The world of TV Detective shows looks set for a new hero, with the release of ITV’s prime-time autumn schedules today. A major new fictional drama will follow the trials and tribulations of a desktop computer Crimcatch, a full-service risk terrain modeller with the ability to cluster crimes and predict future incidents using the latest GIS technologies.
‘Crimcatch is your ultimate 21st century detective’, announced Head of Programming at ITV, Dave Reynolds. ‘Intelligent, decent processing speed, and with an add-on suite of data analytics capabilities that frankly is hard-to-beat in the current mid-range cyber-technology market. Crimcatch has a complex backstory, though. A messy partitioning of his hard-drive in 2011, and still bearing the scars of a virus-induced RAM raid in 2013, his memory is increasingly volatile. Crimcatch is also angry and turned off by the current austerity measures facing the police force he loves. Literally turned off, each night, to save his local authority vital energy costs.’
‘Crimcatch has been through more reboots than he cares to remember’, continued Reynolds. ‘He’s a walking contradiction. Well, a static contradiction, actually, in the corner of the incident room, as there are three plug sockets there. Defined and constrained by the logical Boolean operators that govern his every move. But made more human by the lovable quirks beneath that tough plastic exterior, like the fact that the ‘g’ on his keyboard keeps stickingggggg’.
The new series promises some explosive action and relationships. Episode 1 will see Crimcatch in two battles: first to identify whether there is a statistically significant relationship between drugs crimes and postcodes, controlling for a standard range of social and demographic factors; and secondly, to convince truculent Chief Constable Jones that cyber-analytics can effectively complement the activities of bobbies on the beat. Passed over by Jones for an IT upgrade on numerous occasions, can Crimcatch contribute to the achievement of regional police quarterly Key Performance Indicators before his plug is pulled?
‘The banter is reminiscent of Starsky and Hutch, or even Ironside’ enthused Reynolds. ‘My personal favourite is in episode 3, where Crimcatch has pulled yet another all-nighter in the office, his 1250th in a row. His working partner, WPC Debbie Dean, comes in, and sits down with her morning Grande Caramel Macchiato. She types in ‘SHOW (AllFraud) AND (Assault) NOT (Nottingham).’ Crimcatch pauses for 3 hours, before delivering the devastating line ‘Error: String not defined’. Priceless.’