Code of a Killer

An 80s cop drama starring John Simm–no, it’s not Life on Mars!

Real-life drama … John Simm and David Threlfall in Code of a Killer. Photograph: Robert Viglasky/ITV

Code of a Killer (2015) is a two-part TV movie based on the real life events that took place the first time DNA “genetic fingerprints” were used in an active police investigation to catch a killer. John Simm plays Alec Jeffreys, the scientist who developed a way to “fingerprint” people, while David Threlfall plays David Baker, the local police chief who teams up with Jeffreys to “fingerprint” every man’s blood in a five mile radius to match it to the DNA of a murderer who killed two girls.


Do you like cop dramas as much as the Brits do? Code of a Killer is a typical cop drama, but it also serves as a well deserved tribute to Jeffreys and the hardworking police force of Leicestershire. It’s about time this momentous moment in the history of biology and forensics got its place in the sun.

Like many characters of Jeffreys’ ilk, he obsesses over his work to the point where he’s neglecting his family (the cliche missing the daughter’s school play and all), and they don’t understand the gravity of his situation. His obsession with finding the DNA matching technique is so strong that it makes Jeffreys physically sick!

I imagine that if they took out the 40 minutes of tangents and red herrings (Whatever happened with the boy Gavin who confessed to being a murderer but didn’t do it? What were his motives? Where was the follow up? What about the victim who escaped? Did she call the police? Can’t she ID him?), they could have fleshed out the family life a little more, but who knows–maybe the real life family didn’t want to be in the script.

That said, if you like British cop dramas, this one is just like all the rest, so you’ll probably like this one. I’m giving one free copy away (the DVD is region 2/PAL, so make sure you have a DVD player that can play it) as well as the book The Blooding, which is the book that covers this story. To enter, use the Rafflecopter link below to tweet about the giveaway, follow us on Twitter, sign up for our monthly newsletter, or do all three. The more ways you enter, the better your chances at winning!

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