It's easy to be dismissive of ideas as pungently brilliant as this one, but give it a little thought and the full spectacle of this programme should start to crystallise in your mind. This isn't just straightforward television designed to shock and appal, or to subtly reduce the number of immigrants and poor people in a way that would no doubt find favour within certain departments of our beloved government. This programme would instead run the full gamut of emotions and experiences craved by the increasingly sophisticated and choosy television viewer of the digital age.
|Fred and Rose: |
been there, done that
Then, there's the educational aspect. Serial killers pock mark our history and any society's shared experience of life. We are fascinated by them and appalled by them in equal measure. They are us but different from us. Like gorillas. Each featured serial killer's story would be explained in both historical and sociological detail, to try and give the viewer a rounded view of the individual pathology as well as contextualising their actions within the time in which they lived.
The crimes themselves would, of course, be the main feature. These would be re-enacted as faithfully to the original deeds as is possible. They would be shocking, enthralling television. A genuine event with cultural resonances to be felt like ripples by the generations to come. Like the Coronation, but with an increased chance that someone involved might have earned it.
These would then be accompanied by sequences explaining how the evidence was disposed of and how the perpetrators will try and evade justice in order to kill again.
Because the police will not be party to these goings on. While this does rather hinder the possibility of there being a second series, the advantage in terms of narrative tension far exceeds its pitfalls. A television crew would be placed at the appropriate police force's headquarters under the aegis of making a fly-on-the-wall documentary series. From here we will see the investigation from both sides. As viewers, we'd be both the pursuer and the pursued. It would be above and beyond every thrilling finale or cliffhanger ending ever seen on television before.
|Samuel and Timothy: lives about |
to become complicated?
Television as demanding, ambiguous and real as this programme - working title "Naughty Namesakes" - comes along perhaps once in a lifetime. Innovative, enervative television. It would make Breaking Bad look like King Rollo.