This week on The Body Farm, Eve Lockhart and company are called to a small coastal town where the body of a local man, Connor Ryan, is found in the water, next to his boat. We soon realise visiting marine geologist, Tom Wilkes, and boat Captain Patsy Fay are also missing, have they both also met their demise?

Apart from budget cuts, another reason why the BBC decided to give Waking The Dead a boot out the back door, was because they felt there were too many procedural dramas on TV. But, this is pretty much what The Body Farm seems to be turning into/was from the beginning.

Do I have a problem with that? No, not necessarily. Do I have a problem with The Body Farm? Yes, somewhat.

It’s a point I made back in my review of Episode 1. The Body Farm had the chance to be so much more than just another crime drama. Instead, what we are treated too is more like a “high-brow” C.S.I.

Keeping to regular format, Episode 3 opens with Eve Lockhart delivering some philosophical wisdom:

“In our pursuit of the truth, we must protect the unknown. There’s must be a pristine separation of fact and fiction, and when we are not safe in our findings, let’s give full heart to the assumption of innocence until proven guilty.”

What on earth does that mean? I struggle to find the relationship between these words and the story itself (which surely must be reason they start and end the show this way).

So, the team need to find out the cause of death of Connor Ryan, the man found in the water, whilst also wondering what fate met that of the two members Patsy Kay and Tom Wilkes.

The problem I have with the story mainly comes down to the use of “flashbacks”. Unlike C.S.I these flashbacks aren’t there to illustrate a team members hypothesis, but used more as a story filler.

We never actually get to meet Patsy Kay, the missing captain, but only through flashbacks. The character Tom Wilkes, who turns out to be integral to the story, we first meet through flashbacks.

I can sort of understand why The Body Farm needs them. By giving use glimpse into how the victims life prior to death, we can attempt to sympathise with the victims. They aren’t just a slab of meat on a cold autopsy table.

In this particular episode, the young boy seeing the his mother’s dead body at the end of the episode would have probably fallen flat without the use of flashbacks, not that the scene packed that much of an emotional punch to begin with.

Elsewhere, there was the chance for character development within the body farming team this week, especially in the form of Oggy. In episode one the writers hammered home the fact that Oggy should be taking medication, and in this episode we found out why.

He thinks he can talk to the dead. Personally I thought it was pretty disappointing, like an ending of M Night Shyamalan movie or something. I was expecting some sort of Jekyll/Hyde behaviour, especially how much they banged on about it previously.

Maybe I’m being particularly unfair about The Body Farm, maybe not. I doubt the format will change for the remaining three episodes, but you never know, there’s a chance we could be treated to at least one great story.

Levi St John

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