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  • 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

    • Wallender

    • 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.
  • 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 written, 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 unsolved 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 with boyish charm. Boyd is also haunted by the disappearance of his 16 year old 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. She 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 collecting evidence and tries to cover all bases. She also dislikes Boyd's patronizing attitudes as he often thinks, because of her young age that she can't do the job. She usually gets around it by forcing her way through his perceptions 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 be 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 across.

    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'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!
  • If there was a show that ended before its time it was Waking the Dead.

    The series focuses on a team of detectives that investigate cold cases. A few changes in personnel over the years, but the linchpin all the way through remained Detective Superintendent Peter Boyd, the charismatic, irascible but intelligent head of the unit. Two other constants, Boyd's second in command DI Spencer Jordan, and Criminal profiler Doctor Grace Foley, both at times struggled on occasion to cope with Boyd's methods and temperament, Grace more so.

    The series ran from 2000 to 2011, it gave us nine wonderful Series. It managed to stay relevant, intelligent and thought provoking throughout, criticised at times for being overly complicated, stories such as Walking on Water and Subterraneans drew criticism for being too hard to follow.

    High points included Cold Fusion, Yahrzeit and Shadowplay, too many others to name, but these three are among the best, superbly written, always wonderfully acted, with lots of twists and turns.

    Everyone is exceptional throughout the series, it showcased just how good an actor Trevor Eve is. You literally see Boyd develop and change as a character as the series progresses, you see that Mel and Luke have a huge impact on his character.

    Some very memorable performances from guest stars throughout, Genevieve O'Reilly's performance in Harbinger, Harriet Walter's in Every breath you take, and Paul Freeman's in Straw Dog are a few highlights.

    A series very similar to Silent Witness, it always surprised me that they ended this when they did, it had 2 more series I would have thought. The final series is outstanding, they truly did go out on a high. Eve Lockhart had proved an effective character that she was given a spin off show 'The Body Farm,' which only ran for one series and never fully reached its potential.

    Waking the Dead remains one of the best. 2018's radio dramas proved there was still interest in this show, needs bringing back.
  • 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 for me.

    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 adore this show--the writing is excellent, the cases are intriguing, and the actors are very, very good (especially the lady who place Grace, the far-too patient Psychiatrist profiler of the team.

    The one part of the show I can't stand is the way Boyd, the leader of the team treats his people. He talks down to them, berates them, humiliates them, and is a blatant hypocrite. Some of his actions during interviews of suspects are so out of line that in real life, he would have--and should have been fired. In at least one show, he is directly responsible for the deaths of others, due to the way he handles the case (and I am tempted to believe that this occurs--directly or indirectly, more than once).

    I'm currently into the 6th season, and if anything, his behavior gets progressively worse, but like abused children forever trying to earn their abusers' love, his team is desperately loyal while at the same time overtly exasperated and upset by the way he treats them. In real life, no one would willingly work for this jerk. None of this dynamic is accidental or incidental, the characters and their interactions are obviously written this way--and the acting by the cast is spot on, not a false note among them--including the actor who plays Boyd. I just can't fathom why the writers would continue to paint this character in such a dreadful light. I find it extremely distracting and perplexing in an otherwise excellent and interesting crime show.

    I've grown to hate Boyd so much that I actually stopped watching the show for several months. And that's just sad, because it really is an excellent program with interesting and unique cases that avoid cliché, and characters that avoid stereotype. I keep waiting for Boyd to get a wake-up call and change his ways, but so far, after watching most of the 6 seasons, his behavior gets progressively worse with no improvement in sight. Just be forewarned.
  • Warning: 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • Great cop vs senior officers vs co-workers while solving ice cold to Luke-warm cold cases. Boyd (Eve), overseer of this unique ensemble, is charged with re-investigating cold cases, yet somehow they are often (mysteriously) tasked cases where not even the bodies are cold. In an episode, that shouldn't be all that surprising, Boyd brings a case to the team where the accused pleaded guilty and is just about to be released for time served. If he had friends, this is where he would of lost them. Eve's character, Boyd would make a perfect subject for a case study of Aspergers in adults. His inability to communicate, tendency to take things literally and an inability to understand social rules and body language makes him almost impossible to befriend and Very difficult to work for or with. As an unappreciative, impatient, & arrogant boss, it's surprising his entire team (aka co-cast members) stays by his side for 4 complete seasons. Then, sudden & unexplained cast/team member changes, we see 2 series regulars leave and 2 new ones push & fight their way onto the team against Boyd's force of nature personalty trying to keep them out. Despite some frustration, it's the most thought-provoking, unpredictable, & addicting long running "cop" drama developed in many years. Luckily, it's available for binge watching!
  • I have watched all of the waking the dead episodes and I have really enjoyed all the episodes so far. The plots are funny but complicated and the effortless character acting is brilliant! Trevor Eve over the years has portrayed his character, Detective Chief Superintendent Peter Boyd, wonderfully. The relationship between Boyd and Grace Foley (Sue Johnson) is fantastic. Out of all the members of the cold case team, the oldest, Grace manages to shout back at Boyd and make him back down, I think that is really good. My favourite episode was Series 5 Episode 2, Black Run, in which Boyd gets drugged and framed. I hope the writers of this series carry on with waking the dead and I look forward to the next series.
  • Yet more proof, if any was needed, that the Brits do police procedurals better than the Yanks. Three-dimensional characters, claustrophobic sets and great ensemble acting seem like a pretty good place to start; and not talking down to your audience helps too.

