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Heartbeat is back with the final nine episodes of a series set in the 1960s that has lasted 18 years! Viewers should bear in mind that these last episodes were filmed more than a year ago, some during the winter of 2009, which is why it doesn’t look like summer.

The series returns with talk of a wedding… Aidensfield newcomer vivacious Viv Mackay announces in the pub that she’s marrying businessman Dominic Bellingham. That would be lovely – except Dominic is still married and doesn’t like his lover pushing him to divorce his wife. Is that why Viv is found murdered later that night? Her teenage son, Scott, leads police to believe that Dominic killed her. But evidence suggests a mentally retarded local man, George Aston, who was obsessed with Viv, is to blame. Pc Joe Mason pursues Dominic but it’s Sgt Rachel Dawson who catches the murderer – and it’s not George or Dominic…

Elsewhere, Dawn’s cousin, Vince, asks her to look after his hot dog van for a couple of days and she immediately sees a way to make money at the Ashfordly Cup Final. But so does Peggy, who commandeers the van – and David. Trouble is, the van is stolen and, when the police turn up, David panics and races away – then crashes…

Janet Dibley (EastEnders, Fat Friends, The Chase) guest stars as June Aston.