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Fluke Of Luck
Series 2, Episode 7
Air date 20 May 2005
Written by Nick Fisher
Directed by Jon East
Episode guide
Eyes Down For A Full House
17 Years Of Nothing

Fluke Of Luck was the seventh episode of the second series of New Tricks.


The episode opens with Sandra at a salsa dancing class. Her instructor gives her critique before inadvertently making a sexist comment and in an attempt to show her the rhythm comes from the heart he points to her chest which she threatens him to remove his hand or she'll break it.

Later at the office, there is a lot of commotion and Gerry asks what's going on. Sandra explains that a serial child kidnapper dubbed the "M25 Abductor" has struck again and 'Operation Jenny' is the branch investigating the kidnappings. Meanwhile, under the flight path of Heathrow, Brian leads Jack to an flooded gravel pit where two boys were kidnapped from in 1979. The pit gained the infamous nickname of the Pit of Doom. Jack questions why Brain is interested in the case, he replies that the case shares similarities with the M25 Abductor and the boys were found 30 miles away so it was unlikely to be faked. At the office, Gerry and Sandra have doubts about a link, but Brian and Jack are certain that even if the case isn't linked it's worth solving. Brain further explains that the boys were hooded and kept in the back of a Ford Transit van which was parked in a garage overnight, the next day when the driver stopped to use the toilet in a lay-by the boys escaped. Sandra reluctantly gives permission for the team to investigate. Gerry, disappointed goes for a smoke and notices a fellow smoker having a bad coughing fit which puts him off his cigarette; on his return he tells Sandra he's quitting smoking.

Jack and Brian go see Alan, now an adult working in a fish factory. To their surprise, Alan has developed a strange form of PTSD, in which he likes acting like a fool and finds everything funny. Alan admits to not remembering much but claims it was the best thing to happen to him, after several TV appearances. Knowing Alan is no use they ask him where they can find Daryl, to which he replies "Number 1, Pearly Gates Road, Heaven"; Daryl had died several years earlier. With Alan as now the only witness, Brian wonders whether using hypnosis would make him remember the kidnapping, to which he is surprisingly enthusiastic.

Later Esther returns home to find the door open, when she's enters she hears a noise upstairs a grabs a gardening fork. The noise turns ot to be Brian in the attic looking for his old fishing gear. Early the next morning he goes to the Pit of Doom to fish, Gerry meanwhile is suffering from withdrawal symptoms and has nightmare. Brian, knowing Gerry would be awake calls him and tells him to come to the Pit. Brian is surprised at the amount of fish there is in the lake, yet the popular fishery next door has hardly any left.

The hypnosis has a profound effect on Alan, he remembers getting his hood off, finding a hypodermic needle and a sack of nuts in the back of the van. Looking out through the keyhole he notices a bath, oxygen cylinders and tools. Then he hears the kidnapper and panics, forcing the hypnotist to ring him out of it, to the team's dismay. After a mishap involving Brian's maggot bait, him, Gerry and Jack go visit a fishing and tackle store for information, however one of the owners, ex-con Kenny Rogers bolts and Gerry pursues him yet they both end up back at the store exhausted, Gerry and Kenny had a bit of a history and Kenny fled at the sight of him fearing trouble. When they enquire about the Pit, the owners reveal another incident at the Pit, former British carp record holder Bob Yates was attacked at the Pit.

When they visit Yates he reveals he now heads a group of scientists and researchers to experiment on farming carp. His injuries prevent him from remembering much about the attack, but Gerry interrupts after finding the same bath, tools and oxygen tanks in the lab. They interrogate Yates but he provides a solid alibi of where he was during the abduction, he also explains that the equipment found in the lab are all used for fish farming. Brian asks Yates about his record being lost to someone from Thorne Valley Lake the lake next door to the Pit, which Yates is strongly suspicious of. They plus Gerry go to the Zoo to see the record fish. In an attempt to prove or disprove whether the record did come from the Pit not Thorne Valley, they take a scale sample from when the fish was caught, but they need a water sample to match it to. At the same time, Esther phones Sandra and admits she's a bit worried about Brian and asks to meet up and that she tries to do different classes in an attempt to put her mind off Brian for once. Afterwards Gerry phones Sandra and asks her to take a sample from the Pit. Upon collecting the water Sandra feels someone is watching and flees with the water sample. Back at the zoo, the water sample proves that the record carp is from the Pit and the catcher, Barry Brownlow is lying.

Upon visiting Brownlow, they notice how much he has profited off the record. They immediately ask him why he lied about catching the fish. He admits that whilst fishing at Thorne Valley one night, someone came up to him with the record carp and told him to claim the record. However due to his age, he could not possibly have abducted the boys in 1979. Before leaving they realise that the carp was claimed to be from Thorne Valley so as to draw attention to Thorne Valley and deter people from the Pit.

After another restless night Gerry goes to visit Brian at the Pit but first sneaks a cheeky cigarette. However he suddenly notices someone approaching Brian on the jetty armed with a baseball bat. In the struggle, the culprit is thrown into the Pit. When he's rescued it's revealed to be Robbie Duke, brother of an life-incarcerated bank robber. In the interrogation room, Robbie confesses to kidnapping the boys and attacking Yates to scare people away from the lake to protect his brother's takings from his last raid, now buried at the bottom of the Pit.

Back at the Pit, Gerry congratulates a disappointed Brian, who wanted to catch the M25 Abductor. The police dive team recover the haul from the Pit and upon opening the two are surprised by the contents. Sandra and Gerry go visit Robbie's brother Danny in prison and present him with the photos of the box. It is empty, Danny's crew had taken all the loot for themselves, leaving Robbie to guard an empty box for years. Danny smugly laughs it off as a joke but Gerry gives the photos to the guard to give to Danny's block mates. Gerry later reveals that having a stash from your last job waiting for you gives you a high degree of respect inside. By letting the other prisoners know about the betrayal, Danny's reputation inside is ruined. Gerry also openly admits to failing to give up smoking, however later an anti-smoking TV advert horrifies Gerry into not smoking near his grandson. Meanwhile back at the Salsa class, Sandra and Esther are busy dancing away.