    Trevor Eve is excellent as the principled, irascible head of a cold-case team made up of diverse personalities; and the 2 x 1-hour format lets the cases unfold with a bit more leisure than the 60-minute special, while also allowing for the compulsory cliffhanger in the middle.

    A minor criticism of the show is their use of the "talking over each other" gimmick, where everybody bursts into voice at the same time. At first it seemed like a kind of cinema-verité thing but, like the quick-cut filming in NYPD Blue, it becomes intrusive when you notice it happening. I also wish they'd develop the Spence character a bit more - he's been there since the beginning, but I still don't feel like I know him very well.

    But they're minor flaws and, given the choice between this and one of the myriad CSI shows, I know which one I'd choose.
  • I have seen episodes of this series where I have felt entertained in a good way. But most often I feel annoyed, even insulted.

    The (lack of) realism makes Midsomer Murders look like a documentary. Add to this the complete disrespect for proper procedures, Boyd's occasional beating up witnesses and suspects - outrageous but apparently with no consequences - and so many other ridiculous things, it's hard to keep score.

    Alas, the acting of the abysmal plots is quite good, and the cast always seem to entice me to watch another episode in the hope that it will not disappoint. Looking back, I just can't really remember any episode where this has not been the case in some way.

    All in all, a terrible waste of great talent.
  • 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.
  • I came across some DVDs of earlier seasons. After watching a few episodes It got me thinking about the writers/directors of the series and the way they developed their characters. What were they thinking? What I fail to understand is how did an insensitive, perpetually angry Boyd ever get promoted to be a detective superintendent. At no instance has it been shown that he possesses any special deductive skills nor any radical ideas which led to solving a case. In an organization like law enforcement agency working as a team is very critical. Not jumping to conclusions and especially loosing your cool at the slightest provocation I would consider as prerequisites. Boyd fails on both these accounts.

    I am not much familiar with the actual British practice of law enforcement. May be Boyd IS a typical police officer one would encounter in real life. Thank god I don't live in that country.

    Although the whole concept and selection of story line has been good for the serial the character of Boyd is contra indicated.

    The people who may be concerned with the character development would do well to not mix up - assign - Hindu names to Parsi characters -specifically Sharma and Chaudhary in one episode. They better get hire 1st generation immigrant from India - one who is still maintaining contacts with the old country - as a consultant. The British may not realize this but the ex-pats will.
  • Arne-1227 July 2006
    I find this BBC-series exciting and occasionally breathtaking. The actors are great, and I can think of only one objection: How can it be possible for the character Frankie Wharton to have so many different talents? She is an forensic expert, but at the same time she is a mechanical wizard and also she is very knowledgeable on computing matters. It annoys me somewhat, but of course, it would be difficult for the series to have more main characters.

    Still, the plots are generally interesting, and the relations between the characters are developing through the seasons. In this way, the episodes are interesting for two reasons: The crime case and the police officers' own minds.

    I look forward to see the actors in other connections.
  • I really, really enjoy "Waking the Dead." The acting, directing, everything is so well done that it grabs the viewer and holds them till the end. One of the few shows that I've seen that doesn't make me want to shout, "Get on with it!" Instead, I want to shout, "Isn't there more?" My favorite episode (so far) is "Life Sentence," with Samuel West. Samuel's (if I may be so bold) portrayal of Thomas Rice was absolutely, as you British would say, brilliant! I can't imagine anyone else in the part. He was so believable as a raving psychopath. (He may want to see someone about that.) He's quite expressive, especially his eyes, great with subtlety. I usually am not interested in keeping television shows, but this is a keeper. I hope that it will be for sale in the U. S. soon. Well done, cast and crew! And thank you!
  • A highly regarded series from our friends at BBC. Good reviews, good numbers. And it tries very, very hard. A better written 'Cold Case' (CBS, USA, 2003 - present), each plot is developed over two hour-long episodes. And though it falls into the police procedure genre, the characters don't spout passages from text books, ala CSI (in its various incarnations) and Criminal Minds.

    On the plus side, the more leisurely pace allows for greater character complexity and nuanced plots. On the down side, this doesn't actually happen. I find myself wishing that things would simply move along. And further on the down side, I either dislike, as with Trevor Eve's Superintendent Peter Boyd, am ambivalent, as with Sue Johnston's Dr. Grace Foley, or simply uninterested in the regular cast.

