Edge of Darkness

  • Directors: Martin Campbell
  • Producers: Graham King, Tim Headington, Michael Wearing
  • Writers: Screenplay, William Monahan, Andrew Bovell, Television series, Troy Kennedy Martin
  • Genres: Drama, Thriller
  • Actors: Mel Gibson, Ray Winstone, Danny Huston, Bojana Novakovic

As homicide detective Thomas Craven (Mel Gibson) investigates the death of his activist daughter (Bojana Novakovic), he uncovers not only her secret life, but a corporate cover-up and government collusion that attracts an agent tasked with cleaning up the evidence…

Edge of Darkness

  • Directors: Martin Campbell
  • Producers:
  • Writers: Troy Kennedy Martin
  • Genres: Drama, Thriller
  • Actors: Bob Peck, Joanne Whalley, Joe Don Baker, Charles Kay, Ian McNeice

Yorkshire police officer Ronald Craven (Bob Peck) is returning home with his daughter Emma (Joanne Whalley) having picked her up from a meeting of an environmental organisation at her university campus. On the doorstep of their home Emma is shot dead. The police concentrate their effort on the theory that her murder was a botched attempt on Craven’s life by a criminal he had been responsible for convicting. However, as Craven goes through Emma’s belongings, he discovers a geiger counter and a gun. He also learns that Emma’s body and her possessions are radioactive. Travelling to London to assist with the inquiry, he is contacted by Pendleton (Charles Kay), a polished official “attached to the Prime Minister’s office”, who informs him that Emma was known to them as a terrorist and that it was she, not Craven, who was the gunman’s target.

As he continues his investigations, Craven has visions of Emma, and it is never clear whether she is actually appearing to him as a ghost or whether she is a product of his imagination. The fingerprints on the getaway car used by Emma’s killer match that of Lowe, a man Craven arrested ten years previously. Meanwhile, Pendleton takes Craven to meet his colleague, Harcourt (Ian McNeice), who informs him that Emma was a member of a subversive anti-nuclear group called GAIA. A team of six GAIA members, led by Emma, had broken into a low level radioactive waste facility at Northmoor; all are now either dead or missing. After Craven makes a televised appeal for information about Emma’s killer, he is contacted by CIA agent Darius Jedburgh (Joe Don Baker), an associate of Harcourt and Pendleton. Jedburgh shows Craven the CIA’s file on Emma’s activities: GAIA had become suspicious of Northmoor when a nearby reservoir had become contaminated with radioactive material, an occurrence that had also alerted the CIA, leading them to believe Northmoor was illegally storing plutonium. Jedburgh is played as a hard-bitten professional with a wry sense of humour and a passion for ballroom dancing. Along with Harcourt and Pendleton, he is keen to find the source and purpose of the plutonium.

In the final scene, Pendleton and Harcourt supervise the retrieval of the plutonium from a nearby loch, where Jedburgh had hidden it. A voiceover by Harcourt, in the form of a letter concerning the events, reveals that Grogan is also dying from the radiation exposure he received at the hotel. Craven himself was fatally exposed at the hot cell, and does not have long to live; Pendleton and Harcourt see him watching the retrieval operation from a nearby mountainside. As the plutonium is hauled away, Craven wails Emma’s name one last time; it is implied that after this he wanders into the hills to die. On the mountainside where Craven was standing, black flowers are growing, harking back to Emma’s prediction.