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The programming in the US is poor to be polite. So, we, as viewers look
elsewhere. One of my favorite places is the BBC. Now on BBCAmerica there
is an excellant show called "Waking the Dead". It is intelligently
tense and the actors are wonderful. All of them. I had known, just a
little about Trevor Eve(Detective Superintendent Peter Boyd) before, but I
had never seen anything of Sue Johnston, Holly Aird, Clair Goose, or Will
Johnson's work. It's a shame, because I can see they are all wonderful
actors and actresses.
Trevor Eve plays the head of the Cold Case Squad that investigates
murders. I don't know if it's by plan or not, but Eve presents the
character of Boyd as an arrogant, egotistical, yet an intelligent man
boyish charm. Boyd is also haunted by the disappearance of his 16 year
son. There was a fight and the son disappeared. Boyd doesn't know if the
boy is dead or alive. This affects his job.
Sue Johnston is Dr. Grace Foley, the profiler of the team. I didn't know
anything about her. She presents Foley as a caring, intelligent woman.
is perceptive. She and Boyd have been friends for a long time and
understands his pathos. When on a tyraid, Foley is the only one who will
face Boyd down and make him back down.
Holly Aird is Dr. Frankie Wharton. She is the forensic specialist and is
anal about crime scenes. She even goes as far as requiring masks for the
entire team when entering a crime scene. She is intelligent and will also
face down Boyd if necessary.
Clair Goose is Detective Constable Mel Silver. She is a fresh, eager
detective who wants to be taken seriously. She is fasctidious in
evidence and tries to cover all bases. She also dislikes Boyd's
attitudes as he often thinks, because of her young age that she can't do
job. She usually gets around it by forcing her way through his
and doing what she knows is right anyway.
Wil Johnson plays Detective Sargeant Spencer Jordon. He is an intelligent
man who comes from the streets of London. All he's ever wanted to do is
a policeman. He is methodical and as he relaxes into his role, he is
letting his imagination help him think about the crimes they come
I recommend this program to all who would like to watch an intelligent, well made, tense and action/mystery/cop show. I wish some American actors would watch abit of British tv to seen how it's done. Don't get me wrong. We have some great actors here, but other than some primetime actors such as David Schwimmer, very few know what it's like or have the ability to get their teeth into something worthwhile.
I'd give this series a 10 minus if I could. This series is so
compelling, I lack the words to express it. And that's saying something
We just finished viewing season six on BBC America, and I say with greatest admiration that I hope it comes back for as many seasons as the producers, actors and writers wish. You have a willing viewer, here.
I also wish BBC America would show the whole of each episode. Some of the jump cuts between scenes create periodic non sequitors. It appears as though parts of the narrative are shaved off to make room for advertisements.
Trevor Eve may be one of the best actors I've ever seen.
I've been watching the series on BBC America. Turned it on part-way through an episode and haven't turned away yet. It is exceptionally well-written and well-acted and positively disturbing. Love it. I was especially impressed with the most recent episode, "Into Thin Air." Actually taped it and sent it to my sister the mystery buff, who doesn't have cable. She passed it on to our parents (who don't have cable, either). Mom wants to see more. If anyone from the BBC is reading this, PLEASE SEND MORE!
This is a wonderful drama series and I hope there will be much more in the future. Being a fan of CSI (Crime Scene Investigation) but also being a scientist and frustrated with the unrealistic portrayal of scientific procedures in CSI, I'm more impressed by Waking the Dead. Frankie strikes me as a thorough person and very professional, she knows how long it takes to analyse a sample of DNA, and its limitations. All the characters in the Cold Case Unit are totally convincing and fascinating people in themselves, especially Trevor Eve's character Boyd. This series continues to be very satisfying and has depths that are lacking in more superficial "murder mysteries". If only all the cold cases in this country could be sorted out by this lot - it would make life easier for many suffering victims of crime.
Trevor Eve is is simply excellent,as is all the cast. Together they try and solve cases which have gone "Cold". The direction and script are wonderful,well put together and acted with so much heart. Those who haven't seen it yet,i recommend you do soon.
Let's clarify this title early on - it's not about Zombies. Waking the
Dead is a BBC series that focuses on a cold case murder squad. They
probably could have chosen a better title, because I passed over this
show multiple times after seeing the word "dead" and thinking "waking"
was "walking." (That was before I got my new glasses.)
Anyway, I just finished five seasons, but apparently there are many more. If you like British detective programs and love hearing, "I'm DCI..." whoever, you'll probably get into this one too. The British titles are so much cooler...Detective Chief Inspector.
It focuses around Detective Boyd, who runs the show, played by Trevor Eve (not bad looking for a man his age). Dr. Grace Foley, played by Sue Johnston, is always analyzing everyone as the profiler of killers and her coworkers. Like so many other shows, this one reminds me not to get emotionally involved with the actors and certain characters.
Claire Goose, who plays one of the detectives, leaves the show (via a horrific on-screen death), which totally changes the flavor of the team after her departure. Coupled with a change in the forensic team at the same time, it's a shocker. When that happens, I grieve the loss and often find myself loosing a tad bit of interest trying to get into the replacements who I often don't like as well. It was no different in this case either, but it's like work -- people come and go all the time.
