BBC Traces viewers left unimpressed by ‘baffling storyline and clunky dialogue’ in new crime drama – with scenes filmed in Bolton despite being set in Dundee
- Six-part crime drama starring Molly Windsor premiered last night on BBC One
- Follows lab tech Emma Hedges who returns to Dundee after mother’s murder
- She stumbles across similarities to mother’s case in her ‘fictional’ training video
- Viewers were unconvinced by the ‘far-fetched’ storyline and ‘clunky dialogue’
Viewers of BBC One’s Traces were left unimpressed by the first episode of the new crime drama – branding its storyline ‘baffling’ and blasting the ‘poor continuity’.
The six-part series follows Emma Hedges, played by Three Girls star Molly Windsor, who moves back to Dundee to start her new job as a lab technician – the city where her mother was murdered when she was a child.
During an online course teaching the principles of forensic science, which used a ‘fictional case’, Emma deduces that the incident described in the video is based on her mother’s killing.
But several viewers appeared distracted by scenes apparently filmed in Bolton, Greater Manchester, despite the drama’s Scottish setting, while others claimed they struggled to grasp the storyline.
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Viewers of BBC One’s Traces were left unimpressed by the first episode’s ‘baffling’ storyline and ‘poor continuity’. Pictured, Molly Windsor as Emma Hedges
The six-part drama is set in Dundee, but viewers said it was clear scenes had been filmed in Bolton. Pictured, Laura Fraser as Prof. Sarah Gordon and Michael Nardone as D.I. Neil McKinven
One tweeted in reference to the forensic science training video shown in the drama: ‘WTAF? What due diligence was done on this course content? #Traces.’
Another commented: ’30 minutes into a new BBC drama and I’m in serious danger of actually understanding what’s going on.’
And one quipped: ‘Call me unsympathetic, but she shouldn’t have studied in Dundee!’
Other viewers lamented the fact that despite being set in Dundee, several of the scenes were filmed in Bolton.
Many of the show’s viewers took to Twitter to say they were unimpressed with the first episode, with some admitting they were baffled by the storyline
‘Watching #Traces. How come most of it is filmed in #Bolton? #itsnotdundee,’ one tweeted.
Another agreed, writing: ‘Poor continuity in #Traces set in Dundee but city centre clips of Bolton in England.’
A third said: ‘That’s Bolton. You can blur it all you want but that’s definitely Bolton.’
The six-part series, based on an original idea by best-selling crime writer Val McDermid, premiered last night on BBC One after originally airing in December 2019 on UKTV’s Alibi.
It stars Line of Duty’s Martin Compston and Breaking Bad’s Laura Fraser and follows Hedges and her boss Professor Sarah Gordon (Fraser) as they work together at the Scottish Institute of Forensic Science (SIFA).
The six-part drama follows Emma Hedges (Windsor) who moves back to Dundee to start her new job as a lab technician despite her mother being murdered in the same city when she was a child
As she continues her stay in Dundee the lab tech unearths more clues about her mother’s death. Pictured: Windsor and Jamie Marie Leary as Skye
It began with Emma bursting into the office of Gordon and demanding she help solve her mother’s case, before flashing back to the night before, when a fatal fire broke out at a local night club.
Gordon agreed to attempt to solve the murder with the help of Kathy Torrence (Jennifer Spence); viewers then met Emma who had just moved back to the city after staying with her aunt in Manchester.
While watching an online course later that evening, Emma noticed similarities between the video and her mother’s murder, and told her aunt on the phone: ‘The online course I’m doing is using her story.
Other viewers pointed out that it was obvious several scenes had been filmed in Manchester despite being set in Scotland
‘A body buried in a shallow grave on Law Hill, discovered by a dog walker.’
‘There’s only so many places in Dundee you can bury a body,’ her distressed aunt replied, to which Emma responded: ‘My heart is pounding’.
She later confronted Gordon about the video, who quickly dismissed it as ‘horribly bad luck’ and denied there was any relation to her mother’s case, but admitted she remembered reading about her murder.
Later, while speaking to Kathy, she admitted that she may ‘unconsciously’ have been writing about the case – as she thought it was handled so poorly by investigators at the time.
The show also follows Fraser’s Sarah Gordon as they work together at the Scottish Institute of Forensic Science (SIFA)
Visiting the mother of her old friend, played by EastEnders’ Laurie Brett (pictured), Emma finds out her mother was dismembered after she was killed and buried
‘I did know about her mother’s case,’ she said. ‘I must have been aware of the similarities. Not consciously.
‘I feel awful, I don’t know how I failed to connect it. I followed it at the time, the investigation seemed inept to me.’
As she continued her stay in Dundee, Emma unearthed more clues about her mother’s death, including a picture of her father in bed with her mum the year she died – despite them having separated years before.
Later, visiting the mother of an old friend, played by EastEnders’ Laurie Brett, she found out her mother was dismembered after she was killed and buried – prompting her ask her current boss for help in investigating the murder.
Traces continues tonight at 9pm on BBC One.
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