DoNovAn (ITV 2004-2005, Tom Conti, Samantha Bond)

Former forensic scientist Joe Donovan is called in to help with a police case which resembles one he once worked on when his name is found scrawled in blood at the murder scene. Donovan suffers from memory blackouts and when he discovers that the murdered man was having an affair with his wife he begins to wonder if he could have done it during one such memory lapse.

A series followed in 2005 although the memory problems aspect of the character was side-lined and it settled into more of a straightforward crime drama series, probably one of the reasons why no further episodes were made. For some reason ITV decided to shelve it after two of the three episodes (replacing it with repeats of Midsomer Murders) the final episode was then shown a year later on 19 May 2006.

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Case one of the series saw Donovan tracking a serial killer, episode two was about a robbery of a wealthy man that ended in murder and Donovan’s final case saw the Forensic Investigations Unit tackling a case of suspected biological terrorism on board a cargo plane.

The music was quite reminiscent of Eric Clapton’s score for Edge of Darkness at times and the series as a whole was relatively low key but Tom Conti in the lead was as usual excellent. Note that the title was deliberately lower and upper case to suggest the forensic angle of DNA.

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production details
UK / ITV-1- Granada / Pilot: 2×90 minute episodes, Series: 3×90 minute episodes / Pilot: 5-6 January 2004, Series: 10-17 July 2005 and 19 May 2006

Writer: Mike Cullen / Director: Simon Delaney / Music: Mark Russell / Executive Producer: Andy Harries / Producer: Spencer Campbell

Additional 2 parter credits: Costume Design: Janet Benge / Director of Photography: Niels Johansen / Production Design: Margaret Coombes / Titles: Fig Productions

TOM CONTI as Joe Donovan
SAMANTHA BOND as Kate Donovan
MALCOLM SCATES as Michael Kinsley
INDIRA VARMA as Cara Mathis
DANIEL PAPE as Paul Samson
JAMES MIDGLEY as Bruce Corrigan
and the following were regulars for the series
KATIE BLAKE as Myrna Rovic

Alastair James is the editor in chief for Memorable TV. He has been involved in media since his university days. Alastair is passionate about television, and some of his favourite shows include Line of Duty, Luther and Traitors. He is always on the lookout for hot new shows, and is always keen to share his knowledge with others.