TV & Movie Crime Log: Code, Daredevil, Tatau, Wick & River

Code Of A KillerThere’s a genuinely fascinating drama on ITV tonight, about the birth of DNA fingerprinting and how it was first used to catch a killer. The introduction of genetic profiling changed murder investigations — and crime-fiction — forever. Code Of A Killer is based on the extraordinary true story of Alec Jeffreys’ discovery of DNA fingerprinting and its first use by Detective Chief Superintendent David Baker in catching a double murderer.

Please open your mouth so the blurb can take a swab:

In 1983, in a small village outside Leicester, 15-year-old Lynda Mann is found by a footpath, raped and strangled to death. A year on, after an exhaustive but fruitless search for the killer, Detective Chief Superintendent David Baker is forced to scale down the investigation.

Meanwhile, just a few miles up the road at the University of Leicester, scientist Dr Alec Jeffreys invents a remarkable technique to read DNA – the unique genetic fingerprint of every individual – something never previously achieved despite decades of research across the globe. His discovery is first put to use in an immigration case, proving the parentage of a young Ghanaian boy and preventing his deportation. The acceptance of Jeffreys’ findings in a court of law opens the door to DNA testing and he and his university laboratory are swamped by paternity and immigration cases.

Summer 1986, and 15-year-old Dawn Ashworth goes missing – last seen just a hundred yards from where Lynda’s body was discovered. Dawn’s body is found two days later, she has been strangled and hidden in undergrowth near a footpath shortcut. DCS Baker is back on the case – convinced the same culprit has struck again. This time the investigation bears fruit when a young man from the area is seen acting suspiciously at the time of Dawn’s murder, confesses to her killing. However, he refuses to admit he had anything to do with the death of Lynda Mann.

Reading about Jeffreys’ work in a local paper, Baker approaches him at the university – perhaps the DNA test can prove the teenagers involvement in Lynda’s death? Jeffreys is hesitant – the DNA sample from the murder scene is nearly three years old, and the technique was not intended or designed for criminal investigation. Furthermore, having only been used in paternity and immigration cases, would the findings be accepted in a criminal court?

But Jeffreys is able to obtain a clear genetic fingerprint of the murderer from a sample and it proves that the teenager did not kill Lynda Mann… could the murders have been committed by two different men, or is he innocent?

Code Of A Killer stars John ‘Master’ Simm, and the hardest-working man in showbusiness, David ‘Titmuss’ Threlfall. The first episode of this two-parter is on at 9pm tonight.

DaredevilMarvel’s ever-expanding cinematic universe comes to Netflix on Friday with its new 10-part Daredevil series. You may – if you’re unlucky — remember a Ben Affleck movie of the same name that crashed-and-burned. But we are promised a more gritty outing this time round.

Daredevil is the blind superhero, the Man Without Fear, who defends the few blocks of Hell’s Kitchen from villains such as Kingpin and Bullseye. A tough job back in 1964, certainly, when Hell’s Kitchen was laced with crime and poverty, but these days it’s all boutiques and macrobiotic restaurants, so I reckon I could make a good fist of the job.

The plan is to roll out other Marvel supers on the network –- Jessica Jones, Luke Cage, Iron Fist –- and then team them all up in The Defenders. The MCU has gone from strength-to-strength in the cinema, but so far Marvel’s TV output — S.H.I.E.L.D. –- has been less than compelling. Let’s hope Daredevil can turn things around.

TatauBBC Three’s new Pacific Island mystery series is called Tatau and starts on Sunday night at 10pm.

The blurb hints at a supernatural vibe:

A pair of 20-something friends from London, Kyle Connor and Paul ‘Budgie’ Griffiths are travelling the world looking for sun, fun and adventure.

Excited about their eventual destination – the Cook Islands – Kyle has designed and had inked on him a Maori-style tattoo. But when they arrive on the beautiful South Pacific island of Manutaki his marking soon provokes unexpected reactions from the locals.

The two throw themselves in to island life, flirting with the ladies and sampling a local hallucinogenic drink. But their fun comes to an abrupt end when, while snorkelling in a lagoon, Kyle finds the body of local girl Aumea tied up underwater – dead. Returning to the lagoon with the police, Kyle finds her corpse has disappeared. But Kyle knows what he saw, despite the protestations of his friends and the locals Mauntaki residents…

Desperate to uncover what has happened, Kyle and Budgie enter a world of Maori myths, symbols, and visions that will change their lives forever.

There are also couple of films you may want to considering seeing at the end of the week.  John Wick has garnered a bit of a cult following for its gun-fu and chop-socky hijinks, and loving homage to many a tough-guy revenge thriller. Keanu Reeves is the titular hero, a man who goes on the rampage when some punks kill his puppy — and, frankly, who can blame him? You simply do not lay a finger on a guy’s dawg.

All the Fellas on the Board have a soft spot for for Keanu, and wish him well. And, hell — gun-fu! What’s not to like?

All you ladies out there seem to have a thing for Ryan Gosling. But his directing debut, Lost River — a fantasy neo-noir — so fucked with the critical faculties of the audience at the Cannes Film Festival that they didn’t know whether to boo or clap — so in a state of heightened confusion they did both.

It’s about a young man who discovers an underwater town, or something, and Matt Smith’s in it playing a bully called bully. It’s brooding and full of meaning, or has no meaning at all — depending on whether you fancy Ryan Gosling, probably.

Lost River opens in ‘key cities.’ Now go finish your eggs.

 

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