In CSI: Crime Scene Investigation there's always the certainty of death. The 14th series of what's reckoned to be the most watched television show in the world began on Channel 5 last night with a funeral – but what exactly were we mourning?
The show's spin-offs CSI: New York and CSI: Miami, both of which have been cancelled? The careers of once-promising actors, Oscar-nominated Elisabeth Shue and Golden Globe winner Ted Danson? Or just another of the numerous fictional females who must keep on dying so that this show can live?
When we left off at the end of series 13 both CSI Morgan (Elisabeth Harnois) and the daughter of Capt Jim Brass (Paul Guilfoyle) had been kidnapped by a serial killer who arranges his crime scenes to resemble engravings of the Nine Circles of Hell. It was a great help to the investigation that all the CSIs could quote Dante with the familiarity of a medieval scholar. Perhaps some of them had also seen the movie Seven, from which elements of this episode were conspicuously borrowed?
The episode's climax gave series stalwart Brass the chance to exercise some hitherto unused facial muscles, but otherwise it was the usual jumble of pseudo-scientific nonsense (synthetic DNA data storage? Eh?), bad acting and violence against women. Abandon hope all ye who enter here.