In the Cracker Episode 'To be a somebody', Eccleston played the leader of the investigation team trying to catch a serial killer played by Robert Carlyle. The scene begins with Eccleston chasing Carlyle down anonymous streets.
One, with Everything
DCI David Bilborough ran down the cobbled alleys round the back of Asda. He had no idea where he was.
‘It’s like fucking Coronation Street,’ he thought. And I’m not as young as I used to be.
Some groper had felt-up Bilborough’s wife in the supermarket. Bilborough had set off after him. By the time he had turned the second corner, down an anonymous back alley, he knew this was a game of fox and hounds, and he was the hound. He was being led on.
‘Born and bred in a briar patch, Br’er Fox,’ he said to himself. Born and bred down Coronation Street. I know when I am being led on, but do you know what you have brought upon yourself?
You scrawny Scouse get.
He caught sight of the little guy’s heels, disappearing into a back yard, and followed without hesitation into a terraced house that smelled like a long illness. He heard the impossibly gentle sounds of kittens mewling, and stepped in their direction, ducking into an old fashioned front parlour. It was cold and unaired in there.
A box of tiny kittens. A row of matchsticks. On the walls, press cuttings.
‘Frenzied Attack on Shop Keeper’
‘College Professor Murdered’
This was the house they had been looking for, the serial killer Fitz had been talking about, every detail as he had predicted. I’ve got you, you little Scouse bastard, he thought to himself, and then he heard the sound of the parlour door clicking shut behind him. The killer had been hiding in the corner behind the door. Watching Bilborough.The little bastard had a knife.
I’ve been so stupid, he thought.
‘No,’ he said, holding up his empty hands to the smaller man. ‘There’s no need.’
The man with the knife smiled. A knife in the gut feels like a cricket bat. This isn’t supposed to happen to me.
‘Please,’ said David Bilborough from the parlour floor. ‘Please help me.’
For a moment he thought the man would take pity on him, but instead he lifted up the box of kittens and walked out of the house. There was a lot of blood on the carpet around Bilborough. A lot.
I can’t remember how I got out of this, he thought to himself. And then, oh, no, I haven’t got out of it yet. It’s still happening.
He was crawling down the hallway to the open front door, talking to the police station on his mobile phone. The front door was like a cathedral window, with stained glass. The hall carpet was stained dark as wine.
And he was lifting away. He was coming loose in space and time.
‘How does a Buddhist order a hot dog, Fitz?’ he said into his phone, to the criminal psychologist. You’ll like this one.
‘Where are you?’ Fitz replied. ‘Can you see any street signs?’
‘Make me one with everything.’
Fitz didn’t laugh, and on reflection Bilborough realised that he hadn’t actually spoken out loud.
‘I don’t know where I am. I can’t see anything,’ he said. But it wasn’t true. He could see everything. White on white. He’d taken a lethal dose of some sort of radiation…
‘I can see everything. All the time.’
And so can death. I can hear it screaming out there in the concourse. Exterminate. Exterminate. This body is coming to an end, he thought. It’s bigger on the inside. It always was.
Bilborough was lying in the open doorway of a terraced house in Salford. He was exsanguinating. There was a little boy out in the street, carrying an Asda bag.
‘Help me,’ said Bilborough to the boy. ‘Where am I?’
He could hear the police sirens in the distance. They were looking for him, but they wouldn’t get here in time. The boy ran away without answering.
‘There were kittens,’ he said to Fitz. The sirens got closer, but not quickly enough. It didn’t matter. He was dancing somewhere with an angel. With two angels. He had twin hearts. He had enough for everyone. He released himself.
Death never stops. Life never stops. Killing me and kissing me. The Heart. Never. Stops.