After watching so many British detective police shows, this one carries the usual underlying themes in the series that I am finding occur over and over.
- The main detective is a bit wonky with either work or personal problems. They are either emotionally detached from others, unable to make close relationships, have some fault like yelling, drinking, or whatever.
- The top guy always is a little rebellious refusing to obey orders, and there is usually someone on the force that is out to get them in the upper echelons.
- Though the team works well together, there is always some undermining strife and rivalry in the ranks.
- Some of the crime stories can be downright sick, especially upon the discovery of a dead body and how gruesomely the poor victim had been killed. The newer shows go for the shock factor more than the mystery, and I wish they would spare me the gory details.
Of course, these stories always leave me with unanswered questions:
- Is forensic science that advance it figures out everything?
- Do DCI's ever carry guns?
- How much tea do they drink on the job and what kind?
- When they are in the pub sloshing down the ale, are they on duty or off?
I may never know the answer to these perplexing questions, however, it doesn't stop me from searching for the next BBC crime show. As you can see, I've watched a few. Do I have favorites? I am a bit partial to the older shows with less gore and murders of only stabbings, strangulation, and poison, which occur at night while the peacocks are screeching in the background. The more complicated the lead detective, the better. These are some of my favorites:
- Midsommer Murders
- Detective Lewis
- Prime Suspect
- Murder in Suburbia
So that about sums it up. BBC or ITV better keep cranking these series out, or I'm going to be disappointed.
It's time for an Earl Grey.
I'd like to put out, how much i am addicted to Waking the Dead. To be honest with you i'm probably obsessed, i have never missed an episode, have them all on DVD and i still watch them. Trevor Eve is a great actor, who is so good at playing Boyd. Sue Johnston is amazing, she is my idol and she too plays Grace well. Wil Johnson is a good actor, plays Spence as if he is the cool guy, I don't know what to say about Holly Aird and Claire Goose apart from that I wish them luck in the future and that their characters will never be forgotten. The Waking the Dead, team gets better at solving cases and the story lines get stronger and better all the time, the writers push it to the limits and this is why i love the show, many others will agree. That is why it has been so successful. I hope the next series is going to be as good despite the loss of two strong characters.
Trevor Eveheads the cast in this gritty yet popular BBC1 series as Detective Superindent Boyd, an arrogant but effective leader of the Cold Case Squad, which investigates old, unsolved murder cases. Using modern methods and new technology that may not have been available during the original investigation the team aim to uncover lost information. Helped by forensic profiler Dr Grace Foley, (Sue Johnston) Detective Sergeant Mel Silver, (Claire Goose) Detective Inspector Spence Jordan, (Will Johnston) and assisted by their able forensics scientist Dr Frankie Wharton (Holly Aird) the cold case squad dig into the past, resurface, reconstruct, and discover the secrets that time had buried.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
Now 14 years old,"Waking the dead" continues to reign supreme in what has become a very overcrowded field - the TV forensic/cop show. It has always had a terrific ensemble cast and despite losing actors of the quality of Miss Claire Goose and Miss Holly Aird around the halfway mark it has maintained its momentum in a way few long - running TV series have managed. It benefits greatly from a superb double- act from the leads,Miss Sue Johnston and Mr Trevor Eve as the forensic psychologist and the boss cop,ostensibly a chalk and cheese combination,but one in which each one complements the other although they often violently disagree. As Peter Boyd Mr Eve is passionate and eager to pursue justice sometimes careless of the rules of evidence and procedure in doing so. As Grace Foley,Miss Johnston is more analytical,takes a step back to see the bigger picture and reins Boyd in when he threatens to get out of control. We know nothing of Dr Foley's personal life,but Boyd's is,predictably, disastrous with a son who goes missing from home and,as the series develops,begins to play a big part in his father's professional life,causing him to have more sympathy with disaffected young people than he might otherwise have had. Over the seasons many fine and well - known performers have appeared to much advantage,but the core of the programme remains Boyd's squad of sometimes disparate but always intuitive and dedicated people. The only caveat I have is that sometimes the camera dwells with lipsmacking relish a little too long at the bodies of Boyd's clients,particularly in the later episodes.Apart from that,"Waking the dead" is ,for me,a completely positive experience and still the one to beat for the many similar shows that have followed it.
No spoilers here but I have been a fan since Waking the Dead started
but the last series, of which only 3 have been on so far is awful. The
stories bear no resemblance to the original idea of the series. I found
these 3 in the last series jaw droppingly ludicrous. As a BBC licence
payer, after the show I rang BBC complaints to pass on my
disappointment. I'm amazed that actors of the calibre of Trevor Eve and
Sue Johnstone didn't object to the story lines. These actors have been
with these characters for 8 seasons, surly they can see it's lost all
direction. It's a good job it is the last series or the next series may
start with the team investigating the death of Father Christmas!
Paul Bentley, West Yorkshire, England.
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