Outrageous Fortune (2019)
Morning, squire. Good day.
George Gonzalo esquire. Prospero & Brown Legal.
I'm the executor and head trustee for the estate of the late Theodore Athenaeus.
And this is his dog, Tim.
This morning he was found missing, presumed runaway.
In addition to your usual fee, my firm has authorised me to offer a reward of £25,000 for his safe return.
How much? How much?
He's worth his weight in gold.
To be precise, 426 times worth his weight in gold.
At the close of yesterday's stock market Tim's net fortune was £320 million.
Theodore Athenaeus was heir to a vast shipping fortune.
A misanthrope and a recluse, he shunned the company of humans.
Tim, it's believed, was a travellers' dog who became separated from his camp when "giddy fortune's furious fickle wheel" brought him here the night a great fire swept through the house.
Now, no one knows why but Tim dashed into the house through the flames, roused Mr Athenaeus from his bed Saving his life and earning his undying and, it transpired, his dying gratitude and made Tim sole heir to his fortune.
Was he barking mad?
Quite probably. Though when the extremely rich are mad they're more usually described as "eccentric."
So who owns Tim now?
Well, no one does.
No, as executor of Mr Athenaeus' will, I administer the estate.
His daily care is provided by a full-time staff.
Butler, housekeeper, chef, stylist, personal trainer chauffeur, maid, groomer and gardener.
They've been informed you'd like to question them.
So... what happens to all of this when Tim... passes away?
It will be distributed equally amongst the 216 animal charities currently supported by the Athenaeus Foundation.
And the million dollar question is, why would he run away?
Well, the vet said he was suffering and we couldn't have that.
Mind you, he had a good innings.
Old and faithful friend.
That's the dry-cleaning, sweetheart.
He's still at the vet's until I can...
make the arrangements.
So, erm, how many staff were here last night?
All except Mr and Mrs Vellvurdy.
On dirty week in Saunton Sands.
Is English phrase for sexy holiday.
Although why British must make holiday to have sex...?
So when did you last see Tim?
Yesterday night, 9pm. I bring warm milk and sing lullaby.
Always "Old Blue." His favourite.
Is about a dog. When I reach chorus, he join in.
A singing dog?
Dogs cannot sing.
I have these.
And this morning?
This morning, I arrive 6:30 with breakfast.
Mondays is truffle Kobe beef.
But door open and he's gone.
Mr Vellvurdy be very angry on return.
How did the door get opened?
He's very clever dog.
We move handle... he jump higher.
So it's not the first time he's done a runner then?
He's a bolter, alright.
Favourite game's playing hide and seek with the staff.
So outside doors are always locked and we exercise in here.
An individual canine fitness programme personally structured to his physical needs.
What's wrong with a good walk?
Yeah, cos you love a good walk.
He's a right little Houdini's why.
The only time he doesn't try and slip his lead is at the cemetery where the old man's buried.
We take him once a week to lay flowers.
Could he still be in the house?
Not a chance.
We went through the place with a fine-tooth comb.
We know all his little hiding places and he always comes out when he's hungry.
So how do you think he got out of the house?
Maybe someone left the door open while we were searching.
Do you know why he ran away?
He's an ungrat chien.
I'm an animal stylist of international reputation.
Not that he shows the slightest appreciation.
Oh, he bit you! He bit him. Oh.
He developed an aversion to diamanté.
Before this, I was with a chicken in Monaco.
Heloise had more style in a single tail feather than this inelegant mongrel.
How many more of them?
I'm beginning to see why he ran away.
Sebastian, you had any luck?
Not a whisker.
I've checked all local veterinary practices, animal hospitals and pet rescue centres and there's nothing on the lost dogs website.
You checked the dog pound?
No, but rest assured I am on it.
Oh, and, um, just asking, but if we find him I do get an employee's cut of the reward money?
No. Of course y...
We'll discuss it later.
So where to next?
His Master's grave.
You're going backwards! Well, I didn't mean to, did I!
