Set during the London Blitz of 1940, Murder on the Home Front is a vibrant, original crime drama. This is a world where people live life in the moment. It is also a world where criminals can use the blackout and devastation to hide their darkest activities. As the Luftwaffe drop their bombs, below people are literally getting away with murder. Dr Lennox Collins (Patrick Kennedy) is a pathologist new to murder cases, obsessed with pursuing the truth through all means available. He is often at the cutting edge of new thinking in pathology from chemical tests to the controversial inclusion of the study of the psyche. Molly Cooper (Tamzin Merchant) is not only the first secretary to a pathologist, she is the first woman allowed into a very male world. All Lennox knows is that she has a strong stomach, 60 words a minute and a keen brain. When together they discover a serial killer at large under cover of the Blitz, Lennox has his work cut out convincing the police to have faith in his methods and theories.
Bought this for my wife and she pressured me into watching it too. I was surprised at how much I enjoyed it. OK there were a few poor bits like the 'rough house teenager' who looked like a male model in his make up and too-good-looking clothes, but these were no distraction from the programme being a well constructed and enjoyable thriller based on the early days of British Forensic Science.
One day, forensic pathologist Dr Keith Simpson asks a keen young journalist to be his secretary. Molly Cooper, although none too keen on being a secretary, is intrigued to find out exactly what goes on behind a mortuary door.
'Miss Molly' quickly becomes indispensible to Dr Simpson as he meticulously pursues the truth. Accompanying him from the morgues to some gruesome crime scenes, Molly observes and assists as he uncovers the secrets that the victims keep.
Molly's character is based on the real Molly, Molly Lefebure, on whose memoirs of these early forensic days the series is based.
Well this was certainly different. If your expecting a slow pace, reasonably nice 1940's whodunnit then look elsewhere because this is no Foyle or Bletchley Circle, and I mean that in a good way. The style of the show is colorful, bold and loud. It completely throws you because there's nothing quite like this on TV in this era. So watch this with no preconception's and you'll enjoy. The team doesn't flow as well as the Bletchley lot or Foyle but they are a great cast nonetheless.
I really want to see more of this! I understand that since it's based on the Merchant character's autobiographical writings this might be difficult, but they were interesting characters and the basic idea was so good that it would be a pity not to follow this up...
ByprisrobTOP 50 REVIEWERVINE VOICEon 24 October 2014
1940's, I was not sure that anyone paid any attention to the show of clues in a murder/crime scene. However, I was not alone. Along comes a new, young pathologist who turns this London pathology lab upside down.
Patrick Kennedy plays Dr Lennox Collins, newly arrived at the pathologist's office. His boss has the old mannerisms and wants his lab run in the old fashioned way. Dr.Collins is not given many murder investigations until one night a young woman is found murdered. Collins insists on keeping the crime scene free of anything other than the clues inside. This is new to the detectives, but as he explains they go along with him. In this case he finds a Swatstika cut into the victims tongue. A total of 4 women's bodies are found, and Collins intends to find the murderer. Along the way he finds a news woman, Molly Cooper, played by Tamzin Merchant, interested in working for him as a secretary, and off they go.
The detectives and Collin's boss find a young German man they say is the murderer. Collins knows it is not him, and his job is to prove them wrong. This is a fun film, as well as gory with all the dismembered body parts all over the morgue. Molly Cooper lightens up the mood, and she is articulate and smart. Collins and Cooper prove to be a duo not to be warned off. I understand there is a Part Two, and I look forward to this film.
I must admit a slight sense of disappointment with this drama. Firstly, the actual synopsis is excellent, and inspiring. The idea of looking in to scientific developments during the war could have really worked. The base idea was excellent; this was not the problem. Also, the cast and the acting was good - a good case bought the performance alive as a whole, and you could see each individual actor had worked hard to bring their character alive, and make them believable.
However, the real problem is one thing - the whole series only lasts 90 minutes - 2 eps of 45 minutes. There simply was not enough time to develop the story line and really explore the characters and the plot. I think there was a great opportunity here for ITV to create a great, perhaps 6 or 8, piece series. However, just being a two-parter there is not enough time for the show to develop and really intrigue - it's really annoying because the opportunity is there, but just not being pounced upon! I think ITV could learn something from the BBC - when they get an excellent base, they develop it in to an interesting and intriguing series; for example 'Ripper Street'
In short; idea: 10, acting: 10, plot: 10, development: 2