Traces of Evidence

Date: (08/12/2019)

Fife, Scotland best-selling, crime author, Val McDermid’s Dundee based  TV drama set to air Monday 9th December on UKTV's Alibi Channel.

Traces is a suspense-filled crime thriller based on an original idea by best-selling crime writer Val McDermid (Wire In The Blood, A Place Of Execution) and set in the world of forensic science in Dundee, Scotland. The series, which is the very first original drama commission for UKTV, stars award-winning Molly Windsor (Three Girls, Cheat), Laura Fraser (The Missing, Breaking Bad), Jennifer Spence (You Me Her, Travelers) and Line of Duty’s Martin Compston.


The TV drama was written by Amelia Bullmore (Scott & Bailey, This Life) and produced by Manchester based RED Production Company (Safe, Butterfly, Happy Valley), for UKTV and BBC Studios.

The drama was a fantastic opportunity for film locations in the city and regional crew and talent.

It explores the world of SIFA, the Scottish Institute of Forensic Science and Anatomy inspired by a real life department a the University of Dundee. TayScreen is the screen office for Dundee City Council and together they were delighted to support the production and help find locations and sort out permissions.

TayScreen has been speaking to real life forensic jeweller, Dr Maria Maclennan who studied at the University of Dundee/DJCAD, and now works in the field of crime and disaster forensics, for her insights on the forensic process.

In true convergence between creativity and science, jewellery offers a unique, significant and hghly important way to identify victims.  

Traces tells the story of 23-year-old Emma (Windsor) who returns to Scotland to take work at SIFA and signs up for a course about forensic science. But she soon discovers that the fictitious case study has a strikingly similar and shocking link to her own past. Emma's sleuthing takes her into dark corners as she unpicks more and more secrets. It will be the exacting minds of her expert colleagues that reward Emma's faith in the science that has fuelled her imagination and ultimately bring a killer to justice.

Here's a Traces trailer:

Traces is based on a story by written by world famous author Val McDermid who hales from Fife and studied at St. Andrews University. She has collaborated with forensic anthropologist, Professor Sue Brown over many years. Sue previously led the Queen’s Award-winning Centre for Anatomy and Human Identification at the University of Dundee for 15 years.

Working on Traces were Fife based Lindsay Brown who took on Unit Manager and Location Manager, Derek Yeaman who also has local connections: Derek says:

“It was especially exciting to work in the city of my birth having spent most of my film and TV location work in the west. Dundee is such a great looking city especially approaching from the south and over the bridge with the Law like the cherry on a cake.“ 

Lindsay says she was "thrilled to have the opportunity to work on a high level production in my home town, using my local knowledge to show the classic views, nooks and crannies of historically vibrant Dundee to our Manchester location colleagues".

Project Manager Julie Craik says: “ We are absolutely delighted that Red Production Company brought production of Traces to Dundee, a story with unique connections to the city. We previously had forensic crime drama Silent  Witness here so it’s great to see another production of this hugely popular kind of drama. We owe a huge thank you to the people of Dundee for welcoming the production, especially people who so kindly accommodated the inconvenience of a temporary road closure. Production of period drama, with the need to move things like modern cars,  just could not happen without that.” 

Traces was executive produced by Red Production Company's Nicola Shindler and Michaela Fereday, writer Amelia Bullmore, Philippa Collie-Cousins for UKTV, Martin Rakusen for BBC Studios and Val McDermid who is also co-creator alongside Amelia Bullmore. The series was produced by Juliet Charlesworth.
And here's our interview by Mark Thomas of Dundee City Council Communications:

Traces on location in Dundee Scotland - images by Moira Lavigillante.