Sunday, 6 June 2010

Series 2 at-a-glance

Series 2 at-a-glance

I will eventually add additional explanatory notes to all the pictures which will detail song references and other random acts of symbolism.

Series 3 will begin in the new year, 2012. Probably.

Friday, 4 June 2010

2.25: end of Series 2

You Forgot To Answer
Ashley: [thinking] When I remember what to say, you will love me again.

This concludes Series 2.
I will eventually add additional explanatory notes to all the pictures which will detail song references and other random acts of symbolism.

Thursday, 3 June 2010


That Day Is Done
Nicola: I can't get my head around it. You were sacked?
Ashley: It's a shock. But now I've had some time to think it through.
Ashley: We have to let go and trust the unwritten future. The vision my dad and Uncle Neil had was brilliant in its day, but that day is done. The music will be remembered and beyond that, who cares?
Nicola: I thought you cared. Very much.
Ashley: There are other things to care about. Like the song says...uh, wait for it...bloody hell! Over 200 Beatle songs and I can't remember a lyric when I really need one. I guess I'm already losing my powers.
Nicola: What about "the Ukraine girls really knock me out"?
Ashley: Oh yeah! It's good to have a laugh. You always knew just what I needed.
Nicola: And still every time is like the first.

Wednesday, 2 June 2010


Whatever happened to the life that we once knew?
Back in London, Ashley is summoned to a meeting with the boss . . .
Boss: You've done very well, Ashley, but I'm sorry it's my duty to inform you that your services are no longer required.
Ashley: You what? But I was appointed for life by the entire board of directors.
Boss: It's a different world now, love. This new lot that's taking over only cares about profit. They're suspicious as to why we need someone to serve as a living archive. They have no interest in preserving the truth. The myths are what shift the product. An exact history is not only an expendable luxury, but potentially dangerous as well.
Ashley: But they can't erase what I know without erasing me!
Boss: No worries, you're home and dry. You'll be well looked after, for your sake as well as ours. I have every confidence you will put your skills and experience to good use.
Ashley: There's nothing I can do but learn to be me in time.

Tuesday, 1 June 2010


The Kensington System
Ashley: It's time for me to go. I'm sorry we didn't get to know each other. Maybe one day you can visit me in London.
Melissa: No, thanks. I don't appreciate being used in your little scheme. There are sick people in this hospital who need real help.
Ashley: I needed help too, Melissa. Maybe not the kind you're used to providing,
but . . .
Melissa: Did you really think I was Emily? Do you know where she is or if she's still alive?
Ashley: Pretending I was still in London was part of my cover. I only know she got to Tallinn, but then her trail goes cold.
Melissa: And so now it's safe for you to return to your life of luxury in Kensington Palace.
Ashley: I'm ever so sorry. I hope someday you'll understand and forgive me.
Melissa: Goodbye Ashley. I'll pray for you and your friend.

Monday, 31 May 2010


Exit Interview, Part 2
Therapist: Yes, but what does the archive do? Is this related to your father's publishing interests?
Ashley: [blank stare]
Therapist: Excuse me. I know you can't discuss that and it's none of my business.
Therapist: No one here suspects a thing. I've been able to report the facts, simply because your real life sounds like a massive delusion.
Ashley: "Naked is the best disguise." That's what we say in Sunny South Kensington.
Therapist: Ha! You really are a funny girl. Goodbye and good luck, Ashley.
Ashley: Thank you, Dr. Turner.  I've one more person to say goodbye to before I leave.

Sunday, 30 May 2010


Exit Interview, Part One.
Therapist: I'm glad you've had some good news. There are a few things I need to know. I appreciate you answering my questions. This exit interview will be conducted in the strictest doctor/patient confidence. First, tell me about Emily.

Ashley: Emily was an expert in Roman coins. Like most areas of art and artifacts, there's the academic side with museums, galleries, and educational events for the wee ones, but there's also an underside of forgeries, fakes, and theft. Emily was asked to evaluate coins by all sorts of people and the line between the educational and the black market was often a blur. She was aware of this occupational hazard and we often used to joke about it. That's why I called her 'Emily Blur', just to take the piss.

