When the trail goes cold on the homicides of two teenage girls, Detective David Baker (David Threlfall) contacts Dr. Alec Jeffreys (John Simm), who has made headlines with his groundbreaking DNA research. Together they attempt what has never been done before – to solve a crime through DNA profiling. Facing public opposition and lack of funding, Baker and Jeffreys conduct the world’s first “DNA manhunt” to find the girls’ murderer and stop a serial killer in his tracks. This riveting miniseries also stars Anna Madeley (The Crown, Mr. Selfridge), Anna Tiernan (300), Lydia Rose Bewley (The Royals), Farzana Dua Elahe (The Hundred-Foot Journey), and Robert Glenister (Hustle, Close to the Enemy).
What We Thought:
Code of a Killer is a pretty fascinating miniseries about the discovery of DNA and how it was first used to solve a rape/murder case in England.
If you are into crime dramas, forensics shows and history you should like this miniseries. After finishing the last part I looked into Dr. Alec Jeffreys and saw that he was knighted for his contributions to genetics in real life. Rather interesting guy.
I knew DNA was a relatively new discovery, but I thought it was a bit older than what the series shows. What’s crazy is the doctor didn’t see its potential in crime solving until a detective came to him about it. He knew it would help with paternity cases, but never considered using it to look at evidence at a crime scene or evidence collected from suspects.
The case in the series was the perfect showcase for DNA research. One man confessed to killing a woman, but not to another. DNA showed he wasn’t even involved. I’m not sure if today they could get away with what they did back then. They asked all men in the area to come in and volunteer their DNA. That would be a civil rights issue today especially in the US. But because the men did volunteer they were able to rule out so many potential suspects. Men today would not volunteer their DNA whether innocent or not. Civil rights attorneys would have a field day suing the police department about it.
I don’t know if Code of a Killer needed to be as long as it is, but I did enjoy it. I like crime investigations and this is one of the most important cases of all time. It changed the way we solve cases and collect evidence. It’s well acted and I found it really interesting. If you like forensic shows this is right up your alley.
- Behind-the-Scenes featurette with the cast, crew, and the real-life Dr. Alec Jeffreys and Detective David Baker