Wire in the Blood
|Wire in the Blood
|Val McDermid (novels)
|Country of origin
|No. of series
|No. of episodes
|24 (list of episodes)
90 mins. (Series 2-5)
60 mins. (Series 1 & 6)
|14 November 2002 – 31 October 2008
Wire in the Blood is a British crime drama television series, created and produced by Coastal Productions for the ITV network that ran from 2002 to 2008. The series is based on characters created by Val McDermid, including a university clinical psychologist, Dr Anthony "Tony" Valentine Hill (Robson Green), who is able to tap into his own dark side to get inside the heads of serial killers. Working with detectives, Hill takes on tough and seemingly impenetrable cases in an attempt to track down the killers before they strike again.
The series is set in the fictional town of Bradfield, which is assumed to lie within West Yorkshire. It follows the Major Incident Team (MIT) of Bradfield Metropolitan Police's CID and the assistance provided to the detectives by clinical psychologist and serial offender profiler Dr. Tony Hill. All of the main episodes revolve around a serial killer whom Hill helps to track down by means of a profile, based on the killer's actions.
From Series 1 to 3, the MIT is headed by Detective Inspector (Chief Inspector from Series 2) Carol Jordan. The two develop a close relationship, which is further explored in McDermid's novels, in which Jordan is always head of the MIT. In the first episode of Series 4, Jordan is replaced - without real explanation - by Detective Inspector Alex Fielding, who (despite being initially hesitant to accept Tony's support) eventually develops an equally close relationship.
A constant theme is Carol’s, and later Alex's, struggle with their senior officers, who are often less trusting of Tony's eccentric methods and far-fetched theories than Carol and Alex. There is also a romantic storyline showing a growing development in Tony’s relationships with both Carol and later Alex. Whilst starting as friendships, both detectives begin to develop romantic feelings for Tony, although these feelings never develop into a relationship.
- Robson Green as Dr. Anthony "Tony" Hill
- Hermione Norris as DCI Carol Jordan (Series 1—3)
- Simone Lahbib as DI Alex Fielding (Series 4—6)
- Mark Letheren as DS Kevin Geoffries
- Emma Handy as DC Paula McIntyre (Series 2—6)
- Tom Chadbon as ACC John Brandon (Series 1—2)
- Peter Sullivan as ACC Paul Eden (Series 3—4)
- Alan Stocks as DS Don Merrick (Series 1—2)
- Doreene Blackstock as DS Annie Reiss (Series 1)
- Mark Penfold as Dr. Ashley Vernon (Series 1—5)
- Michael Smiley as Dr. Liam Kerwin (Series 6)
- Jethro Skinner as Tim Eccles (Series 3—5)
- Dr. Tony Hill (Robson Green) is a clinical psychologist whose expertise with damaged mind has proved invaluable to the police. Intelligent and endearing, if somewhat eccentric, he is driven by a tangible sense of right and wrong and his understanding of human behaviour enables him to empathize strongly with both victim and killer. Tony formed a close bond with Carol Jordan, between them putting many serial killers behind bars. As such, he was devastated to learn that she had left Bradfield to work in South Africa. Despite his often bizarre behaviour, Tony’s ability to get results when evidence is scarce has won him the support of Jordan's successor, Alex Fielding, who eventually trusts him as part of her team. But Tony’s involvement with the police often affects him deeply as he finds it difficult to distance himself from disturbing cases. The plastic "blue bag" that Tony is often seen with was gleaned from Robson Green's research for Wire in the Blood, which involved spending time with revered criminal psychologist Julian Boon. Green described Boon in part as an "extraordinary, intelligent, nice guy who carried his life in a blue bag and traveled on a double-decker bus. No-one looked at him twice."
- D.C.I. Carol Jordan (Hermione Norris) (Series 1-3) is a hardworking officer, who forms a close relationship with Tony, successfully working with him to secure the arrest of several killers. In series two, Carol is promoted from Detective Inspector to Detective Chief Inspector. Although the two soon grow close, they never achieve the romantic relationship that Carol desires with Tony and in the end, Carol leaves Bradfield to take a position in South Africa. Speaking of Hermione Norris’ portrayal of Carol Jordan, Val McDermid said that she "brings real intelligence and insight to her role, demonstrating that there's a lot more to her skills than we got to see in Cold Feet."
- D.I. Alex Fielding (Simone Lahbib) (Series 4-6) is a senior detective and a dedicated professional, always willing to put in the hours to get the case solved. Her warmth and down-to-earth style have gained her the respect of her police colleagues and Tony. She has learned to trust that Tony’s intuition can sometimes mean the key to cracking a case when physical evidence is hard to come by. But the pressure of working on murder investigations sometimes causes a strain at home where she is a single mum to young Ben. When the stresses of life take their toll, she finds it difficult to ask for help.
- D.S. Kevin Geoffries (Mark Letheren) has proved himself a worthy member of the team, despite a few indiscretions and lapses in judgement. After a rocky start he comes to respect Tony, believing he can offer an extra dimension to the investigations. Kevin works closely with Paula McIntyre, and their professional bond has made them good friends. D.C. Paula McIntyre is a lively and feisty young detective. Paula doesn’t get fazed easily. She is keen to take on more responsibility and pleased to have strong role-models in Carol and later, Alex. Paula also has a deep respect for Tony, after he saved her life during an investigation. She’ll do what it takes to catch a killer.