You know the difference between reverse and first?
Just stop. Just stop, Frank! You're not driving.
A crematorium with a difference in that it allows owners to be buried alongside their pets.
As well as dogs and cats, we also cater for snakes amphibians, poultry and fish.
Mr Athenaeus was a benefactor and patron of our ethos and chose us as his final resting place.
When the time comes, Tim will be scattered beside him.
We were wondering if he might show up here?
It's possible. One of our most regular visitors.
Every week without fail, he comes to lay flowers.
It breaks one's heart to watch him lying on his master's grave like Greyfriar's Bobby.
Not a happy chappy then, eh?
Poor chap developed a lick granuloma on his paw caused by depression and had to be referred to our animal psychologist.
If anyone has insight into the working of Tim's mind it would be Ms Carter.
Could we talk to her?
She only works here one day a week.
The rest of the time she's a vet at the Lord Norfolk Rescue Centre.
He was tied in a sack and thrown in the river.
Who would do something like that?
The extent of human savagery to animals has long ceased to surprise.
OK, sweetheart. It'll all be over soon.
That's not... you're not gonna...
You wanted to know about Tim?
Uh, yeah, we believe he's one of your patients.
Tim was referred exhibiting signs of depression brought on by the death of his owner and subsequent change in lifestyle.
Mr Athenaeus treated Tim like a dog.
A situation that would have continued if not for three little words in the wording of the will.
"I love you"?
"As would I."
That Tim be cared for as he would.
Of course he never imagined they'd take him literally.
So all the pampering was because of the will? "Nature turns into revolt when gold becomes her object."
Tim's a dog, not a human.
Is it any wonder he rebelled and ran away?
Hello? Luella Shakespeare.
Oh, hello, Mr Gonzalo.
OK. We'll be right there.
It appears he didn't run away after all.
I received a text from a withheld number. £200,000 in used notes to be placed in a bin by the Bandstand at noon tomorrow.
Like you can just get hold of that kind of cash.
I've already spoken to the bank.
I don't like it. It's too easy.
And what's to stop them from just keeping him and then upping the ransom?
Tim's life is not mine to negotiate.
Contractually and legally, I have no option.
We need to stake out the drop point.
Wait till they pick up the money and tail them.
Hopefully they'll lead us to Tim.
If you think that's for the best.
And the next question is, how did they get in and out of a house with no sign of a break in?
Have you got any CCTV?
The exterior and grounds only. But it's already been checked.
They must have missed something.
We need to take a look at the footage.
So when you said "we" need to take a look at this footage you actually meant me?
Well, you're more suited to it than me.
In what way? Well, you know you've got one of those weird brains, haven't you?
That was a compliment, by the way! Which is why you're single.
What do you think this shadow is here?
Which leaves us with sweet Fanny Arkwright to go on.
Leaves, leaves, leaves, leaves, leaves.
No leaves. Leaves. No leaves. Leaves.
Yeah, alright, I get it.
This footage has been tampered with.
So everything between 23:23 and 4:17 is taken from another night.
The dognappers would never have time to do that.
Which means... there was someone on the inside.
My money's on Wayne McKenzie.
Before he was a personal canine trainer, he worked as a security guard.
If anyone knows how to fiddle with the CCTV then it's him, isn't it?
I think we need to take a closer look at Mr Bondi Beach.
Shall I bring my binoculars?
Eh, you won't need them.
Oh, there we go.
Package is dropped.
Park. Back to the office.
On the company account.
A lie. A wicked lie.
Are you looking for somebody? No.
Kent and I always took a walk at this time and I keep expecting him to come bounding up with a stick or... sloping out of the river covered in mud.
I just feel like part of me's missing.
That's a bigger birthday cake than I've ever had.
Poor little rich dog.
There's definitely no love lost between him and the rest of the staff, is there?
Perhaps they don't like being dogsbodies.
Are you gonna do that all day? Probably, yeah.
Clear the area!
