Code of a Killer Part 2 concluded the story about how DNA evidence was first used to identify and convict the murderer of teenagers Lynda Mann and Dawn Ashworth.
Alec Jeffreys (John Simm), fearing his new-found fame in the press has put off any students from turning up to any of his lectures, finds it’s quite the opposite as scores of them turn up for the next one. The topic is on seals, but that’s not something anyone’s really interested in as a journalist has sneaked in and wants him to discuss the release of Gavin Hopkirk. Naturally, he gets shown the door.
For the rest of the episode, it’s all about the genetic fingerprint, and how they should test all men in the area between the age of 15 to 34, at a cost of £100 per blood test. Alec sets out the way DNA works to a community crowd, just after Dawn’s mother urges everyone to take part so they can find her daughter’s killer – the only thing which actually spurs people on to comply: one minute they’re all nay-sayers, and after she’s spoken, they’re applauding loudly.
Despite it being 100% voluntary, they still go after anyone who doesn’t actually volunteer, like Gene Hunt sniffing out baddies, although as time goes on, it proves a success as community spirit means 3100 men have been cleared during testing, out of a total of a possible 5000. However, Alec’s wife fears someone might be after their family, as a form of retribution, but the only guy hanging bout is a Chinese man who wants to know if a lad in a photo is his son. We don’t get to find that out, but it’s merely showing the possibilities of DNA evidence.
And despite all the extensive testing, it transpires that a man called Ian Whenby (Adam Nagaitis) gave blood in someone else’s place, and was heard to brag about it. Once pulled in for questioning, they’re pointed in the direction of Colin Pitchfork (Nathan Wright) – Ian’s boss, and Colin is found to be the assailant, although he was nearly caught later when, while not seen directly on camera, the character gave a lift to a young woman who then attempted to take her down a country lane, yet she thankfully escaped.
At the end, we learn what we already know, in that DNA evidence is the most important crime-fighting technique since the fingerprint. Unfortunately, however, this drama’s second part was similarly as sterile as the laboratory where the DNA samples were processed.
For those wanting to know, DCS David Baker continued in the police force until he retired in 1995, while Alec Jeffreys was knighted in 1994 and retired in 2012.
Code of a Killer is available to pre-order on DVD, ahead of its release next Monday, on April 20th.
Overall Score: 4/10
Director: James Strong
Producer: Priscilla Parish
Writer: Michael Crompton
Sound: Glen Gregory
DCS David Baker: David Threlfall
Alec Jeffreys: John Simm
DCC Chapman: Robert Glenister
DI Alan Madden: Lorcan Cranitch
DS Geoff Taylor: Andrew Tiernan
Ian Whenby: Adam Nagaitis
Colin Pitchfork: Nathan Wright
Robin Ashworth: Neil Edmond
Barbara Ashworth: Dorothy Atkinson
Carole Pitchfork: Jessica Woods
Gavin Hopkirk: Tobias Burton Rudge
Kath Eastwood: Hannah Walters
Barbara Ashworth: Dorothy Atkinson
Sidney Jeffreys: Paul Copley
Joan Jefferys: Shirley Dixon
Sue Jeffreys: Anna Madeley
Lynda Mann: Jessica Hargreaves
Dawn Ashworth: Emma Lundy
Mr Hopkirk: Darren Bancroft
Joy Blakefield: Siobhan Redmond
Eddie Eastwood: Ged Simmons
Reviewer of movies, videogames and music since 1994. Aortic valve operation survivor from the same year. Running DVDfever.co.uk since 2000. Nobel Peace Prize winner 2021.