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Series / Safe House

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Safe House is a British Cop Show/Police Procedural show aired by ITV in 2015. It stars Christopher Eccleston and Marsha Thomason as a married couple responsible for running a part-time safehouse from a rural home in Lake District, located in northwest England in the county of Cumbria in the first season. The second season starred Stephen Moyer and Zoe Tapper. It has two seasons, the second of which aired in 2017.

The show starts when ex-Greater Manchester Police Serious Crime Division officer Robert retires to Lake District after a witness under his custody was assassinated despite having placed all appropriate measures to ensure the witness' safety. Distraught over being responsible for the witness' death, Robert resigns from the force and lives in Cumbria with his wife Katy. After living in the area for a few months, Detective Chief Inspector Mark Maxwell shows up and asks the couple if they can help protect a family, whose son was nearly kidnapped by an unknown man in Manchester County. They agree to do so and help the family hide in their house. Some of Robert's old secrets begin to pop up as he helps the family cope with living under a false name and soon learns that Mark's appearance in Cumbria may be tied to his work back in the GMP while figuring out if the family has some secrets of their own.

The second season begins with another main character, and safe house, this time set in Anglesey, when ex-officer Tom Brook (Stephen Moyer) helps Merseyside police investigate a series of old cases that relate to abductions of women by a kidnapper known as "The Crow". While investigating the latest case of an attempted kidnapping that may have "The Crow"'s signature, Tom tries to figure out if this has to do anything with suspicious characters he met in the last few days...

This series contains examples of:

  • Based on a True Story: ITV mentions in press releases that the show was inspired by an actual case.
  • The City Narrows: Michael uses the back alleys in Manchester to ambush a student and nab his smartphone.
  • Chekhov's Gun: The smartphone Michael takes from a student. He uses it to impersonate said student in order to get a location on the safehouse from Louisa.
    • The small teddy bear doll Mark gave to Robert. Which indicates that Susan had a brief affair with Robert while he was in charge of protecting her.
  • Driving Question:
    • In Season 1: Why was someone trying to kidnap a family's kid?
    • In Season 2: Did "The Crow" come back from hiding to kidnap more women?
  • Gondor Calls for Aid: Near the end of Season 1, Mark calls for assistance from the GMP's Tactical Firearms Unit to help provide backup for Robert. He also called on the assistance of the British Transport Police for additional manpower during a manhunt.
  • Left Hanging: The second series was meant to pick up from the end of the first series, however Eccleston quit in pre-production, seemingly taking the rest of the cast with him. The writers decided recycle the already written scripts with a different ex-detective, and safe house. This meant that the secondary subplots from series 1 were never resolved, leaving the viewer with no idea what happened to Mark, or what his relationship with Katy was.
  • Pyrrhic Victory: At the end of the second series: The Crow has been caught, but the fate of Sam remains unknown.
  • Scenery Porn: The entire Lake District shown in outdoor shots.
    • The coastline of Anglesey is shown in the second series
  • Shoot the Hostage Taker: The TFU officer had Michael in his sights. He waited until Robert was able to rescue Max from Michael.
  • Spanner in the Works: Ali's contact with a classmate via mobile phone, which allows Michael to track the family down.
  • Title Drop: Mentioned several times in the show.
  • Wham Episode:
    • Season 1, Episode 3: Michael was able to track down the family hiding in Lake District after he spent some time using social media to get a lead on his biological son.
    • Season 1, Episode 4: Mark was the man responsible for instigating the season's events by providing info on the witness' whereabouts, allowing the assassin to shoot at her. He was last seen in hiding, being hunted by the GMP.