The Coroner (2015–…): Season 1, Episode 7 - The Salcombe Selkie - full transcript

Peter and Molly Walker are astounded when their teenage daughter Leah, presumed drowned some months earlier, reappears in Light haven. She has apparently no memory of recent events and Jane and Davey believe she has been kidnapped. However when the supposed kidnapper is found dead they are forced to look at another reason for Leah's disappearance.

Are you wondering how healthy the food you are eating is? Check it -


Two minutes past six.

I'm impressed. One word - why?

Yeah, she's hot.
My mate reckons she's a selkie.

A what? A selkie. A seal who
takes a beautiful human form.

A seal? Yeah.

They come on shore when there's
a problem they need to sort out.

They're mostly found
off the coast of Scotland.

Did you learn that in biology?

No. I didn't say that
I think she's a selkie.

Well, it's definitely a mystery.

This is the PM report
of a female corpse

that floated into Brixham
seven months ago.

She was formally identified
as Leah Walker.

How? DNA match.

I didn't think two people
could have the same DNA.

No, they can't - well, unless
they're identical twins -

but Leah was an only child.

Right. So...? So, we've got
a big question to answer.

Is the person who walked out
of the sea really Leah Walker?

Try again.

Who was buried in Leah's place?

There we go. Right.

Good morning.

OK, can you bring her
over to the mortuary?

Oh, my days.

No way...

I know it's you!


So, this is what
you look like at 6am.


Hi, Clint. Beth.

So, is there a body
in Leah's grave, then?

As if we're going to tell you...
Yeah. Clint! Sorry.

So, a seal really has
stolen Leah's skin?

Your face! Did you honestly
think I'd believe that rubbish?

Was there anything else,
before you go home?

Yeah. Have you ever declared someone
dead while they're still alive?

No. It should never happen.

You were all on your boat,
moored off Bolt Head.

Your parents were asleep
and you went for a swim.

Yes. At 1am?

I love swimming at night.

We always made her
well aware of the risks.

I remember lying on my back,

my head in the water,

looking up at this amazing,
clear sky.

Then suddenly,
the water started shaking.

I lifted my head and
there was a boat right there,

headed straight for me.

And then...

..the stars, everything...

It just went black.

All right. And what's
the next thing you remember?


Her memory seems to be resetting
itself every few hours.

OK, let me get this straight.

You remember everything up until
being hit on the head a year ago,

but nothing since?

When we first saw her, she said
she'd been close to the sea.

Did I? You said it had been dark
and you could hear waves.



And you have absolutely
no recollection

as to how you washed up on
Lighthaven beach two days ago?


Show him your arms, Leah.

Any idea how you got those?


They don't hurt.

OK. Thanks.

We need to know
what happened to her.

I understand.
We'll do our best, Mrs Walker.

So, we can expect a formal apology
in due course, can we?

Well, I'm sure the coroner will be
in touch... I mean, from you!

I'm sorry?

For the harassment and insinuation
you subjected us to last summer.

Peter... See, we were
going through hell...

Mr Walker... ..but that
didn't stop you lot, did it?

Muckraking your way through
every facet of our lives.

I bet you wish you'd spent a bit
longer trying to find Leah now.

With all due respect, sir,

you and your wife were
the last people to see Leah.

We needed to understand the nature
of your relationship with her.

Now, I can understand... Hang on,
our relationship with our daughter
has always been first class!

You'd better find out who did this.

I'm in total shock, Jane.
I've got to be honest.

Yeah? So are Leah's parents.

Seven months ago,
you told my predecessor

it was their daughter on the slab.

I had a DNA match.

The lab must have
mixed up the samples.

Come on. We both know
how unlikely that is.

Well, I can't think
what else it could be.

Look, I was stressed, OK?
Fiona and I...

..our IVF had just failed.
The fourth cycle.

Unless you've been through it...

It's not an excuse,

but my mind was scrambled.

What I'm saying is,
it could have been my mistake.

I might have mixed up
the samples myself.

How are you feeling now?
A lot better.

Fiona and I gave it
one more go and...

Well, success.

When's the baby due? Four weeks.


I'm guessing you're going
to have to file a report?


Look, I know I don't deserve it,
but go easy on me?

Fiona and I are going to need
the money more than ever now.

Dark place, somewhere near the sea.

You got any ideas?

Lighthaven Swingers Club?

