The Perfect Corpse (Nova)
Sound: C+ Extras: C- Episode: B-
Since TV and it’s credibility went into decline and the
bottom fell out, one of the sad things about the hundreds of channels is that
you can find out about a brutal murder every day in great detail. A body is found, it has been mutilated in
“sick” ways and the investigation of how this happened begins. The broadcast of such stories are so common
that you wonder if they inspire serial killers and a need for those killers to
outdo each other. The Perfect Corpse
is the latest installment of the ever-great WGBH/PBS series Nova starts
out the same way, but there is a twist of course.
The body found has been buried for hundreds to thousands
of years and whoever committed the brutal murder, they are long dead too. Automatically, that takes away a fascinating
aspect of the typical “soap opera” exploitation version just explained: there
is no one to go after and get revenge on.
Whether they are beaten, killed, condemned to death, life in prison or
just stigmatized as a “sicko” so people at home can feel better about
themselves for the worst reasons is suddenly absent. Of course, the idea that anyone is getting away with such dark
happenings resonates as a threat within, which hatemongers and other exploiters
love to take advantage of.
With that luggage removed, the story becomes a pure
science investigation, followed by one of history, specifically the unique
world of The Celts in Ireland. This
took 18 months and that makes for a very rich hour of viewing typical of the
series. It does also make for a really
intriguing mystery story, as much one of science as murder, so don’t miss this
one and skip reading the back of the DVD case here.
The letterboxed 1.78 X 1 image has usually good color, but
there are limits, as well as detail problems throughout on a program that was
shot in digital High Definition. The
Dolby Digital 2.0 Stereo has no major Pro Logic surrounds, but is clear enough
to enjoy for this kind of program. The usual,
limited DVD-ROM printable educational materials and weblink are the only
- Nicholas Sheffo