Get the hell back, Frank!
A member of the public just called in a suspicious package in that bin.
It's not suspicious.
We put it there.
- Abort! Abort!
So what's in it then?
Er, yeah. It's 200,000.
In used notes.
A million-pound mongrel?
Uh, well, £320 million actually.
And you didn't report it because...?
Well, the bit where they said, "No police or the dog dies."
Tim's safety is of paramount concern.
Have you any idea how much an operation like this costs?
And as for you...
Oh, wait, hang on, let's not blame us here.
Really we should be blaming an over-vigilant member of the public.
These persons were acting under my instructions.
I take full responsibility.
I should charge you for wasting police time.
Placing £200,000 in a public waste bin may be foolhardy but is not in contravention of any law.
If you wish to dispute it, please feel free to contact my firm's criminal department.
That won't be necessary.
A 200 grand ransom drop for a dog?
Yeah, that's novel even for you, Frank.
Does this put Tim's safety at risk?
Possibly. I mean, the drop was chaos.
The police got involved.
We'll just have to hope the kidnappers get back in touch.
And in the meantime, we should really try and track down whoever's working for them on the inside.
Er, no, I don't think so, thank you.
The best laid schemes.
On the bright side, those background checks on Wayne McKenzie.
Privacy settings on all his social media, so I sent him a friend request.
I am never refused.
Anywho, it seems Wayne turned 30 a couple of days ago had a bit of a party...
Oh, look! Oh, good for him.
But look where he held it.
While the butler's away, the mice they do play.
I'd better go and have a word with him. Er, alone.
I think this is a job for bad cop.
I can do bad cop.
I wouldn't say it's your natural metier.
We had a party. What's wrong with that?
Well, I'll tell you what, why don't we ask your boss, eh?
Wellworthy. Wellworthy, him, yes.
Because he's coming back off holiday in a couple of days, isn't he?
All socialising is strictly forbidden on premises.
We lose jobs.
So... you turned off the CCTV.
And while you're carousing someone sneaks in and takes the dog.
We weren't to know.
Who was at this party? Just staff.
Anyone else know about it?
Look we just wanted some fun.
You've no idea what this job's like.
Waiting hand and foot on a bleedin' mongrel.
Are you going to report us?
Let's just... wait and see if he turns up.
And you're sure it's Tim?
I'm afraid I was unable to look.
Ms Carter identified him.
Have we your permission to transport the loved one?
Thank you, Mr Baxter.
Rest assured he will receive the very best that money can provide.
His final ensemble?
Along a Gothic theme. I'm thinking leather and jet?
That's 25k down the drain. You're all heart, Frank.
Kidnapper very stupid.
Why kill golden moose?
Why you asking me?
The police got involved.
If it's an organised gang of dog thieves, perhaps it's a warning to others.
It could have been an accident. I see no signs of trauma.
It's possible he was sedated and they miscalculated the dosage.
Could you do a post-mortem? There will be no post-mortem.
Tim suffered enough indignity in life without being further subjected in death.
No, he will be cremated and scattered next to his master in accordance with his will.
Could we have a quick word?
It's just, we're wondering about the staff.
Because we do know that the kidnapper had inside help.
Then it's a matter for the police.
My firm's obligation ended with Tim's death.
As does yours.
You're welcome to the funeral when you can present me with your final invoice.
My sincere condolences for your loss.
Thank you for coming.
That's, er, your invoice. Oh.
Quite a turnout.
Mr Athenaeus specified no expense be spared in giving Tim the send-off he deserves.
Remember, social niceties.
Anatole France said, "Until one has loved an animal a part of one's soul remains unawakened."
So it was with Mr Athenaeus and Tim.
An animal who provided a lonely old man with unconditional love loyalty and companionship in his twilight years.