Oh, you're a member too, then?

Needle in a haystack job, is it?
It's worse than that, actually.

It's like I'm looking for a haystack
that a needle used to be in.

Right, what can I do for you?
No, don't tell me.

You want to use my
missing persons database.

You've forgotten your password
and you locked yourself out.

What can I tell you?
I'm a detective genius.

Clint called you. He did.

You got anything to go on yet,
with your corpse?

Angela? No, nothing yet.
You've given her a name?

Yeah. Is that Leah's medical report?

"Early diagnosis,
anterograde amnesia".

Yeah, or in layman's terms,
chronic short-term memory loss.

It's like she remembers
everything up until

the point of being hit on
her head, but nothing since.

Her memory keeps resetting.

Like Dory in Finding Nemo?

Yeah - or me, after three pints
of Mick's scrumpy.

It's a bit...convenient, isn't it?

I thought that.
Then I looked at the results.

Fractured skull.

Now, it has healed over,

but it wasn't there before
she went off the boat.

And she's got a whole chemist's
worth of diazepam in her system.

Good for depression.
Not great for short-term memory.

Yeah. Well, if the diazepam
is responsible

for her short-term memory loss,

then, hopefully, the effects
will be wearing off by now.

It's a sedative, isn't it?

Kind of fits,
because, wherever Leah's been,

I don't think
she was there by choice.

You think she was
held against her will?

Look, there it is.

"Indentations on
the subject's wrists

"suggest prolonged restraint
by metallic instrument."

I'd love to come up
with another theory.

How was she, when she disappeared?

Messed up her life.

Split up with her boyfriend,
failed her A-levels.

Sounds like most of the girls
I knew at 18.

The boyfriend,
you obviously chased up...

In America, yeah. The parents?

She was an only child.
They're academics.

Prefer stones to people,
you know the type.

Funny, though -

cos I could have sworn they were
holding something back last summer.

Really? Hmm.

Not that it matters now, though.

I'm dusting off the
"known psychopath" file

for this one, aren't I?


Nothing. Sorry.

I don't want to do this any more.



Leah, if you do think of anything...
I know.

Mum... Why have you got a stick?

You've told me already.


I've got cancer, darling.

Is it serious?


Did you get it because
of worrying about me?

I was just unlucky.

But the important thing is
that, having you back,

I feel so much better.


I thought you'd taken your own life.

We both did.

Because of what was
happening to you and...

what we said.

Come on through. She's in here.


Someone to see you.

My lord...

You remember your godfather, Tim?

Of course.

I hope she does!
I never missed a birthday.

Come here, you.

And it's lovely to see you both.


There's a do for Leah Walker later,
up at the Sailing Club.

I've got to work, love.
But I want to go.

Here. Scotch Wendy reckons
there's male selkies, as well.

These male selkies come onshore and
seek out sexually unsatisfied women.

They're completely irresistible
and totally insatiable.

Isn't that right, Mick?

What can I say? I've been rumbled.

So, Angela, you were Caucasian,

somewhere between 17 and 19.

Most likely cause of death,

Signs of a slight curvature
in the spine.

Not yet managed to get
a DNA sample from you,

but that's normally a problem

when you've been in
damp soil for a while.

So, here's what's confusing -
you're five foot three.

That's three inches shorter
than Leah Walker.

So, of all the people that
George Flemington examined,

why did he get you so wrong?

Mum, hurry up! Oh! No! Not over that!

Thanks for that! What?
How is that my fault?

The party started
half an hour ago, by the way.

Yes, all right!

All right? Hey.

What are you doing here?
I thought you were working.

Beth insisted. Beth?

She and Mum are a bit obsessed
with the miracle girl.

Right. And you have absolutely
no interest whatsoever, right?

She's alive, isn't she?
Why would I be?

That's right, I forgot. Of course.

Where's Annette?

Oh, you know - EastEnders
is on tonight, isn't it?

Ah. DS Higgins?

Yeah, that's right.

Tim Morris. We met last summer.

Yeah, Leah.


So, what do you think?
Where's she been?

We're investigating
a couple of avenues, you know?

Well, I'm very glad that you and
your beautiful wife could make it.

I'm...not his wife.

Aren't you?

Well, then...have fun.

He's such an idiot.

So, are you getting anywhere?

We've identified a couple
of males in the area.

