Last week, I was lucky enough to be invited back to the set of BBC's Silent Witness, to help out with a storyline involving (I can't say too much) a body in a suitcase. A friend of mine, Home Office forensic pathologist Dr Ben Swift is a regular scientific advisor to the show, and last year, when there was a story about a bog body, he was kind enough to invite me along to watch and make comments. The impression I made can't have been too disastrous, as they invited me back last week. I got the chance to view the prosthetic body, and suggest tweaks to it. It was brilliantly made by Pauline, but wasn't wet enough, so we liberally applied water, baby oil and gravy browning!
I also got to 'instruct' the actors about how they would go about taking craniometric measurements of the skulls, and I offered them a set of spreading callipers, but luckily, they already had some! The director asked me how the body would be removed from the scene and the suitcase, and how the examinations would be carried out. I managed to give them some useful advice, but how I'd wished Ben was there to help! They seemed to genuinely appreciate the nuggets of information I gave them, which felt great. I can't wait to see it on the telly in the autumn, and I really hope they invite me back!
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