Code of a Killer

Code of a Killer

Series 1 - Episode 1



The greatest leap forward in the detection of crime, the establishment of genetic fingerprinting, is reduced to the standard component parts of a TV drama: a dogged cop facing pressure from above, a passionately committed scientist who gets in trouble with his wife for missing his daughter’s school play, and slow-motion camerawork during the sad bits. And for some reason Placebo’s mournful version of Kate Bush’s Running Up That Hill at the end.

It’s steady and workmanlike, which is somehow not good enough for a truly remarkable story (read Joseph Wambaugh’s account in his book The Blooding), the first definitive use of DNA profiling to catch a killer. John Simm plays real-life scientist and geneticist Alec Jeffreys, with David Threlfall as Det Chief Supt David Baker, who pursued the man who raped and murdered two teenage girls – Lynda Mann and Dawn Ashworth – in Leicestershire in the 1980s.


Part one of two. Drama telling the true story of how a brilliant scientist and pioneering detective joined forces to create the most significant advance in modern criminal investigation. In 1984, Dr Alec Jeffreys (John Simm) unlocks a remarkable technique to read every person's unique DNA fingerprint, while a few miles away, DCS David Baker (David Threlfall) leads the search for the murderer of a local schoolgirl. Two years later, a second youngster is killed and a teenager confesses - but denies the first crime. Certain that the same man was responsible for both incidents, Baker approaches Jeffreys to help prove his theory. Co-starring Robert Glenister, Anna Madeley, Andrew Tiernan and Lorcan Cranitch.

Cast & Crew

DCS David Baker David Threlfall
Dr Alec Jeffreys John Simm
DI Alan Madden Lorcan Cranitch
DCC Chapman Robert Glenister
Sue Jeffreys Anna Madeley
DS Geoff Taylor Andrew Tiernan
Lynda Mann Jessica Hargreaves
Susan Mann Lucy Carless
Eddie Eastwood Ged Simmons
Kath Eastwood Hannah Walters
Sarah Jeffreys Lily Armitage
DC Taran Kholi Jaz Deol
Vicky Wilson Lydia Rose Bewley
Gavin Hopkirk Tobias Burton-Rudge
Carole Pitchfork Jessica Woods
Mr Hopkirk Darren Bancroft
Sidney Jeffreys Paul Copley
Joan Jeffreys Shirley Dixon
Sheona York Katie Lightfoot
Oliver Adarkwa Michael Ajao
Helena Adarkwa Rakie Ayola
Tania Patel Farzana Dua Elahe
Barbara Ashworth Dorothy Atkinson
Dawn Ashworth Emma Lundy
Robin Ashworth Neil Edmond
Director James Strong
Executive Producer Simon Heath
Executive Producer Roderick Seligman
Executive Producer James Strong
Executive Producer Michael Crompton
Producer Priscilla Parish
Writer Michael Crompton
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