ITV drama set at the University to air over Easter
The first episode of the two-part ITV fictional drama based on the discovery of DNA fingerprinting at the University of Leicester and its first use in a murder enquiry will air over the Easter bank holiday weekend.
Filmed last autumn, Code of a Killer retells the story of the investigation into the murders of two Leicestershire schoolgirls, Lynda Mann and Dawn Ashworth, which was solved using Professor Sir Alec Jeffreys’s pioneering DNA fingerprinting technique.
Using Sir Alec’s DNA identification technique, which recently celebrated its 30th anniversary, local man Colin Pitchfork was the first person to be convicted of murder using DNA fingerprinting after samples of 5,000 men were collected.
Both Sir Alec and David Baker have been involved in the drama which was directed by Broadchurch's James Strong and Dr Ed Hollox from the University’s Department of Genetics acted as scientific advisor to the show.
Professor Sir Alec Jeffreys said: “I can honestly say that I’m completely lost for words; it’s a wonderful drama. The degree of historical accuracy is actually surprisingly good.”
Dr Ed Hollox, Lecturer in Genetics added: “I was very impressed by the hard work and professionalism of the whole cast and crew who have made the science a key thread throughout the drama and were eager to get it right. I’m hoping that it will help to inspire a new generation to study genetics.”
The University of Leicester is central to the drama’s storyline, which stars Doctor Who actor John Simm as Professor Sir Alec Jeffreys and Shameless actor David Threlfall as David Baker, the Detective who approached Sir Alec in 1984 for help with the case. Scenes for the programme were filmed on the main campus in October 2014 and 100 students were cast as extras in lecture theatre scenes.
You can watch the first episode of Code of a Killer on ITV on Monday 6 April at 9-10.30pm.
The trailer for 'Code of a Killer' is available to watch below: