Press Centre

DCI Banks

  • Episode: 

    3 of 6

  • Title: 

    A Little Bit of Heart (part 1)
  • Transmission (TX): 

    Wed 14 Sep 2016
  • TX Confirmed: 

  • Time: 

    9.00pm - 10.00pm
  • Week: 

    Week 37 2016 : Sat 10 Sep - Fri 16 Sep
  • Channel: 

The information contained herein is embargoed from press use, commercial and non-commercial reproduction and sharing into the public domain until Tuesday 6 September 2016.
Episode 3 – A Little Bit of Heart (part 1)
Xun Li, a hard-working and devoted husband, makes a speech at a rally for Lanternlight – a charity supporting Chinese nationals like himself who fled persecution only to find themselves at risk from ruthless protection gangs in the UK. After the rally he finishes some work at his property rental business, calling wife Rachel as he walks to his car to head home – but he never makes it as a masked figure pepper-sprays him, bundles him into a car and speeds off.
Xun’s worried wife Rachel tells them Xun is an asthmatic who left without his medication and all signs point towards a kidnapping - if Banks is right he doesn’t want to provoke the perpetrators into doing anything rash. 
Digging into Xun’s past reveals a son from his first marriage – Bo and a brother, Chang, who also fled persecution in China. Banks and Annie visit Christine, Xun’s head of finance who can’t think why he has been targeted and claims to have no knowledge of Xun being under any kind of financial pressure. 
Meanwhile, Helen and Ken visit Xun’s brother Chang and niece Wei at the restaurant Xun helped them set up.  They explain they came over from China after the death of Chang’s wife, An, who died in prison. Helen hears how Chang owes his life to his brother for saving him and Wei. 
Banks and Annie locate Xun’s car and all signs indicate Xun was taken by force.  The kidnappers finally break cover, texting Rachel their demands: £250,000 in cash if she wants to see him alive.
The next morning Annie opens the post at Rachel’s house to find a specific Bag For Life.  Thinking on her feet, Annie gets an identical bag and sends the original off for testing. Rachel is instructed to put the money in the bag. Then, via a text message, she is told where they want her to drive. 
Taken on a roundabout journey including swapping cars, Rachel arrives at a busy shopping centre. Here she’s told to look in the boot, where she finds a dozen Bags For Life, identical to the one with the money in.  Banks instructs Annie to stay with Rachel’s car in case the kidnappers return after the drop to make a getaway while the rest of the team watch, concerned, as Rachel moves around the busy shopping centre, depositing the Bags For Life in different places. Without enough people to observe every bag, the team have no way of knowing which one has the ransom money inside.
Tracing the car used in the drop draws another frustrating blank – the previous owner has no useful info that could lead to the perpetrators. Recovering in hospital from mild hypothermia, Xun reveals he has no idea who the kidnappers were, but doubts it was the protection gangs because he’s still alive. Banks concurs – while in captivity they left him water and food – but more importantly, an inhaler: clearly whoever took him knew about his health problems, which would suggest someone closer to home.
As Ken looks into Xun’s tenants he finds there was a case of carbon monoxide poisoning brought to court by Mark Rundle, the husband of the victim, but the court found in Xun’s favour – something that would certainly give Mark motive for revenge. Ken and Helen are tasked with checking it out while Vince reports back on the protection gangs. It seems a local woman, Wendy Xiao, who looks for all intents and purposes like she runs a legitimate dry cleaning business, actually uses it as a front for making money through fear and intimidation. Vince cites a case where Wendy’s boyfriend was suspected of suffocating and burning someone before dumping them in a skip. Banks decides to check her out with Vince. As they depart, Annie gets a call: a police station in Thirsk has arrested Tamsin Richards for drink driving and she’s requested to see DS Cabbot. 
The visit to Mark Rundle’s is a sobering affair as Mark introduces Ken and Helen to his wife, Jenny – the victim of carbon monoxide poisoning and now confined to a life of 24/7 care by Mark and their daughter Lilly following brain damage. Mark insists he knows nothing about the vandalism or the kidnap and ransom – his alibi? He was home alone looking after Jenny... 
Arriving at Thirsk police station, Annie is greeted not by Tamsin but by her protective husband Steve Richards. Cowed, Tamsin apologises for wasting her time, saying it was a mistake and that everything is fine – but Annie’s instincts are quite the opposite, sensing Steve is gagging her. Annie leaves wondering what Tamsin really wanted – and how Steve knew she was there when the custody record shows Tamsin didn’t make any phone calls.
Meanwhile Banks and Vince visit the acerbic Wendy Xiao, who plays the innocent businesswoman and pleads ignorance to knowing Xun Li. Frustrated, Banks remonstrates with Annie for yet again defying his wishes and going to visit Tamsin. But the argument will have to wait as Banks gets an urgent call from Helen – he needs to get to Xun’s house, now. 
Series overview
Contemporary detective drama DCI Banks starring Stephen Tompkinson (Trollied, Truckers, Wild At Heart), Andrea Lowe (Love Life, Monroe) and Caroline Catz (Doc Martin) is returning to ITV, set in the stunning county of Yorkshire.
The six‐part drama features new cast members Samuel Anderson (Trollied, Doctor Who) who plays Vince, the latest member of Banks’ team, Shaun Dingwall (Legends, Silent Witness) as Chief Superintendent Colin Anderson, Shaun Dooley (Broadchurch, Ordinary Lies) as hardened career criminal Steve Richards and Maimie McCoy (Musketeers) as Richards’ wife, Tamsin.
The series also sees the return of popular cast members Jack Deam (New Tricks, Casualty) as DC Ken Blackstone and Keith Barron (Holby City, Doctors) as Banks’ father, Arthur Banks.
Produced by award‐winning indie Left Bank Pictures, series five is set to be the grittiest season yet with the Yorkshire detective facing Banks’ toughest investigation to date.
The series is comprised of 6 x 60’ original episodes inspired by the books from acclaimed novelist Peter Robinson. The drama features self‐contained stories told over two episodes, but also, in an explosive serial crime story that weaves throughout the whole series, DCI Banks will be forced to question all that he holds dear, as he pits his detective skills against a criminal who will stop at nothing to escape the law.
When Banks confronts a powerful adversary who has been dubbed by his superiors as too big to bring down, his dogged pursuit of justice sets in motion a chain of events that rips at the very fabric of his life, both professional and personal.
Helen encounters unexpected challenges when she tries for promotion and Annie pursues her own results‐driven, gut instinct style of policing which threatens to ruin her relationship with Banks.
After broadcast, episodes are available to watch on the ITV Hub here