Ties That Bind
Season 18, Episode 18
Ties That Bind title card
Air date 1st August 2010
Written by John Flanagan

Andrew McCulloch

Directed by Judith Dine
Episode guide
The War of the Roses
Deadlier Than the Male


The Ashfordly police, and especially PC Mason, are asked to assist DI Turner from the serious crime squad investigating a series of very violent robberies in the area. One of DS Dawson's informants points the finger at Steve Dempsey. When Mason and Dawson check out Dempsey, they are spotted by Dawn, who is on a girls' night out with her friends. When she gets home, she does not hesitate to talk about seeing Mason and Dawson. Division has found out that Dawson had an affair with an unnamed police officer, and she has been put forcibly back in uniform. Mason does not want her to take the entire blame, and he turns himself in. Aunt Peggy is cleaning for the former bank manager Edward Walton - without charge for a change. When she discovers a broom cupboard full of strange things he gets very abrupt, gives her a valuable pen for her efforts, and sends her away.

Full SummaryEdit

The Ashfordly police are called upon by CID to help investigate a series of Sub-Post Officer robberies involving an extremely violent gang who seriously assaulted a Post Office Master. So far the gang has raided three Post Offices, armed with guns. DI Turner is the lead on the case, with DS Rachel Dawson and PC Joe Mason.

Joe is troubled to hear gossip that this is Rachel’s last CID post. She’s being transferred to another district and will be kicked back to uniform as punishment for having an affair with a colleague who she’s refusing to name. In his bid to save Rachel from taking the fall alone, Joe confesses his previous affair with Rachel to Sergeant Miller. Rachel is exasperated with Joe, admitting that the affair in question is not with Joe, but another, more senior, colleague who is married.

The Police talk to known local criminals about the robberies and are given a probable name to investigate. Steve Dempsey is a used car salesman who recently moved to the area and has been involved in crime before. DI Turner asks Joe and Rachel to stake out his address. Joe has dinner plans with Carol Cassidy which he’s forced to cancel last minute. His message doesn’t reach Carol in time and she’s left waiting in the Aidensfield Arms alone. At the stake-out Rachel is almost recognised by one of Dempsey’s assailant’s so in a bid to hide her identity she kisses Joe. As they lock lips, Dawn Bellamy watches on and assumes they are having a secret liaison. Always one for gossip, Dawn rushes into the pub and announces the news in front of Carol. Carol is upset and when Joe tries to explain, Carol struggles to believe his story, but eventually forgives him.

Meanwhile, Peggy offers to do the housework for Edward Walton who’s wife, Cynthia, is ill and living in a nursing home. Pub landlord, Oscar Blaketon is convinced Peggy is out for his money, but Peggy insists she is doing it as a favour for Edward because he lives alone. At the house, Peggy becomes worried that Edward is a kleptomaniac when she finds a cupboard full of strange possessions. She confides in Oscar and they form an uneasy alliance to help him return everything to their rightful owners. Edward confesses it was his wife who stole the items and is grateful that Peggy and Oscar can help him keep his wife’s involvement under wraps and avoid a police charge.

The Police begin to close in on Dempsey and his gang when they uncover a code revealing which Post Offices they plan to raid. They travel to the next Post Office on the list and wait for the gang to arrive. Rachel is worried Dempsey may know they are on his tail and goes to warn a further Post Office just in case they hit that one first. Rachel’s intuition is correct and she and Joe get caught up in the middle of a robbery. Both are in serious danger as the gang are armed and determined to finish the job. In an act of heroism, Rachel is shot and badly hurt leaving Joe to fight off the robbers alone. Will help arrive in time?



  • Final appearance of DS Rachel Dawson.

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