♪ Had a dog and his name was Blue ♪
♪ Had a dog and his name was Blue ♪
♪ Crying here, Blue ♪
♪ You good dog, you ♪
♪ Blue chased a possum in a hollow log ♪
♪ Blue chased a possum in a hollow log ♪
♪ Blue chased a possum in a hollow log ♪
♪ And you can tell from that he was a good old dog ♪
♪ Crying here, Blue ♪
♪ You good dog, you ♪
♪ Crying here, Blue ♪
♪ You good dog, you. ♪ May your spirit go in peace to the light.
♪ Here, I said here... ♪ Stop! Stop! - ♪ Blue... ♪ Stop! Stop the coffin!
Stop the coffin! No!
No, stop the coffin!
I can explain. Can you?
It's OK. It's OK, Frank. Don't be sad.
The... the thing is that, um...
Frank's dog passed away recently. Passed away...
He was run over by a car and then, the thing is...
Frank never really got a chance to say goodbye to... Blue.
He was a good dog too.
I know. I know.
And so today, this has all been just a bit too much.
Let's get you home, shall we?
Come on. I'm sorry...
Let it all out.
What the hell were you doing?
Trying to stay on the case.
I don't know which dog was in that coffin but it wasn't Tim.
OK. See that?
That is a lick granuloma.
And? And... the dog they cremated didn't have one.
What, meaning Tim might still be alive?
Meaning the reward money is still up for grabs.
Well, why didn't you tell Mr Gonzalo?
Well, he wouldn't believe me.
Especially as they'd just incinerated the proof.
Why fake Tim's death when no one stands to benefit?
Apart from a load of animal charities he patronised.
Didn't Mr Baxter refer to Mr Athenaeus as a "patron and benefactor?"
Yes. Look, here.
"The Happier Hunting Ground, Bereavement Support Service.
Chair, Leonard Baxter Esquire."
Who coincidentally has an unlimited supply of canine corpses.
Three hundred and 20 million divided by 216 charities is... is...
A lot of money. A lot of money.
Thank you for doing this.
I thought it might be a bit close to the bone.
Any pun on this occasion entirely unintentional.
Happy to help, sweetheart.
Saves sitting around moping.
And who knows? This might be what I'm looking for.
In the hour of your bereavement, may I welcome you to the Happier Hunting Ground, Mrs...?
Bolton. Vi Bolton.
VB Cargo. "Taking the hate out of freight."
And this is my son, Kanye.
Say hello to the gentleman, Kanye.
The Farewell Room.
Where you can make a private goodbye before entrusting your loved one to us.
And after he's been "entrusted?"
He'll rest in an ambient temperature in our mortuary.
Preserved fresh and intact until the final send-off.
We offer a full funeral package including minister, music, and a wake for an all-inclusive price of £2,000.
After which you'll receive between 3.5 and 4.5% of your loved one's body weight.
These can be turned into symbols of remembrance.
Silver plated paw-print cuff links.
Oh... very nice.
We also have a tattooist who will mix a portion of your loved one's ashes with ink to create a more permanent reminder.
Can I get a tattoo?
Not until you're 18.
And for our most discerning clients which, if I may say so... Mm.
Shrouds don't have pockets. And if you've got it, spend it, is my motto.
In that case, for £15,000 we can provide a magnificent memorial diamond made from your loved one's ashes.
We'll take it.
All of it? Apart from the tattoo.
And the cuff links. We do have some standards.
You're crossing your legs. Why don't you pop in to the little boys' room while Mr Baxter and I crunch some numbers?
I hope to hear from you soon.
I'll be in touch.
Oh, there you are. Say goodbye to the gentleman.
Goodbye to the gentleman.
Did you get what you wanted, sweetheart? Yes, thank you.
A quote for £20,000.
I don't know what's wrong with a shoebox in the garden and a bit of a cry.
Kent's a little large for a shoebox and you don't have a garden.
There's got to be something better than this.
Tim has a deceased "doggleganger."
Stop it. I swear...
The next person to make a dog joke.
I mean it. OK.
Rex. A 7-year-old lurcher cross who died three weeks ago from... suffice to say natural causes.
