Professor T - UK Version - Season 1
Premiering Sunday, July 11 at 10 p.m. (Six Parts)
Professor T's world is slowly undone after agreeing to help solve a difficult case.
SERIES SYNOPSIS :PROFESSOR T
Every aspect of Professor Jasper Tempest’s life is precisely calibrated and rigidly structured. Impeccably dressed and meticulously punctual, he lectures daily at the Cambridge Institute of Criminology, teaching students imaginatively, if pedantically, about the science of crime. Each evening, he returns home to his apartment which is as sterile and systematically ordered as a science lab. Thanks to this strictly regimented approach, his OCD and germaphobia are under control.
But Professor T’s buttoned-down world is slowly undone when he is persuaded by one of his former students, Detective Sergeant Lisa Donckers, to assist her in investigating a serial rapist who has started attacking young women again after a 10-year hiatus. The Professor’s encyclopedic knowledge of criminal psychology and his brilliant mind prove invaluable to the under-resourced CID team, but the cracks in his carefully constructed emotionless carapace also begin to show.
Working with the police – and the fiery, instinctive, and occasionally chaotic Lisa, in particular – drags Professor T far from his comfort zone and forces him to confront his painfully suppressed feelings for an old flame, Detective Chief Inspector Christina Brand. After deciding in an uncharacteristically irrational moment to move into his dusty and derelict family home, he also finds it increasingly difficult to escape the influence of his imperious mother, Adelaide, with whom he shares a harrowing family secret that casts a long shadow over both their lives.
PROFESSOR T is a classic crime procedural, featuring a brilliant criminologist and amateur sleuth who solves a succession of quirky and baffling cases. At the same time, it explores the complex private lives of a diverse and engaging cast of characters, not least Professor T himself and the troubling effect that childhood trauma invariably has on adult psychology.
Professor Jasper Tempest: a lecturer at the Cambridge Institute of Criminology. Renowned for his brilliant mind, his dry wit, his quirky teaching methods and his brusque demeanor; he’s a walking encyclopedia of criminal behavior, habits and motivations. He’s obsessive compulsive, borderline autistic and an incurable germaphobe who can’t help saying out loud exactly what he and everyone else is thinking, and is prone to elaborate fantasies that illuminate the subtext in any given situation. A (mostly) dutiful son to a domineering mother, a reluctant mentor to a former student, and a conflicted suitor to an old flame, Professor T is also a man with a very dark secret, which he’s forced to confront when he moves back into his family home.
The Dean (Wilfred Hamilton): Dean of the Faculty at the Institute of Criminology and Professor T’s boss, although he’s unable to control or direct him, only gently advise him from time to time. The Dean is courteous and old-fashioned and unfailingly shrinks from confrontation. He’s never happier than when he’s being ordered about by Professor T’s bossy and aristocratic mother, Adelaide, with whom he may have shared unspecified intimacies.
Ingrid Snares: Professor T’s gossipy and acid-tongued personal assistant, who can’t help providing a sarcastic commentary on everyone and everything that comes and goes from his office, including the Professor himself. At first glance, Miss Snares is easily taken for an ultra-conservative, but beneath the twin-set and pearls there lurks a true subversive who likes nothing better than knocking back absinthe and ogling body-building magazines.
Detective Chief Inspector Christina Brand: head of the local CID, who is struggling to get the most out of the scarce resources at her disposal. Christina is even-handed, scrupulously fair and always supportive, but she’s also not afraid to step in and take charge when needed. She’s acutely aware of some of the personal difficulties that the officers in her charge are experiencing and she’s also handling some issues of her own, with a marriage that’s reached the point of a trial separation and the confusing reappearance of Professor T, her old flame.
Detective Inspector Paul Rabbit: once a model CID detective, but now a shadow of his former self, having lost his only daughter to a hit-and-run driver and taken refuge in the bottle. Paul is a dogged and honest cop who likes to do things by the book and he still manages to inspire loyalty in his junior colleagues, but he’s also blinkered and deeply resistant to the Professor’s unorthodox methods and hostile to the Professor himself, putting the two men on course for an inevitable collision.
Detective Sergeant Lisa Donckers: a former student of Professor T’s at the Institute of Criminology and the daughter of a retired police officer, Lisa is a fiercely ambitious young policewoman who tends to act independently in most circumstances, as far as the job allows. Occasionally hot-headed, always impulsive and somewhat disorganized, Lisa’s the last to arrive at the crime scene and the first to get to the bar. She’s also determined, proactive, quick-witted and the only detective who’s truly an intellectual match for the Professor. Lisa’s on a fast-track to promotion, if only she can stop her career from getting side-tracked by her messy and chaotic private life.
Detective Sergeant Dan Winters: Lisa’s partner and the yin to her yang, Dan is solid, empathetic, meticulous and dependable. What he lacks in intellectual brilliance, he makes up for with good sense and humor to lighten the most difficult situation. Dan plays in a brass band and he’s good with children. He’s the sort of boy you’d want to bring home to meet your parents, unless, that is, you unfortunately happen to work with him!
Martin Bentley: CID’s crime scene manager whose waspish observations and asides help illuminate the grim realities confronting the investigating officers.
Adelaide Tempest: Professor T’s aristocratic and domineering mother who goes everywhere with her muse and pet chihuahua, Kafka. An enthusiastic and flamboyant amateur painter, the only art-form she’s truly mastered is getting under the skin of her adult son, sometimes deliberately, but more often unwittingly. Adelaide is the only one who knows her son’s dark secret and who understands the way it continues to shape his peculiar personality and behaviors. Deep down, she’s empathetic and loving, but she also can’t help being highly critical when he simply refuses to do what he’s told.
Jackson Donckers: Lisa’s father and a former police officer who is gradually losing his faculties and independence as dementia tightens its grip.