Over a period of a few months she was hired to evaluate huge collections and she sussed there was a massive organised group involved in theft and forgeries, not just in London, but throughout the world. As her expertise proved valuable to them, she was made an offer to work for this group exclusively. She understood that refusing would not be in her best interests. Of course, she never considered their offer, but how could she safely get out? We decided she had to tell the authorities everything she knew.

Emily was afraid her situation would cause me and my work great harm. She arranged to disappear after giving evidence to the police. She didn't tell me, or anyone, she was leaving. I guess she thought the less I knew, the safer I would be. But I was afraid her disappearance had something to do with me, which is why I told everything to Nicola, Silvia, and Victoria.

Therapist: Okay. but why did you think Emily's disappearance had anything to do with you? What kind of work do you do?

Ashley: They call me The Archive.

Thursday, 27 May 2010


A good little soldier.
Nicola: [thinking] . . . Dayton, Ohio. Two exits of fun.
Therapist: It's good to see you, Nicola.
Nicola: And you, Dr. Turner. Thanks for keeping Ashley safe.
Therapist: You've seen my report. I reported her situation as reaction to trauma. She never broke character. She's tough.
Nicola: She's a good little soldier. We'll be glad to have her home and put all this behind us.
Therapist: As soon as I complete her exit interview, she can return to London.

Sunday, 16 May 2010


Pack your bags.
Nicola: We have answers! Emily went away to protect the Archive. Well, to protect all of us, really.
Silvia and Victoria: At last! Pack your bags. We'll handle the travel arrangements.

Friday, 14 May 2010


The lucky girl leads a life of leisure. 
Ashley:Hey! Can I say something?
Oh, to be in England . . .
. . . closer to the Golden Dawn.
Counting the seconds of pleasure.

Thursday, 13 May 2010


Leave a sign to let me know.
Ashley: Things ain't like they used to be.


The world began in Eden and ended in Sunny South Kensington.
Nicola: I have news! The consignment of white gold has arrived for Saint Volodymyr.
Victoria and Silvia: On the night we ride!

Wednesday, 12 May 2010

If we'd all been living in California

If he didn't get you in Laurel Canyon, he won't get you here.


Making Me Feel Like I've Never Been Born

Patient #PMID12672553

RECOMMENDATION: Patient requires intense therapy in a safe, private setting.
SUMMARY: Trauma-induced dissociation; confabulation.

Patient interprets everything she encounters as part of her fantasized, alternate life in London. For example, Immaculate Heart Hospital becomes The Church of the Immaculate Heart in South Kensington, London, popularly known as Brompton Oratory.

Prior to coming to Immaculate Heart patient experienced extreme trauma and grief over the sudden disappearance of her close friend, Emily Blair. Patient response to trauma has been to lose herself in an effort to find her friend. She has retreated into a magical mystery fantasy where everything she encounters has to be put in a catalog of references to obscure songs and lyrics.

On being admitted to the psychiatric ward, she thought our nurse's student assistant was her missing friend. The assistant, Melissa, has been able to establish a fragile bond with her. Patient imagines their conversations take place at "The Hummingbird" which is either a bakery or coffee shop. In addition, she also "sees" pictures of her missing friend on my office wall.

Patient claims she was the leader of an underground gang (the Sunny South Kensington Girls) who infiltrated the "posh criminal class" (her words) in an effort to find their missing friend, by posing as professional party girls.

Patient has created a powerful but safe and benevolent father-figure. She maintains her father is Sir Reginald Thorpe, a highly successful and influential British music publisher, who had business associations with the Beatles, the Rolling Stones, and other music groups of that era, and now controls an empire of "legacy" publishing. In fact, no one seems to know who her father is. Her mother is a civilian employee at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base. There is no other family.

I often use google to research the origin of her statements. Her command of pop music iconography and her interior dialogue are extraordinary by any standard and reveal a lively intelligence. Upon cross-examination she will not acknowledge the source but admit only that it's part of her work, her job, to keep up with those kinds of things.  She thinks she's taking care of business, like her father.

