he knows exactly where and what he's shooting (a shot to arm or leg can still kill) or he just got extremely lucky with no deaths. It just wouldn't harmonize with his character if he actually went on a Roaring Rampage of Revenge, so no casualties, it's more convenient for the story. Imagine if a big-shot cop was "retired" to a small, quaint town, then shot up and killed a bunch of middle aged men and women, blaming it on a conspiracy.
- Nicholas Angel is basically Supercop. Of course he's such an awesome shot he knows exactly where and what he's shooting at to minimize the chance of fatalities. It's also worth pointing out that a lot of the time, he's not aiming directly at people; he's aiming at their surroundings, and tactically using the terrain and objects around his targets to disable them as much as possible. In fact, if memory serves most of the actual NWA members who get shot directly are in fact shot by Danny.
- It's also easier to prove a conspiracy exists when all the conspirators are still alive and complaining how their plans have been foiled.
Sgt. Popwell's beard
- Yes, it does make for some great big bushy Memetic Mutation fuel, but isn't it strange that Popwell, who was supposed to be a big city cop who is obsessed with the book (just like Nicholas), would have had such an enormous Santa/Father Christmas beard? It's most probably not tolerated by police regulations, not to mention it would be highly untypical for an officer of the Met to own such a tremendous thing. After all, none of the other London peelers seems to own any facial hair in the entire film...
- Well, everybody has their quirks? Maybe that's how he ended up in the countryside?
- It makes his rotting corpse easy to identify, despite him never appearing on camera at any other time. (The only picture of him is in a deleted scene.)
- It could be a Beard of Sorrow and Frank was lax enough to let him grow it out. The dude was transferred to a back water for reasons not explained and it's implied he was depressed.
- British police are allowed to have beards. Even big bushy ones, to the relief of Sikh officers.
- He could also be an undercover cop which would make sense that he was questioning the messed up system around him. No one expects Santa to pull a gun and a badge on you. The constable uniform is for when he isn't undercover, perhaps.
The Sea Mine
- How did that sea mine not kill everyone? Word of God says it was Rule of Funny, but seriously? Okay, maybe it makes a little sense because the brick building wouldn't be able to withstand a blast like that and it collapsing would actually prevent a deadly pressure shockwave. However, no one is that hurt from the blast. No one's ears are bleeding. No one has a concussion from the falling brickwork. I get it, Rule of Funny, but it exploded in the armoury which is full of guns and ammunition and sea mines are made to destroy thick steel siding. How did it not cook off all that ordinance and shred everyone with fragmentation? We have to assume that Weaver was vaporized by the blast and Nicholas was pretty close to it. While funny, it seems a little bit TOO over the top especially after Danny was shot. That's kind of a big bit of Mood Whiplash right there. Why didn't they just have the mine over on top of Weaver and crush him or impale him? It would be more realistic, just as humorous, and it would still let the mine be a Chekhov's Gun. The characters reactions would make up for the lack of an explosion (drama and comedy wise) and Nick would still get the scene where he begs Danny not to die.
- The sea mine subverts Outrun the Fireball both times it shows up; the first time, they outrun it and it doesn't explode, and the second time, there's no time to outrun it. You don't want to repeat a joke. It also subverted what you suggested, that it would impale his leg, because it looked like it was about to stab him, but he moved his leg out of the way, and it activated instead. Also, we don't know for sure that nobody was hurt. A whole lot of people survived, but we didn't see up close the condition of anyone but Angel and Danny.
- Also note that seamines are not designed to make holes in ships. They primarily make holes in the water into which the ship then falls. The kicker is not the 80 kg of explosive in the mine, but the shear force acting on the vessel. So what we have here are approx. 80 kgs of explosives configurated for blast over penetration... a building can withstand that with some luck... or not.
- Also the sea mine blast near the end of the film had no purpose in the story. Nicholas and Danny already took care of Hatcher in the beginning of the climax fight when Danny shot him in the foot and arrested him, so how could he have got free and got hand of a shotgun? And secondly, everyone survived the blast except for Weaver (which is fine) yet we're supposed to think Danny is about to die but it cuts to a year later; everything's back to normal, Danny's revealed to be fine and after they visit his mum's grave, both him and Nick go on patrol and then the credits roll. I get the fakeout was relying on Ruleof Funny but you could've cut that sea mine explosion scene out and it would make no difference.
- What was it that Tim Messenger wanted to tell Angel at the church fete? The logical thing was that he came to the same conclusion as Angel does when he and the Sandford PD confront Skinner, but I'm not sure if he'd be smart enough to connect the dots like that.
- Even if he hadn't reached the exact same conclusion, given how worried he was I suspect he'd found out something potentially incriminating towards someone in the village regarding the 'accidents' that had been taking place.
- Angel later says that Messenger had found the connection to rising property values. Angel still believes the conspiracy is inspired by greed, and it seems Messenger thought the same thing. Angel even came to that conclusion by reading Messenger's articles.
Village of the year!
- Even if they had succeeded in killing Angel, how did the NWA expect to explain away the town shot to hell? No way they'd win village of the year if there's people getting into shoot-outs.
- By the time there was shooting in the street, it was about anger and revenge.
