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Rigor Mortis
26 January to 2 March 2006
Thursdays 11pm-11.30pm
Peter Davison in Rigor Mortis
The forensic pathologist: intelligent, ambitious, attractive, and one of the most pervasive figures in contemporary drama and fiction - think 'Silent Witness', 'Murder In Mind', 'Quincy', now think Rigor Mortis - it's Like Silent Witness , only slightly less ridiculous.

Rigor Mortis is a black comedy about the attempts of three pathologists to live happy, normal and well-adjusted lives in an atmosphere of death, decay and genuinely unpleasant smells.
Next week at this time:

PETER DAVISON stars as Dr Anthony Webster, chief pathologist. He's a man who loves his work and his personal maxim about pathology is "That which kills others keeps me alive". In fact, he loves his work so much that he takes it to lunch with him. Normally this would be fine - lots of people take their work to the canteen - but Webster can't understand why people get upset when he does it , after all, dissecting a pancreas is fascinating stuff.

MATILDA ZIEGLER is Dr Ruth Anderson. She's tough, dedicated and has been drawn into the profession partly by its portrayal on television as a world of brooding intensity and murder mysteries, but is constantly disappointed by the banal and non-mysterious nature of the cases she deals with.

GEOFFREY WHITEHEAD is Professor Donaldson, their head of department. He's from an academic background, but is enjoying the cut and thrust of the coal face. He constantly strives to make the mortuary a brighter place by introducing such initiatives as getting to know your cadaver - after all, a corpse is a person too.

Alongside our main trio of Doctors are three people helping to keep the mortuary alive.

Tom Price plays Gordon, a keen, although often inebriated, lab assistant who admires Dr Webster so much that this is the longest job he's had - in fact he's been doing his six month training attachment for 3 years now.

Marianne Levy plays Chloe , the down to earth secretary/receptionist who tries to keep everyone happy and has a car sticker bearing the legend 'Pathologists Do It While Holding Their Noses'.

Finally there's Simon, played by Gus Brown , a policeman in regular contact with the pathologists who rock climbs, kayaks and is, unfortunately, allergic to dead bodies


In the current series Doctors Webster and Anderson have decided to have a baby together - strictly non sexually conceived of course - as Anderson wants to know what it's like spending every waking hour thinking about another person rather than herself; she's also keen to find out what her mother will have to complain about once she's actually given her a grandchild. Dr Webster, meanwhile, really wants one more go at fatherhood as he doesn't see as much of his daughter these days as he'd like - for instance, she hasn't let him x-ray her for years. Can these two labourers of death turn their hands to life?

Alongside the baby preparations Professor Donaldson seems to be moving towards retirement, Simon is slowly starting to have a nervous breakdown, Chloe is thinking of leaving as she's worried she's becoming too similar to the pathologists (she's started complaining about the lack of forensic detail in Johnny Depp films) and Gordon is just pootling along in his own sweet way, unaware that he's heading for doom......

Between them can they convince the world that being a pathologist is a job to die for?


Is Laurence Howarth, one of the lead writers on Dead Ringers and The Sunday Format. He also appears on Radio 4 in his own sketch show: Laurence and Gus - Untold Stories.
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