I strongly advise continued treatment.

Dr. Pamela Turner

Sunday, 9 May 2010


We Were Talking
Therapist: This is our last session before I write my final recommendation.
Ashley: Do me a favour. Tell it to your little spy.
Therapist: Ashley, this isn't a jail and you're not a prisoner of war.
Ashley: No? You treat me like an ordinary passenger?
Therapist: I'm your protection. You could see that if you weren't so defensive. You have to trust me. This is your last chance to tell me the truth.
Ashley: I could tell you about people who hide themselves behind a wall of illusion.

Friday, 7 May 2010

Thursday, 6 May 2010

Series 2.11

They Will Keep On Speaking Her Name
[Meanwhile, in Sunny South Kensington . . .]
Silvia: How was Holland Park? Did you see the boss?
Nicola: No, he wasn't in. He left a message with Volodymyr.
Silvia: That worries me. Isn't it time to execute our end of the deal?
Nicola: We must have patience. I'm quite sure The Archive is safe for now.

Wednesday, 5 May 2010

Series 2.10

I Never Gave You My Number
Melissa: I never gave you my number. I'm a volunteer here at Immaculate Heart Hospital. You know, you're very articulate for someone who can't communicate.
Ashley: I only give you my situation and in the middle of investigation, I break down.
Melissa: The Beatles again? Really? Ashley, you're going to have to do better than that.
Ashley: I know what's going on here. I'm a prisoner of war. You'll get nothing from me.
Melissa: Bitch, please.

Sunday's Best

Emily takes a holiday.

Sunday, 2 May 2010

Series 2.9

Can You Hear Me?
Melissa: Ashley! It's Melissa. Can you hear me?
Ashley: Wherever that river flows, that's where I want to be.
Melissa: If you don't play along with the doctors they will send you to a far worse place.
Ashley: Hi Melissa! I've been trying to reach you. I lost your number.

Thursday, 29 April 2010

Series 2.8

How Often She Has Gazed
Ashley: The evening hour is fading within the dwindling sun, and in a lonely moment those embers will be gone.

Tuesday, 27 April 2010

Sunday, 25 April 2010

Series 2.6

Therapist: Ashley! I'm your doctor. You know who I am. We've been at this for months. Please stay with me.
Ashley: Can you see the real me, doctor?
Therapist: Yes -- can you? Use your own words. If you can't show me some progress, I'll be forced to put you into state custody. How can I help you? Please, Ashley. Tell me what you need.
Ashley: Send back my dream test baby. [written: She's my main feature.]

Friday, 23 April 2010

Series 2.5

Therapist: Hello Ashley. How are you today?
Ashley: There's no point in asking. I'm pretty vacant.
Therapist: At our last session you presented as a teenager in your room in Holland Park.
Ashley: Yes! London! That's where I'm from.
Therapist: No, you're not. You've never been to London. You're in Immaculate Heart Hospital, in Dayton Ohio. Ashley, I can't help you if you continue to retreat into these fantasies.
Ashley: Yeah? Well piss off! Who are you?

Sunday, 18 April 2010

Series 2.4

Ashley: Letting the days go by . . . oh no! Wait! How did I get here?

Friday, 16 April 2010

Series 2.3

Ashley: One of my earliest memories is hearing mum play Armed Forces by Elvis Costello.
I knew about Elvis Presley but this was something altogether more complicated.
I was sure Costello must've been years before Presley.
I thought progress was things getting simpler as time went on.

One lonely night in Ladbroke Grove

One lonely night in Ladbroke Grove.

Wednesday, 14 April 2010

Spotlit in a palace

Spotlit in a palace. Shielded from dust.

Series 2.2

Ashley: Down in the bunkers of the crust of the earth.
Destination of the override.
Scanning the wild wind through the phones and desks and screens.
Burning rubber and smoke in my eyes.

Monday, 12 April 2010

Series 2.1

Ashley: Everyone gets armbands! And 3-D glasses!
Victoria: Oh dear . . .
Silvia: . . . she's at it again.
Nicola: I'll get the kettle on.