Delivered to The Happier Hunting Ground where he was deep frozen before being cremated and turned into a memorial bracelet.
But Baxter kept him in the freezer and that's the dog we cremated yesterday.
But that doesn't make sense.
Why would somebody steal Tim and then fake his death using a different dog?
I don't know.
But if Tim's alive, Baxter might lead us to him.
And he lives above the shop so he should be easy to stake out.
"He that is thy friend indeed.
He will help thee in thy need.
If thou sorrow, he will weep.
If thou wake, he cannot sleep.
Thus of every grief in heart.
He with thee doth bear a part."
Have you ever had a dog?
Just the one. Blue.
Died in a hit and run.
Nah, too much responsibility.
It's like having a kid but it won't look after you in your old age.
I always wanted a dog. Or a cat.
But Mother was allergic to dander. Dander?
Had a chameleon though. Called it Karma.
You don't say. You know...
Like, as in Culture Club.
Those were the days.
Let's play "what dog am I?"
Let's not. Oh, go on.
Go on. It's fun. Go on.
If I was a dog, what breed would I be?
No idea. Yeah, you do, go on.
Everybody looks like a dog. I don't.
Old English Sheepdog. What?
Yeah, all big and shaggy, all that salt and pepper hair.
Yeah. So... go on, then.
I know what you're thinking. I'm not thinking anything.
Yeah, you are, cos everyone says it, so go on.
Go on, say it.
Poodle. Golden retriever.
A poodle! Yeah...
What do you mean I look like a poodle? Well... be... because of the... frou frou.
The frou... the frou...?
Why would you say a poodle? Frou?
Thanks a lot, Frank. "Oh, morning, frizzy poodle frou!"
I didn't want to play this game in the first place.
You're a golden retriever. Happy now?
No, it's too late, isn't it, now?
Did you get out of the wrong side of the bed?
Spit it out, will you?
Leonard Baxter, aged 53.
No record of any marriage. Clean credit check.
No criminal convictions.
Well, that was a waste of time.
Don't mention it. Anything else I can help you with?
Sebastian, if I was a dog, what breed would I be?
Absolutely no hesitation there whatsoever.
Baxter never leaves this place.
I'm beginning to wonder if you're barking up the wrong tree.
Whey! "Barking up the wrong..."
No, I'm not in the mood now. It's not funny.
Baxter is not the only person who's got access to canine corpses, is he?
Dog B's owners were referred to Antigone Carter for bereavement counselling, look.
that this ransom video was made at the Lord Norfolk Rescue Centre.
Can you see that?
Don't just sit there, drive!
Mr Gonzalo? It's Frank Hathaway.
Yeah, we've got some new information.
Could you meet us at The Lord Norfolk Rescue Centre in old town?
Ms Carter. Where is the dog?
At last count, we have 45.
Was there one in particular you had in mind?
Well, we know the dog you cremated yesterday was a 7-year-old lurcher cross named Rex.
This was taken here.
It's very clever, hiding a dog in plain sight.
And why on Earth would I do such a thing?
That is a very good question.
Well, in that case, you won't mind if we make a search?
Be my guest.
You appear to be one missing.
Tybalt. A Staffordshire bull terrier.
He was re-homed this morning.
Well... how do you explain this, then?
Do you remember the portrait, Frank?
It's Tim's, isn't it?
Yes, it's Tim's.
The staff donated all his belongings to the centre when he died.
Oh, of course, yes, also you have my apologies.
We've taken up too much of your time.
Before we go, could we just take a look through here? Thanks.
This is from here.
That shadow is caused by that light shining through that sticker onto the floor.
Can you see that? You call that evidence?
A court of law would not.
As to why a distinguished veterinary surgeon such as Ms Carter would kidnap Tim and bury a dead dog in his place?
The idea is ludicrous!
And what about this place? Another beneficiary of Tim's will, I presume?
No, you presume wrong.
As neither Ms Carter nor this institution stands to gain so much as a penny from Tim's estate.
