Science-themed Crime Drama about the exploits of Dr. Jacob Hood (Professor Ian Hood in the UK version), a special government consultant dealing with crimes involving advanced science concepts the viewer has probably heard about on the news.
Hood is ably assisted by an attractive bodyguard, Rachel Young, as he uses his genius to solve crimes based around things like cloning, cryonics, and genetic engineering. His exploits have allegedly made Hood some powerful enemies, though none of them have yet surfaced.
The original UK series starred Patrick Stewart in the lead role, and is notable mostly for the fact that Patrick Stewart is the lead. A US remake with a more attractive cast (but less actual sex, due to differing Safe Harbor regulations) is more ongoing, and is most notable for being perhaps the only time a character on US television has been portrayed simultaneously as a genius and a human being with the capacity for emotion and social interaction who isn't suffering from some form of autism (See notes at Spock Speak).
The series bears some similarity to the older series Probe, but is somewhat less fanciful.
This series provides examples of:
- Action Girl: Rachel
- British Brevity: The original UK series lasted only 4 episodes.
- Bunny-Ears Lawyer: Hood is brilliant, but requires Rachel to keep an eye on him.
- Cloudcuckoolander's Minder: As Hood's bodyguard, Rachel also acts in this role.
- Clothing Damage: At one point, Hood ask Rachel to tear apart her business jacket to make face masks. She obeys without hesitation.
- Cultural Translation
- Everybody Lives: More often than you'd think for a show dealing with science crimes. While most episodes include at least one death, there are several where Hood saves everybody.
- Fatal Family Photo: In an episode dealing with an outbreak, a construction worker who mentions his son's birthday is sure enough the first one to show symptoms.
- I Always Wanted to Say That: Hood: "Duty calls."
- Macgyvering: Referenced in "Eternal", when they get locked in a freezer and Rachel asks if Hood can build a bomb out of baking soda and champagne to blow the door off. He responds "I'm a scientist, not MacGyver. Shoot the lock!"
- No OSHA Compliance: In "Eternal", Rachel and Hood get locked in a freezer when the criminal smashes the keycard lock. This shouldn't work— freezers are required to always be openable from the inside for more or less this reason.
- Omnidisciplinary Scientist: Hood
- Phlebotinum Analogy: Hood is fond of destructive analogies involving Rachel's luggage, toiletries, etc.
- Pregnancy Does Not Work That Way: likes to screw up cloning (at least the clones are born as infants and not carbon-copy adults with complete memories). In the first episode, Jacob Hood insists that cloned pregnancies are more dangerous to the mother carrying the clone and that you need the "real scientist" at the birth, when in fact a cloned infant poses no more threat to the mother than an in vitro pregnancy, which is scarcely more risky than a natural one (and in fact the mother's health is only in jeopardy if her own body is incapable of carrying a pregnancy; if the baby is unhealthy it will simply miscarry). Then in a later episode, he makes the claim that clones are born genetically the same age as the original that they were copied from (so even though they look like babies, their genes are actually adult or even geriatric), stating that the telomeres which break off each time a cell replicates are severely shortened. However, scientific research measuring telomere lengths has proved this to be false; the developing embryo somehow "knows" how long its telomeres should be and resets them to this length with the enzyme telomerase.
- Science Is Bad: Subverted and played straight - the science is (generally) good; the people abusing it are bad. Examples:
- A suspended animation serum for long-term space travel is good; using it to attack teens on Spring Break for raping the attacker's teen daughter is bad. And somehow it became an STD that puts you in a coma, and then as a reward for waking up from the coma gives you flesh-eating bacteria.
- A nanotech "virus" capable of creating super-efficient batteries is good; sabotaging it which causes it infect humans, leaching them of metal to create an ultrafine layer of metal that's attractive to lightning is bad.
- Stem cell cancer treatments are good; stealing them for ultra-botox is bad. Abusing it causes Body Horror.
- Toad Licking: The solution to "Cardiac" turns out to involve this.
- Transatlantic Equivalent
- Well-Intentioned Extremist: The villain of the week tends to be this, ranging from a park ranger poisoning Lake Michigan with mercury to raise awareness about pollution to a neurosurgeon performing illegal experiments on autistic teens to find a cure for autism.