ROMANCE (SERIES 3)
by: Paul Abbott
by: Hilary Bevan Jones
by: Tim Fywell
Screened: 20/11/95 (Part 1), 27/11/95 (Part 2)
man who came to dinner is not my type at all. They are all far too
cocky for my liking" - Janice
is a young lab technician at Manchester University who has developed
an obsession with Fitz and is writing him love letters. At her
sister’s wedding, Janice tells the groom something that prevents
him from being able to make love to his wife on their wedding night.
Janice attends one of Fitz’s lectures where he advises the writer
of the love letter (whom he believes to be a psychology student) to
try and find love with anyone who is not a student and to forget
about him. After the lecture, Janice tries to speak to Fitz but is
rudely ignored by him.
Later that night, Janice electrocutes
a young psychology student named Stephen Lowry and dumps his body on
a railway line. She leaves a copy of a Dusty Springfield’s song
‘I Close My Eyes and Count to Ten’ with the body. Shortly after
the murder, Fitz receives another letter and realizes that his
admirer is the killer. Because Janice wrote that the man whom she
had killed had brought her chocolates, Fitz decides that it must be
a mature student because no young student would be courted with
chocolates. Because the killer talks about the lecture he had
recently given in Manchester University, Fitz concludes that they
can narrow their list of suspects to students of that University.
coldly and callously, tells Stephen’s girlfriend that he had slept
with someone else. This reveals the true damage that has been done
by Beck raping her: She has lost some of the kindness and compassion
that was such an integral part of her character. (Beck would
probably have approved of this renouncing of compassion since he
believed that “compassion only gets you killed”). As would be
expected, Fitz’s personal life is still in tatters: His son Mark
got his girlfriend pregnant but she lost the baby, Judith is
seriously thinking about starting an affair with Danny and DCI Wise
has developed a personal grudge against him because he was
counselling Mrs. Wise which (albeit unintentionally) lead to her
deciding to separate from Wise. When Fitz tries to renew his
relationship with Penhaligon, she tells him that she does not love
him. This revelation leaves Fitz crying on the shoulder of fellow
psychologist Irene Jackson.
after the first murder, Janice kills another young, bright and
promiscuous student named John Brannigan. She is observed trying to
leave the area where she dumped Brannigan’s body by a man walking
his dog and he is run over by her van. Because of the killer’s
interest in Fitz, Penhaligon openly questions whether he should
remain on the case as he seems to be driving the killer to continue
murdering more people.
Janice’s next potential victim is
eventually spared because he showed enough consideration to offer to
spend the night with her. Fitz decides to remove himself from the
investigation and have Irene replace him. This drives Janice into a
fury and she rings him up during one of his radio shows demanding
that he be put back on the case. She has placed a voice box on the
phone so she cannot be identified. Fitz tells her that no one is
listening to her anymore. Janice then targets Mark Fitzgerald as her
next victim: As with the others, Janice lures him back to her flat
and ties him to her bed. She then gives herself up to the police so
she can finally have her time alone with Fitz. She is arrested in
her flat but Mark cannot be found anywhere.
interrogation of Janice is probably the most traumatic encounter
with a killer he has ever had to endure because the pleasure he can
usually derive from verbally attacking a suspect is not possible on
this occasion. It is Fitz who is vulnerable as Janice begins to
taunt him about the state of his marriage. He begs her to release
his son and tells her that Mark is not like her other victims in
that he is not emotionally secure, very intelligent or even happy.
Therefore, she should not feel resentment over his bright future. It
is this envy of personal and professional success that drove her to
kill the other young men.
While Fitz is interrogating Janice,
Penhaligon tells Judith that she has handed in her resignation and
will leave Anson road in November (a revelation that Penhaligon
doubts Judith will derive any real comfort from). This is the last
time that Penhaligon will appear in the series.
Janice’s sister, Nena, is interviewed by Fitz, she inadvertently
reveals that her father had sexually abused his children. When Fitz
confronts Janice about this abuse, he realizes that she was the only
one of her father’s three daughters who was not abused. This made
her feel shut out of the family when she was growing up. The reason
that the Dusty Springfield song meant so much to her was because she
had once danced with her father to that tune: Probably the only
memory she had of her father showing her any real attention.
In return for telling her why her
father never abused her, Janice tells Fitz that Mark is in the flat
next door to hers. The police arrive just in time to stop Mark being
electrocuted. Fitz keeps his promise and enlightens Janice about why
her father rejected her: She was too strong willed and her father
knew that she would have resisted him and told someone what he had
tried to do. Cruelly, Janice had to pay the price for being the
strongest member of the family.
relationship between Janice and Fitz has now come to an end because
Fitz showed that he understand Janice which was all she was looking
for. Empathy as opposed to love was what she wished to gain from
writing to Fitz.
Danny and Judith were meant to go for
a meal on the night that Mark was kidnapped. He waited for her at a
restaurant and eventually went on to a casino. He loses all his
money and, in a voice of tragic resignation, tells the croupier
that: “I just wanted to know what it felt like to be him [Fitz]”.
This probably refers to his being in a casino and why he pursued
Judith. Despite the outward contempt Danny showed for his brother,
he actually envied Fitz and wanted to be like him.
Although Fitz and Judith were united
by their anxiety over their son’s safety, the last scene of this
story shows that they are still uncertain about whether their
marriage will survive and Fitz is left alone to smoke his cigarette.
His lot in life seems to be that of the perpetually isolated
Guide written by Graham Price
Unofficial Guide To Cracker 1999-2006