I can only apologise for such unwarranted accusations and reiterate these persons are no longer engaged by me.
Continue to pursue the matter and I shall be forced to regard this as harassment and take action accordingly.
I was sure we were right. You see her face?
I know we were.
Staffordshire bull terrier, my backside.
Where's Tim then?
I mean, it's not like she knew we were coming so she had time to hide him.
Unless... she did know we were coming.
How? Only person we told...
...was Mr Gonzalo Not so fast, Speedy Gonzalo.
You two were in it together, weren't ya?
Did you offer her a cut of the money?
Three hundred and 20 million which was yours to distribute.
No one would notice if a few million went astray.
Oh... And you told Ms Carter we were on our way so she could hide Tim. I know he's here somewhere.
You have already searched the place and ascertained he is not. Well, maybe we didn't look properly.
♪ I had a dog and his name was Blue! ♪
♪ I had a dog and his name was Blue ♪
♪ I had a dog and his name was Blue ♪
♪ I bet you five dollars he was a good one too ♪
♪ Singing here ♪
♪ Awooo ♪
♪ Blue ♪
♪ You good dog... ♪
I can explain.
We're all ears.
Ms Carter and I often talked of Tim's predicament.
I counselled Rex's owners and I was struck by the similarity.
So I switched his corpse with one from here while we waited for the right opportunity.
Which came when I heard the staff talking about having a party.
That they would switch off the CCTV while it was taking place.
It seemed too good an opportunity to miss.
Three hundred and 20 million. I'll bet it did.
The trust is rigorously audited.
It would be quite impossible for me to embezzle from it.
So why did you kidnap him then?
Don't you see? It wasn't kidnap.
It was a rescue.
Tim can't see a mansion.
Only the bars of a cage. Locked up and isolated.
Ah, there you are, dear fellow.
Come on, boy, now, come on.
Let's get you out of here. Come on...
Let's go. That's it.
Got the rabbit.
We couldn't stand by and watch him being tortured.
You tipped off the police about the ransom drop.
I'm afraid so.
We had to make it look like Tim was dead in order to get probate.
"So distribution should undo excess."
The money would go to worthy charities, helping thousands if not millions of animals.
And Tim can be found a happy home where he can lead a normal life.
Where do we go from here?
Well, that is up to you.
If you report us to the police he'll be sent back and we will both face lengthy prison sentences.
Oh... we're not going to report you to the police.
Are we, Frank?
Hold your horses.
There is the small matter of the reward money.
Ah... a stumbling block.
Tim would have to be declared alive.
And be sent back to Miranda Park for the rest of his natural life.
Oh, cheer up, Frank. You made the right decision.
It's 25 grand.
And poor Tim would spend the rest of his life being tortured.
Kobe beef for breakfast is hardly torture.
And it's 25 grand.
What price his pound of flesh?
Four hundred pounds sterling.
Well, I'm happy to forgo my share. Me too.
You didn't have a share.
Then you definitely made the right decision.
So what happens to him now?
He's a stray from the Lord Norfolk and he needs a foster home.
Just for a few days.
You're very sweet and I know what you're trying to do.
But it's too soon. I'm not ready yet.
Oh... poor little thing.
Looks like he needs a hug.
Well, if there's absolutely nobody else.
Just for a few days, mind.
Don't say a word.
Red setter... and an Afghan.
Ooh, check out the jacket on that Scottish Terrier.
Ha! You two are making this up.
Alright, him? Bulldog.
Oh, come on, you gotta admit it, Frank.
Jim. Seb's suggestion.
And it suits him. He seems to answer to it.
Gloria, if I was a dog, what breed would I be?
Oh... Thank you.
Someone looks happy.
Oh, we're getting on like a house on fire.
And he seems a fellow Joan Baez fan.
Bit of a picky eater, mind you which is odd for a stray.
Still, I wouldn't be without him.
Worth his weight in gold.
You don't know the half.