    It's one of those shows that I feel I should like. And feel a bit guilty that I don't. Intelligence abounds, or at least seems to. Edgy, quick to anger CID Boyd should fill a gap in our television pantheon of detectives. I find myself merely grateful that I will probably never face such a man in an unscripted life. Dr. Foley plays the voice of reason. She brings a calm, analytical mind to the proceedings but is too evidently there as a foil to Boyd.

    I cast, then, a dissenting vote. 5 out of 10.
  • I wish someone would be able to find out if they did more than one

    pilot and 2 seasons of this show. It is by far one of the best things

    ever on TV . The acting is just superb with Trevor Eve (who I have

    adored for years ) heading a brilliant cast of relatively unknown

    actors. Ever part in executed with realistic sensitivity and the

    stories are timely yet not gory considering there is a lot of forensic

    work afoot.

    As a die-hard fan of Adam Dalgliesh, I rank this show as my #2

    favorite from the BBC , tied with Inspector Morse.

    God! are these Brits fabulous or what?

    Anyone who finds out what's happening with this series in the UK

    feel free to email me...I 'd love to know as I have seen every

    episode at least 3xs..
  • Well what can i say? "Waking the Dead" is a truly amazing TV Drama that is not to be missed. The stories are great and i worship the people who write them, the casting is the best and their acting skills are breath taking and the directing is top class. The most recent episode i would like to comment on is the most recent called Fugue State why they were trying to solve who abducted the twins Jason and Cindy. It was probably the most gripping of all of them and it certainly had me on the edge of my seat and holding my breath literally. I loved the end of the first hour shown on Sunday where Mel Silver shot a deaf guy that she thought had a gun. I thought that Monday night's was just as good and i loved how Cindy turned out to be Sarah the Med Student. I was also very pleased that Mel isn't going to be in trouble for shooting that guy as he pulled through intensive care. And Good old Frankie sussed that the person who killed the Green family was Dr. Roper, shame he had been murdered though.

    I have nothing but compliments for the cast and crew. The cast are so highly talented. Trevor Eve is fantastic as D.S Peter Boyd the leader of the Cold Case Squad and takes everything in his stride and takes the role and the TV by storm. Sue Johnston is excellent as Grace Foley, she has always been a great actress since i saw her in The Royal Family and she just gets better and better. Wil Johnson is brilliant as Spencer Jordan, Spenc is a great character who will take on any challenge. Holly Aird is a young breath of fresh air to the BBC and is outstanding as Frankie. She is always straight there at the scene of the crime and is very professional in what she does and takes life with a pinch of salt. Frankie is a vital member of the team and does wonders for the Cold Case Squad. And finally i get to my person favourite, the beautiful Claire Goose as Amelia Silver. Now some one please tell me, where would we (and the Cold Case Squad) be without Mel? She's the young and direct member of the team. She is always straight on the case and is very quick in spotting the most tiny but vital bits of evidence. She doesn't like how Boyd treats her, in a way she sees it as though he is treating her like a child as she is the youngest but that doesn't stop her following her instinct and her heart and doing what is right even if he doesn't agree with it and he usually ends up regretting doubting her and her skills. Claire is a phenomenal actress and steals the show every time (for me at least). I love the drama, the characters and the cast. I would be lost with out "Waking the Dead" on my screen. And all that is left to say is that its a shame that these people aren't really Britain's Cold Case Squad as i feel this country would be a lot safer and better with them on the scene! Maybe thats something for them all to think about should they fancy a change of scenery?

    Fantastic show, by far the best. It tops all the American Crime and Drama shows and proves that there is still hope for the BBC, definitely the best thing to hit our TVs in a hell of a long time!
  • kikkapi2019 July 2014
    This show is excellent.

    The characters are well cast. All the acting is excellent (there is not a bad actor in it, all are good). The directing, and especially script writing is well done (excellent).

    The show drags you in so that at the end of the hour of each episode you would crawl naked across poison ivy just to watch the next episode. Although at first it may seem unusual that he talks to you; you will soon grow to love it!

    Trevor Eve -the main actor-, has done a fantastic job! See and enjoyed it.
  • Velia6 July 2001
    A wonderfully refreshing production: well acted, well directed and with a plot that doesn't set my mind wandering. Trevor Eve, as ever, does complete justice to his role; in this case as the clever, intuitive if distracted DI Boyd, while the rest of the cast carry theirs excellently, too. I so hope that there will be more Waking the Deads to come in the future - perhaps as a six-part(or more!)series next time.
  • Just came across this show the other day & I haven't been able to stop watching since. A very well written & acted show. The cases are all very interesting & the actors are playing their roles very believable & well. Can't believe I've never heard of this show before cause it's really good & I'm sure plenty of people loved it & still do.

    Love the British European feel of it since I was born & raised in Europe & since I've moved to America I've been worn out with the American TV shows. Don't get me wrong there are plenty of good American shows but it's nice to watch a good show with European feel :) Everyone who loves a good detective show with interesting cases this is a show you should most definitely check out. Love BBC, they do have amazing shows in many categories.
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