On a dark night on the wild Scottish borders, a man convicted of the brutal murder of his wife and daughter escapes from a speeding train, leaving behind only a paperback novel - Patagonia. He is Neil Byrne.
Instantly showing himself to be a tenacious survivor, evading capture by instinct, Byrne disguises himself and makes his way to Manchester, where he goes to ground, finding himself a job as a driver for Deuce Cars, a run-down cab firm, run by the sardonic Ali Khan, and some quiet digs. But trouble starts when Joe Connor, head of the local crime syndicate, hears of Byrne's escape and puts out the word that he wants Byrne killed.
Byrne begins his search for the truth and visits Frank Fleming in an expensive nursing home owned by the mafia. Fleming was the previous local Godfather, and had trusted Byrne when he was undercover, treating him as a son. The revelation at Byrne's murder trial that he was an MI5 spy gave Joe Connor the excuse he'd been looking for to oust Fleming and take his place at the head of the mafia syndicate. Fleming, it seems, is to spend the rest of his days in a nursing home, unable to exact revenge on Connor's coup. Byrne quizzes Frank about the book Patagonia, but gets nowhere.
Next, disguised as a telecom engineer, Byrne breaks into his old MI5 office and looks up his file. It says PERMANENTLY ABANDONED. An old colleague recognises him and is petrified. She clearly thinks he is capable of murder.
Desperate, Byrne breaks into the home of DI Ford, the officer in charge of putting him in jail. He questions him fiercely, wanting to know who paid him to fit him up. Ford is a straight copper who is sure Byrne is guilty and believes the act was so horrific he has simply erased it from his memory. Could that be the truth?
Distraught, Byrne escapes, takes his car to the moors, and breaks down.
Next: Episode Two
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