Serangoon Road: episode guide
1964-65. Singapore is a city at a crossroads. Political and racial tensions are at fever pitch as the British pull out, and a new nation is about to be born. The lights of Bugis Street have never burned so bright: bootleg copies of Motown songs boom out from street stalls; the Rolling Stones are in town along with tourists and American sailors fresh from Vietnam. They join British and Australian soldiers checking out the prostitutes and gambling dens en route to their own war in Borneo.
The famous Straits are filled with ships from around the world; and militant union demonstrations and race riots sweep the streets. The Cold War is hot in the tropics; Chinese gangs prosper; and people die as the city is hit by terrorist bombs.
The Malayan Emergency is over but has added new scars to the memories of colonial rule and the Japanese occupation during WW2. The sun may have set on the Empire, but British and Australian troops are still in the middle of an intense four-year jungle war in neighbouring Borneo, while in one year, terrorists will set off more than 29 bombs in Singapore itself. And then there are the Americans, and that war in Vietnam.
This is the city of Sam Callaghan (Don Hany), Patricia Cheng (Joan Chen), the CIA's Conrad Harrison (Michael Dorman) and the clients of the Cheng Detective Agency.
Sam Callaghan runs a sporadic import/export business with his Malayan partner Kang, but agrees to help neighbour Patricia Cheng at her detective agency after her husband is killed while working on a case. Patricia may not be a detective, but she knows she needs a good investigator with contacts in the Chinese and Malay communities, as well as among US/British ex-pats. Sam is all of that. But, after a childhood in a POW camp and a chequered career in military intelligence during the Malay Emergency, he is also carrying a lot of baggage.
However, he does enjoy a mutually satisfactory and discreet relationship with Claire Simpson (Maeve Dermody), the lonely and bored wife of an ex-pat oil company executive.
This then starts for Sam, as a case-by-case part-time job, and eventually he is effectively working almost full-time at the Cheng Detective Agency. The agency's cases range from the usual (straying spouses and petty fraudsters) to events with international implications and complications. Sam's contacts from his military days are useful — but they start to drag him back into a dark world that he would prefer to leave behind.
Sunday, September 22, 2013 (ABC1/HBO Asia)
The Cheng Detective Agency is hired by the CIA to investigate the murder of a US sailor, and Sam Callaghan is asked to help out as a favour to the widowed owner, Patricia. But as Sam tries to save the life of an innocent man, he is forced to revisit memories of killing a childhood friend during the second World war.
Sun, September 29, 2013
Forced to flee to China during the Japanese occupation, a woman returns to Singapore looking for her husband whom she has not seen since the war. No one is certain that he was still alive, yet Sam and Patricia, both of whom know what it is like to lose loved ones agree to help solve this mystery of Feng's husband. The case then gets more convoluted when Feng is mysteriously poisoned.
Sun, October 06, 3013
While delivering some photographs to a client, Patricia gets hurt when caught up in a major riot sweeping through the streets of Singapore. She is taken to safety by a Malay photo journalist named Hafiz. After realizing that her photographs were stolen, it dawns on her that this was a deliberate attack. Soon after, Hafiz is accused of being involved with the riots, and Patricia and Sam work to prove his innocence. The trail leads them to a secret MI6/Special Branch operation against subversives.
Sun, October 13, 3013
While trying to sort out Kang's gambling debts, Sam is reluctantly drawn into the detective agency's investigation of whether Claire Simpson's husband, Frank, has been accepting kickbacks from clients. If the allegation is proven to be true, Frank's boss, Maxwell Black, will kick Frank out of the company and Singapore, separating and Sam and Claire forever.
October 20, 3013
When Claire discovers that the medicine given by Maxwell Black's company to children at a small village hospital is not working, she insists that the company investigate the problem. Sam somehow manages to prove that the genuine drugs are being diluted. He also goes on to find out that families will eventually turn to expensive black market substitutes when they realize the ineffectiveness of the hospital medicine. Further investigations help Sam to recognize that this is all part of an elaborate scam run by the Secret Society.
Note: due to the poor ratings, ABC has shifted Serangoon Road to Friday nights at 9:25 beginning November 01.
Aus: Friday, November 01, 3013 (9:27)
When a newborn baby is left on the doorstep of the Cheng Detective Agency, Patricia and Sam try to figure out what they are to do with him. Patricia also receives a package containing Winston's fob watch, which was believed to be stolen when he was murdered. Meanwhile, Su Ling confronts her fear and desire over her relationship with Conrad, and Kang strikes a deal with the Devil.
Aus: Friday, November 08, 3013
Caught transporting explosives, Kang will face the gallows if Sam is unable to track down the truth about Lim Chee Kit, a leading trade unionist whose organization is suspected of being involved in a recent bombing. The case is further convoluted because Chee Kit's brother, James, is a well-connected businessman with political aspirations. Although he disagrees with Chee Kit's politics, James hires Sam and the agency to find and help his estranged brother before the police arrest him.
Aus: Friday, November 15, 3013
Sam agrees to investigate on the disappearance of two Australian girls from a freighter at the Singapore harbour. The investigation leads him into Singapore's criminal underworld and Sam gets involved in a dangerous game that could cost the girls their lives. Meanwhile, Patricia is confronted by a painful truth of Winston's past. Miller forces Conrad into going double, while Sam and Claire's relationship gets pushed to a breaking point.
Aus: Friday, November 22, 3013
When Sam goes out on a limb for an ex-World War II Australian soldier who had been accused of murder, no one understands why he is so adamant on the man's innocence — least of all Macca, who had been in love with the girl who was murdered. Either gaol the accused man for life or Sam has just made a very big mistake about his hero and friend.
Aus: Friday, November 29, 3013
Sam is on the brink of discovering the truth behind the murder of Patricia's husband — a murder that involves a secret deal between James Lim, Kay Song and the CIA. But is he obsessed with solving this case in order to avoid facing the fact that he might lose Claire forever?
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