British crime/forensic series, running from 1996 onwards, now in its seventeenth series, making it the fourth oldest currently airing crime drama in the world and the longest that isn't German (Tatort is the winner, the German show having run since 1970).Starred Amanda Burton for the first eight series, until her character was written out in a plot involving a reunion with her long-lost son and a trip to Northern Ireland.The series now revolves around the activities of three Home Office pathologists (Nikki Alexander, Jack Hodgson and Thomas Chamberlain as of the 2014 series) as they investigate murders in London, though they sometimes help outside the city and at least one story per season will usually feature them going abroad.Could be considered a UK version of the CSI: Crime Scene Investigation franchise, but lacks its flashiness (although it has elements of the wider investigating role); it also predates it. Like Waking the Dead (which predates CSI: Crime Scene Investigation as well), it is done in two-parters, with each story shown over two days.Has a character page.
This show contains examples of:
Badass: Jack Hodgson moonlights as a cage-fighter, which tends to come in very handy against criminals (even fully armed and/or much physically stronger ones.)
Better Manhandle the Murder Weapon: Justified. In "Bloodlines", Harry wakes up in Budapest to notice his girlfriend has been stabbed to death in bed next to him. As he finds the murder weapon , a knife, the murderer comes walking in, causing Harry to take the knife to fend him off. The murderer, in a fit of genre-Savviness, simply disarms Harry and leaves him behind to be found by the Hungarian cops.
Cartwright Curse: At least two of Harry's love interests were murdered by the end of the story.
Cramming the Coffin: In "Hippocratic Oath", a hearse crashes and two bodies are discovered in the coffin. The team is charged with discovering the identity of the John Doe corpse.
Disposable Sex Worker: Several of these show up in different episodes. A prominent example is "In a Lonely Place" where a stripper testifies to Jack that the police told her to stop wasting their time when she reported a co-worker missing.
Drop Dead Gorgeous: Averted — naked bodies in the autopsy scenes look like dead murder victims.
Everybody is Single: Leo was married with a daughter until they were both tragically killed, and he eventually entered a long term relationship with a profiler; Harry and Nikki, though, will usually end up dating either the victim, the killer, or someone who just ends up getting in the way.
Faking the Dead: The apparent death of Harry in the Budapest story - to the point where the actor's name was taken off the credits. In reality, Harry killed the attacker and set fire to his body, leaving his own ID with him
Fan Service Pack: Harry grows his hair and Nikki dyes it between seasons 11 and 12.
Fingore: "True Love Waits" involved a serial killer who would murder women and cut off their ring fingers as trophies.
Maybe Magic, Maybe Mundane: "Fear", in which a Catholic family believes their children have been possessed by demons. There's a rational explanation given for most of it, but certain elements leave the viewer to wonder.
Police Are Useless: The forensics team ends up straying from their brief into other law enforcement roles. Typically the police get it wrong and impede the team until the last minute. When either the crim or the pathologist is cornered: here comes The Cavalry! Unlike CSI: Crime Scene Investigation, these guys are really not cops period, but that doesn't stop anything.
Scenery Censor: Averted. While forensic drama, particularly US drama often has strategic bits of lab equipment censoring an autopsy scene, here corpses are completely naked during autopsy scenes, even underage kids.
Ship Tease: Harry and Nikki. Dear God, Harry and Nikki.
After Harry leaves, Nikki and Jack.
"Shut Up" Kiss: While waiting for service in a pub, Dr Nikki Alexander explains at great length to Dr Harry Cunningham how she will end up old and alone. That is until Harry leans over and kisses her, then smiles and says, "Finally she shuts up."
"Safe": The team fails to get a gang leader convicted for murder, or even for breaking dangerous dogs laws (since he illegally owned a dog that savaged one of his victims to death). The evidence finally gets him jailed for raping an underage girl, but he'll still be out sooner than he would have been with a murder conviction - and his gang is still active and grooming young boys to join them.
"Commodity": Terrorists got away with over two million pounds' worth of blackmail money, ended an innocent man's career by shooting him in the leg (he was a professional footballer), and will probably continue to attack Jewish/Israeli targets.
True Companions: Leo, Nikki and Harry in the later series. Leo implies to Nikki and Harry that they are as important to him as his (dead) wife and child.
Jack and Clarissa, to the point where Jack's condition for coming to work at the Lyell Centre was that they hire her too.
Unnaturally Blue Lighting is used regularly, particularly in pathology scenes. Partially this is an exercise in fashion and style: many contemporary British dramas were also using the technique. In the pathology scenes, the lighting increases the cold, clinical and confronting atmosphere.
"Well Done, Son" Guy: In "True Love Waits", Kate Warren is under intense pressure from her father (a very respected retired senior officer) to secure a murder conviction in order to save her own career and uphold the family name. This becomes her motivation for tampering with evidence.
You Didn't Ask: In "Coup de Grace", a murder suspect who is living in his father's old house finds his father's gun stashed there, and agrees to give it to his lawyer to hand over to the police; but ends up taking Nikki and the lawyer hostage when Nikki finds the gun first and panics. Later, when the investigating DI asks the lawyer why he didn't tell the police about the gun first, he just says that no one ever asked.