The Killing Pool is a bold game-changing 8 x 60' returnable series set against the vibrant and turbulent backdrop of Liverpool – one of the the UK's most diverse, historic yet fast-moving cities.
The series is told through two related parallel timelines – one set in present day Liverpool, the other in 1984. Each storyline has its own uniquely engrossing lead. In 2016, it’s DCI Billy McCartney, a workaholic loner, passionately fixated on one particular long-time Liverpool drug lord. That same shadowy overlord is slowly revealed to be inextricably linked to our second police officer, who finds herself at the centre of another frightening heroin case back in 1984. McCartney’s obsession with both cases is the legacy of a brutal crime played out over decades.
That other police officer is DS Harriet “Hattie” Vine. Hattie is a fiercely ambitious young woman struggling with the moral compromises she is forced to make to get ahead in the boorish male world of 1980s Liverpool drug policing. In the wake of the notoriously violent Toxteth riots – a response to the police’s racist stop-and-search tactics and the worst in Britain during the 20th century – the city is bristling with tension and anger, a powder keg waiting to go off. Hattie, eager to get ahead and make a difference, accepts a dangerous undercover mission.
DCI BILLY MCCARTNEY
DCI Billy McCartney - a gifted and tenacious investigator - is a man weighed down by secrets. His passionate devotion to locking up the most violent and corrupt of criminals in the present has its roots in the long shadow cast by his complicated past. Consumed by his work and isolated by his inability to open up to those around him, he initially cuts a lonely figure – cut off from any life outside of that of catching criminals. However, as the series peels back layer after layer of its central conspiracy, it will also peel back the layers of Mac's own personal history – which is crucially linked to the mystery at the heart of the show. In order to do his job and bring down a criminal he has obsessively pursued for decades, he will be forced to confront and expose a past trauma he has long sought to forget.
Hattie, 21, has only recently been posted from down South, to the Liverpool Drug Squad. Tenacious, idealistic and ambitious, Hattie is appalled by the tactics and conduct of her colleagues. But, compelled by a driving yet unspoken motivation to bring down the heroin gangs, Hattie accepts a dangerous uncover mission to infiltrate Liverpool’s biggest smack ring. The job brings her into direct conflict with the crime overlord, Terence “Top Cat” Connolly who will become a lifetime nemesis.
Unlike Mac, who is determined to get the result whatever the cost, as a Witness Protection Officer, the strong-willed and fast-witted Una's primary concern is the safety of her charges. Passionate about her job, she begins to find herself at odds with Mac for his reckless attitude. Following Kalan's death – for which she feels responsible – she undertakes to find and protect Misha, even if it costs her her career. But, in spite of their differences in character, there is an undeniable frisson between the two colleagues who are thrust together in the most intense of circumstances. However, Mac's secretive persona prevents him from being able to really open himself up to possibility of a real connection with Una – much to her confusion and anger.
Misha, a tack-sharp Year 2 Law student at Liverpool University still lives in the flat above her parent’s 24-7 grocery store on Lodge Lane, Toxteth’s main shopping thoroughfare. But Misha has secrets that would appall her parents, if they knew. Not only is Misha in a committed relationship – she is dating outside the family’s devout Sunni faith. If anything could be worse than that, it’s that both Kalan, her boyfriend, and Misha herself are practising Sufists. So, when Misha returns from the library one evening to a nikkah (party) to celebrate her own forthcoming arranged marriage, something has to give.
Shakespeare moved to Liverpool from Trinidad in the 1970s. He now runs The Corona, an immaculate yet little-used pub in Toxteth. His roots in the Toxteth community run deep and he has history with Mac going back many years. Shakespeare knows everyone – before Mac, he even knew Hattie Vine... When Misha comes crashing through The Corona’s front door, bleeding and scared out of her wits, he sees an opportunity to help someone in need and possibly even make amends for some of his own sins and the failings of his past. With Mac and Una, he will play a critical role in saving Misha and bringing Terry Connolly and the Rozakis to justice.
Terry Connolly has been the crime boss in Liverpool for a generation. Gangs come and go, drugs fall in and out of fashion, but the cold-blooded, dry-witted TC has remained on top for nearly 40 years. For Mac, he remains the ultimate collar. In addition to his impressive criminal career, he is also deeply implicated in the attack on Hattie Vine many years before. Finally on the verge of holding Terry Connolly to account for his misdeeds, Mac will stop at nothing to bring him in once and for all – drawing a line under a lifetime’s anguish.
The oldest of the Kurdish-Scouse Rozaki brothers, Dara is the most chilling of them. About to reach his peak as an international Narco, Dara has the charm and veneer of a successful business. It takes very little, however, to chip through his lacquer to reveal the ruthless gunman of yore. Yet, as his volatile younger brother Moz reminds him on occasion, Dara was not ever the hard man. Arriving in Liverpool as refugees who barely spoke English, Dara relied upon diplomacy and self-deprecating humour to navigate the brothers’ first playground scraps. What is for sure is that the Rozakis have grown up the hard way and, having left the mean streets behind him, Dara will stop at nothing to cling onto his kingdom. He’d even contemplate killing his own brother, if he had to.