Both out of prison
in the last two years,

both with previous that suggests
they're capable of kidnap.

So, I'll give them a visit tomorrow.

I just got a flashback, then.

Ian Twitchett's 18th birthday party.

We were standing right here.

You don't remember?


Course I do!

We were going through
everyone at the party,

predicting where they'd be
in 20 years' time.

I'll go and get a drink.

Yeah, I could use one myself.

Hello, Leah. Hi.

Sorry, have we...? I'm Beth.
I moved here not long ago.

Oh. Right.

Look, if you ever want to chat,
you know,

to someone who's not the police,
or someone in a white coat... Thanks.

There is something about her,
isn't there?


Hey, I wonder if she used to surf.

What's he doing here?

His wife's about to drop.
It's his last night out this decade.

All right, George?

Blimey. That's not his
first drink of the evening.

He's got a nerve.

Maybe he's come to say sorry.

George is a good man.
He's in my Black Dog darts team.

He screwed up, big time.

Don't hang the bloke.

You never messed things up
and regretted it straightaway?

I know I have.

Please don't tell me what to think.

I used to do a lot of boarding,
actually - at my school.

Cool. Where did you go?

St Tristan's.

St Tristan's does surfing?

I thought you were all
just a bunch of swots there.

Oh! BOARDING school. Right!

Wait... St Tristan's is, like,
ten miles from here.

Why were you boarding there,
if you live here?

My parents are into two things -
their jobs and each other.

I just got in the way.

Hi, Clint. Want to grab a drink?

I'm fine, thanks.

That's my boss.

Hello. I'm Jane. Welcome back.
Jane's a coroner.

She's trying to work out
who was buried in your grave.


Well, it was nice to meet you,
Clint. Bye.

Too much information?

Don't worry about it.

In an hour, she'll forget
she ever met you.

Leah. Leah!
They're going to laugh at you.

Do you want them to laugh at you?

Leah, please!

Stop being such a child! I am sorry.

Get off me!

Can we just talk about it?



That was a great party, Gina.
Thank you.

Hey. You all right?

Yeah. Why shouldn't I be?

Just asking.

Thought you went ages ago, George!

I forgot something.
Mind scrambled again?

Bit harsh, isn't it? Fair.

You need to hear this.

What's that, Mr Walker?
Leah's remembered something.


It's the painting.

Leah? I've seen this recently.

You mean, since your accident?

This exact picture? Yes.

Did you see it here?


It was in a room.


There were no windows.

There was an orange lamp.


MUSIC: I'm Not The Only One
by Sam Smith




Mind if I turn this down? Well...

Right, so last night, I went to see
that artist that did the painting.

Turns out he lives in Westchurch.

Do you know it's 7.30?

Yeah. Anyway... Helpful bloke.

Gave me a list of people that
he knows that bought the prints.

Tim Morris has one? Yup.

Bit of a coincidence, isn't it?

You don't think he kidnapped
Leah, though, do you?

Well, it might be worth checking out,

especially since
you heard them rowing.

Gina Morris would have noticed.
Not necessarily.

Right, have a look at this.

Tim Morris's holiday homes.

All in the South Hams.
I got it off the internet.

You have been a busy boy.

Have a look at this one.

According to the
lettings agent's website,

it was taken off the market
last summer. It's being "upgraded".

Now, I can't get a search
warrant with what I've got.

And the lettings agent guy,
he knows me.

You want me to get the keys?

Well, you've got a lower profile
than I have around here, no offence.

And a nicer pair of pins.

Come on, what do you say?
You can come with me, if you like?

All right, I'll get dressed.

Nice one, Davey.


Not exactly a dungeon, is it?

More like a love nest.


They can't find Tim Morris?

No. I was the last one to see him
head out of the Sailing Club.

So, what's this lead on Angela?
Ah, French girl.

Isabelle Freres. 19.

Got on a ferry at Roscoff in June
last year, no record of her since.

And check out the height.

Ah, five foot three.
Look at you, Sherlock.

OK, let's get her records
sent through from France. OK.

Leah, is this where you were?

I'll kill him.

Come on.

She wasn't faking it, so I've doubled
up the team out looking for Morris.

I'm getting that face.

What face?

I don't make that face!

So what you're saying is,
Morris kidnapped Leah

after he hit her with the boat?

Did he hit her deliberately?