- A.C.C. John Brandon (Tom Chadbon) (Series 1-2) is an excellent and experienced senior officer, but one who is shown to be more concerned with ends rather than means. Brandon is shown to expect quick results from the team and from Carol in particular, though he tries to back her as much as he can. In Sharp Compassion, Brandon suffers a heart attack and nearly becomes a victim of a serial killer. Although his character continues to appear in the novels, Brandon only appeared in the first two series. A.C.C. Paul Eden replaces Brandon from series three onwards. Eden is college-educated, fast-tracked and confident. Focused, tailored and practical, he demands tangible results and is wary of Tony's more cerebral methods. He secretly hopes Alex will not become as close to Tony as Carol did.
- D.S. Don Merrick (Alan Stocks) (1-2) is a persistent and perseverant officer. While generally conscientious, his temper occasionally gets the better of him, leading to impulsive behavior. At the end of the second series, Merrick assaults Kevin Geoffries after he compromises one of his closest informants. It is assumed that this leads to his demotion or relocation; he does not appear in any later episodes.
- D.S. Annie Reiss (Doreene Blackstock) (Series 1) is an African-American detective who is part of Jordan's team. Reiss only appears in the first series, after which she is replaced by Paula McIntyre (Emma Handy) (Series 2-6).
- Dr. Ashley Vernon (Mark Penfold) (Series 1-5) is the police medical examiner.
- Dr. Liam Kerwin (Michael Smiley) (Series 6) replaces Ashley Vernon in the sixth and final series.
- Tim Eccles (Jethro Skinner) (Series 3-5) is the police's resident IT expert.
Only the first two episodes of the first series, "The Mermaids Singing" and "Shadows Rising", the second episode of series four, "Torment", and the second episode of series six, "Falls the Shadow", are based on McDermid's books; the rest are original plots written by others.
Series 1 (2002)
Filming took place from 22 October 2001 to 14 February 2002 in various locations around Newcastle upon Tyne, Durham and Northumberland, including Bollyhope Quarry (Durham), Chopwell Woods (Gateshead) and the fabulous Eshott Hall (Northumberland) which was used for the Vance residence.
Series 2 (2004)
The series was filmed in locations in and around Newcastle including the main location of the old Bank of England building in Pilgrim Street, Newcastle. Also used: Finchale Priory, Durham Cathedral, Calder's Brewery near the Newcastle Arena plus various temporary (daily) locations. Every episode of series two was the leader in its time slot.
|"Still She Cries"
|12 February 2004
|Tony finds his work with the police compromised when a student from his university is abducted. But that’s not his only worry – Carol stops trusting him when he allows one of his own pupils to help with the investigation.
|"The Darkness of Light"
|19 February 2004
|Tony and Carol investigate when a 500-year-old skeleton in unearthed while foundations are being excavated for a hotel extension. However, underneath the body, they find two more modern corpses. And when a journalist vanishes, and the hotel is burnt to the ground, Tony suspects the suspect may be obsessed with Joan of Arc and killing imagined heretics.
|"Right to Silence"
|26 February 2004
|Tony and Carol think they’ve scored early when two murders lead to one man. The trouble is that the man is in prison; could he really be controlling it all from the inside?
|4 March 2004
|Bradfield is in panic as someone preys on its most vulnerable – its hospital patients. Carol must juggle how to warn the public, and how to keep a predatory MI5 official at bay. The only way out is to solve the case fast – but there is very little to go on, even for Tony.
Series 3 (2005)
Series 4 (2006)
Hermione Norris does not return as D.C.I. Carol Jordan, having accepted the role of Ros Myers in Spooks. Simone Lahbib joins the cast as her replacement, D.I. Alex Fielding. Jordan is explained as having emigrated to South Africa.
|"Time to Murder and Create"
|20 September 2006
|Tony is forced to face up to his past demons once more when evidence that he submitted against a murder suspect is torn apart by his legal team. Tony's world is rocked once more when he discovers that Carol has been replaced by a new, combative and wily detective, Alex Fielding. Although the pair take an initial disliking to one another, they soon realise they need to work together to solve a complex murder case.
|27 September 2006
|Tony and Alex investigate the violent murder of a young prostitute, but find that their prime suspect for the murder was incarcerated in a high security psychiatric unit at the time. Suspecting a link to an ongoing Vice operation, Alex teams up with squad detectives Shields & Mulligan. But when the next target becomes one of their own, Tony is forced to find the link between the killer and the outside world.
|"Hole in the Heart"
|4 October 2006
|Tony and Alex investigate a serial killer who leaves behind a trail of two bodies at every crime scene. Tony suspects that the murderer may have a link to religious zealotry, but struggles to see beyond his own lack of personal faith and religious disinterest. When Alex discovers the killings may be related to a disparate group intent on cleansing the human race, Tony is forced to see the light to crack the case.
|11 October 2006
|Tony comes under scrutiny from both the police and the media when it is revealed that he made a serious error of judgement in a case over ten years ago, which resulted in the conviction of an innocent man for a series of murders. As each and every one of his cases is torn apart, he realises he must find the real killer in order to prevent him from losing the one thing he holds dear.
Series 5 (2007)
Series 6 (2008)
Series six began filming in early 2008 and wrapped on 30 March.
The series has appeared in the United States on the cable channel BBC America, in Australia on the public channel ABC, and in New Zealand on TV 1. As of May 2014, the show is screening on British televisions on the channel ITV3.
Region 2 is distributed by Revelation Films, Region 1 by Koch Vision and Region 4 by Magna.
Awards and nominations
- "Top 30 Programmes – BARB". barb.co.uk. Retrieved 2016-02-11.
- "Awards for Wire in the Blood". Internet Movie Database. URL last accessed 2014-05-13
|Wikiquote has quotations related to: Wire in the Blood
- Wire in the Blood at itv.com
- Wire in the Blood at Coastal Productions
- Wire in the Blood at BBCAmerica.com
- Wire in the Blood at the Internet Movie Database
- (fr) Wire in the Blood sur le site français de Robson Green.fr