- Angel's back, he's tooled up, he knows every detail of their evil scheme, knows where to find the evidence, he's an officer of the law with full authority to arrest them for murder and he's clearly not interested in talking. At that point, the priority rapidly switches from "win Village of the Year" to "Make Nicholas Angel dead now and worry about the rest later."
No acting talent = lead roles?
- So if Martin Blower and Eve Draper are such godawful actors, then how are they getting these roles in the first place? You would think that whoever was holding the auditions would simply reject them for the parts or instead give them minor roles where their lack of acting skill would be less noticeable. Yet they were both somehow chosen to play the lead roles in Romeo and Juliet?! I know the NWA members are all bonkers, but you would think that the first solution to the problem would be to try and make sure neither of them land any major parts rather than jumping straight to murder.
- One of Tim Messenger's articles says that Martin Blower financed the production. This likely means that he can cast whoever he wants, which is why he made himself and Eve Draper the leads. He probably threatened to pull the funding if there were any complaints, which the NWA didn't want because the am-dram society is "an important feather in (their) cap".
- ^ This. Clubs and societies across the country (across the world, really) are chock full of nepotism, favouritism and narcissists. The financier or head of the Am Drams picking himself and his mistress to play the lead is a common scenario, just like the coach of the little league team making his son the star player, or the administrators of HO As rigging the system to their own benefit.
- Lots of bad actors get plenty of work in real life....
- I never understood why the NWA waited until mere days before the Village of the Year judges arrived to, as Frank said, "get everything ready". George Merchant is probably the best example. Presumably, he's been living in that house for a while, and it had become apparent to the NWA a long time ago that he wasn't going to change it. They had a year to take care of him. Why blow up his house so close to the judging, and give themselves minimal time to clean up the smoldering, rubble-filled crater that would surely hurt their chances of winning?
- Similarly, Martin and Eve have had to have been in rehearsal for some time. The NWA could have got word that their acting was terrible, taken them out early and replaced them in the show. Not only would the play have had better reviews, but the NWA wouldn't have risked the judges seeing the wrecked car/sign and Martin and Eve's blood all over the road before they've had time to tidy up.
- In The Screenplay, Danny mentions that six months ago, George Merchant's house was a pear orchard, so no, he hasn't been living there for a long time. It also says that a cleanup crew are waiting when the police are at the site of the explosion. Additionally, Frank mentions a couple of times that the judging was supposed to be in a few months but they brought it forward for some reason. These things were probably cut for time in the actual film, but they would go some way towards explaining why the NWA is doing all this now rather than earlier. They thought they had more time.
Why was the table dancer spared?
- Y'know, one thing always bugged me about the NWA's hypocrisy. They want to kill people in the name of keeping their city prim and proper, right? If so, why did the NWA let Tina the table dancer live? Again, Tina also worked part time as a table dancer. So why was that accepted by the NWA?
- Good question. Maybe Tina did her table dancing in a nearby city rather than the town (Sandford doesn't seem like the type of location for a place called "Flappers"), so the NWA weren't too worried about it affecting the judging.
- Great point. That makes sense.
- The NWA would not be the first nor the last oppressive organisation to make hypocritical exceptions for people within their direct orbit if they are related or otherwise useful; Tina's not exactly in the inner circle, but given how the supermarket employees are clearly demonstrated to act as Skinner's goons in the final battle we can safely assume that they have found some use for her which allows them to make an exception for her more unsavoury side. In any case, the lapdancing club is almost certainly not within Sandford itself (IIRC it's mentioned to be in a different town) so as long as it doesn't happen in the village they're probably willing turn a blind eye.
Im the Chief Inspector
- Chief Inspector is only equivalent to Captain in a U.S. police department. I would think that disappearing people would require at least a Chief Superintendant, or even the Commander of the Uniformed Branch. (In one of J.J. Marrics books, Gideons sidekick Lemaitre laments I know Ill never rise above CI.)
- It's almost a guarantee that the Chief Inspector has already got the approval of the CS and the Commander (who are almost certainly also jealous of/threatened by Angel) if needed to pull this move; he's just quipping and pulling rank in response to Angel protesting that he can't do this by making it clear that he can and that there's no point in Angel trying to go over his head about this (i.e. if the Chief Inspector wants you gone, the Superintendent and the Commander are probably willing to back the Chief Inspector up). Besides which, "disappearing" is an exaggeration; it's a transfer to personnel (to an admittedly out-of-the-way position, granted), the higher ups probably don't need to get directly involved every time an officer is posted to a different location.
Why were most of the Sanford police officers spared?
- Prior to taking a level in badass, most of them behaved like oblivious idiots. So why wasn't that a concern for something that could "ruin the town's reputation"?
- Rule one for most criminals is never kill a cop as other cops tend to come after you. Even if it looks like an accident the county force will insist on an investigation which will expose the NWA. Besides they might be incompetent but they don't do any damage and can't oppose the NWA, replacement coppers might not be so easy to subvert or subdue. Like say Sgt Angel who ultimately they have to kill unless they want to do life in prison. This turns out to be easier said than done.
- They are all thick as bricks and seem quite content to just lounge about the office all day, allowing the NWA to basically run the town,if you were a murderous cult, who would you rather have "policing" the town? a bunch of imcompetant idiots or a squad of people like Angel?