So she'd lose her memory?
No. He got lucky there.

My point is, he would have
kidnapped her whatever.

I didn't hear waves
from that basement?

All I know is, something really bad
happened to Leah down there.

Her memory comes back and Morris does
a runner. How does that look to you?

Not good for Morris.

Do I really make that face?

Any joy identifying your skeleton?
Fingers crossed.

There's a French girl.
She's the right age.

Hello, Sylvie?

Yeah, I know. You're all right.

You're kidding.

Forensics reckon he's been dead
between eight and 14 hours.

They think he was pushed,
hit his head on that. Ouch.

Maybe they didn't want him
to finish this.

"Dear Peter and Molly,
this is the hardest note..."

I didn't think people wrote
letters any more.

I guess they do if it's important.
Any sign of forced entry?

No. I think he knew the killer
pretty well.

He must have dropped this
in the struggle.

Do you know who it belongs to?

I do.

I left that phone...

in my jacket pocket.

When I took my jacket from the
cloakroom at the end of the evening,

it wasn't there. It was gone.

There were no-one else's
fingerprints on it.

You're loving this, aren't you?

You've dreamed of having me here.

No, not really.

So where did you go after the party?

With Molly and Leah.

Molly went to bed.

Leah and I talked. All night?

There was a lot to talk about.

Now, Mr Walker...

..I don't have kids.

But I do understand
how angry you must feel.

And so will a judge,
so I think, if you confess now,

you'll probably have the whole
of Devon on your side.

Why would I have killed Tim?

Last night,
he was still my best friend.


Someone else die? No. No!

Some clever scientist has managed
to get usable DNA from a corpse.

How perfectly charming.
I don't want people to die, Mick.

No, but it keeps you in a job,
don't it? Well, yes.

So if Tim Morris was
killed on his boat,

how come that house of his
is a crime scene?

Which house? Skylight.

Even if I knew, I wouldn't be able
to tell you, would I, Mick?

That's all right. I reckon
I could guess. Go on, then.

That was Morris' love palace.
What do you mean?

You know, where he took
all his "other women".

Morris was a player, Jane.
You must have worked that one out.

Where's all this come from?
John "the Join".

Does odd carpentry jobs for Morris.
Did, I should say.

On his holiday lets and the like.

Apparently, Morris stopped renting
out Skylight last summer.

Every time John's been in since,
he reckons he can smell perfume.

Really? Mm.

Not only that,
but different perfume every time.

Jane Kennedy from the Coroner's
Office. I need to speak to Leah.

She's gone.


I don't know.

Well, do you know
when she'll be back?

She left a note.

What did she take with her?
Just her bike.

That girl has absolutely nothing
to be sorry about.

I've been the worst mother
I could be.

Molly, did anything happen
between you and Leah last summer?

Any problem you and your husband
didn't tell the police about?

Please. It could help us find her.

She came to us,

me and Peter...

a week before she disappeared.

She was pregnant.

A one-night thing, you know, but...

Leah had made up her mind
to keep the baby.

And what did you say?

I wasn't sympathetic... all.

Neither of us were.

She'd just messed up her A-levels.

We'd spent a lot of money on her.

We said some terrible,
terrible things.

Just when she needed us most.

What is it?
Leah wasn't held in Skylight.

I've just spoken to a carpenter
who swears he's been in and out
of there all year.

That doesn't change anything.
Peter Walker probably killed Tim
Morris. I need to speak to Leah.

She's his alibi.
Davey, she's run away. What?

You were right. Her parents were
holding something back last summer.

All right, Sarge?

No sign of anyone. Right.

Is that it?




Hi, Beth. You OK?

Are you sure it's her?

OK, Beth, do not let her
out of your sight.

It's really important.
Do you understand?

We'll be there as soon as we can.
OK, love. Bye.


She's in Kingsport.



I can't see you, Beth.
Where are you?

Hurry up.

Hurry up! I see you.

Nice one, Beth.

What do we do now?

Water taxi!
Water taxi, I need your boat.

Stay here.

Doesn't this thing go any faster?
Six knots only on the river.

Look, they're heading for
that gin palace over there.

Where am I going to find the girl,

You're going to find her in two.
Room two? Room two.

Fine. Thanks.

She's in room two, apparently.

Either that or he's telling me
to get me off his boat.

It's down there.

Look, do you want to go and get her?

