Forensic expert helps to reveal the gritty facts behind the BBC's Waking the Dead case stories

Published: 18 January 2007 at 10:31

A senior lecturer at Anglia Ruskin University’s Forensic Science department is taking part in a new ground-breaking interactive and TV broadband service to complement ‘Mask of Sanity’, episodes 7 and 8 of one of BBC One’s most popular murder mystery dramas, Waking the Dead.

Trevor Emmett, a Chartered Geologist and a Fellow of the Mineralogical Society who is active in research, consultancy, and HE teaching for over 25 years, is participating the service which will be available immediately after the second of the two-part story is broadcast. Viewers can, for the first time, be transported behind the scenes and into the world of the cold case unit by pressing the red button on their TV remotes or visiting the show's website.

Speaking of his collaboration with the programme-makers, Dr Emmett commented:

“My involvement in this particular story line in Waking the Dead concerned the scientific possibilities of revealing erased writings from old documents. Many practitioners within the forensic science communities condemn the TV and film media for portraying a hopelessly unrealistic and glamorous picture of their activities. Accordingly, the BBC is to be congratulated for its efforts to make explicit the real science behind their dramas and I am very pleased to have been able to assist them in this.”

The Waking the Dead interactive service on digital satellite is technically ground-breaking for the BBC. Through using zoom and visual fades, the technical and design team have created a world in which the audience is in control, offering them a unique and immersive user experience.

Viewers will be presented with the drama’s very own CCHQ (Cold Case Head Quarters) evidence board and given the opportunity to discover more about the week's story by moving around the board and clicking on a piece of evidence they would like to investigate further and, in addition, they will be able to gain a deeper understanding about the forensic and detection methods involved in cracking a cold case, from the experts who work alongside the production team.

Tara FitzGerald has joined the cast of Waking The Dead as Eve Lockhart, the team’s new forensic scientist. The drama also stars Trevor Eve as Boyd, head of the Met's Cold Case Unit. The team use advanced techniques in forensic science and behavioural investigative analysis to get under the skin of some tough cold cases to get under the skin of some tough cold cases.

Colin Wratten, Producer, Waking The Dead says:

“I am thrilled that the Waking The Dead audience will be able to consolidate their viewing experience with the addition of BBC Interactive's cutting edge technology.”

“The production values of this service allow viewers to excavate the story even further by gaining compelling facts from the show's team of experts.”

Although, the BBC is not currently able to support the full functionality on Freeview and digital cable, all the compelling content will still be available to all these digital viewers via the red button after each two-part story and at all times on broadband at

Andrew Whitehouse and Louise Burrluck, BBC Interactive Drama & Entertainment, say:

"We're really proud of this interactive service. We've given the viewers control to choose what they want by pushing the technology further than we have before. It's an intuitive journey that fans will relish exploring."