I don't know. You're a mother.
You've got a daughter.


Hello again.

Mind if I sit down?

Bit compact,
but I guess you get used to it.

I see they kept your things for you.

There was never anything wrong
with your memory, was there?

Did Tim always take you to Skylight
to do it?

He got you pregnant, didn't he?

Come on, Leah,
you can't keep running.

Tim said, if I had the baby,
his life would be over.

He was threatening me.

So I finally decided
to tell my parents.

That was a big deal, right?

We weren't close.

All right, then what?

They lost it too.

I didn't even mention Tim.

Mum just went off on this rant

about how having me young
was her "biggest mistake".

That I'd cost her
a "stellar" career.

But at least she had an education.

I've already messed mine up.

And Dad...


sat there.

I never felt like
they particularly needed me.

But in that moment...

I felt like I barely existed.

All I could think was that,
maybe when I was dead,

they would finally appreciate me.

But you didn't kill yourself.
I couldn't.

Not with a baby inside me.

So you got yourself
a job on this boat.

And you called yourself...

Sally Jefferies.

Where do you go on this thing?


Someone at school
videoed my funeral.

Put it on YouTube.

I watched it.

It was horrible.

My parents...

seeing them like that.

I hardly recognised them.

I think that's why I miscarried.

Didn't you want to go back then
and there?


But I was scared.

And embarrassed.

So you hid on the boat?

My dad has a Facebook page.

Mostly for his students.

One day he put this message on

saying that Mum had got some
bad news from the doctors.

I knew he meant she was dying.

So I decided to come back.

Oleg, the boat owner, said we'd be
back in Devon in two months.

But I needed some kind of a story,

so I bought some handcuffs
and slept in them every night.

And I started taking pills.
What about the fractured skull?

A few weeks after I came on board,
I was jumping off the boat

and I hit the side.

I really did have to be
fished out the water.

Tim treated you badly over the baby.
I get that.

But...framing him for kidnap?

Tim and I only actually
had sex once.

And it was...


I liked him.

But I wasn't ready.

I told him, but he...


It was my first time.

I thought that's what it was like.

And this was in that basement?

I grew up a lot on this boat.

When I confronted Tim at the party,

I expected some remorse or...

guilt or something.

You know what you did, Tim.

you came to that house alone.

What did you expect? What did you
think was going to happen? Not that!

I'm going to the police. Leah.

Leah! They'll laugh at you.
Do you want them to laugh at you?


That was when I decided
he had to pay.

And he did.

Has my dad confessed?

Not the greatest day
of Peter Walker's life.

Yes. I've just been handed these,

I think his fortunes might be
about to turn a corner.


You always said it was
taking its toll, George.

The IVF.

Wasn't the stress, though, was it?

It was the cash.
Sorry, mate, you've lost me.

Your bank statements...mate.

You're skint.

Erm...what's this about?

Tim Morris knew, though, didn't he?

Sailing Club grapevine.

And he was pretty sure he was the
reason Leah had committed suicide.

Seeing Peter and Molly suffering
every day, that made it worse,

so he made you an offer.

A body for the Walkers to grieve over
in exchange for

as many IVF treatments as you needed.
You couldn't resist.

Sorry...what exactly are you...?

The money trail, George. It's all
here. Tim, you, the IVF clinic.

Everything would have been great
until Leah came back to life.

At the party, Tim was convinced
she was going to accuse him of rape.

You panicked.

He told you he was going to
admit his affair with Leah

to Peter and Molly,
try and legitimise the situation,

so he went back to his boat
to write a letter, but you knew

the police heat on Morris
would expose your collaboration

and you weren't going to miss
the birth of your first child.

I'm going to go to prison.

George, right now, you are the
last thing I'm bothered about.




Must have been terrifying, George.

But somehow you were calm enough
to go back to the cloakroom

at the Sailing Club, and you took
Peter Walker's mobile phone

from his coat pocket.

A man about to find out his best
friend had seduced his daughter.

And you framed him.

George Flemington, I'm arresting
you for the murder of Tim Morris.

I am so sorry.

I think your mum and I have...

..I don't know, done a very bad job
of showing how much we care.


There's a place in my darts team
if you fancy it? Tempting!

What's up?

I've just heard back from Interpol.
Angela's DNA didn't match.

What, with that French girl?
No. With anyone in the world.