About Waking The Dead

Solving murders is hard enough when the body's still warm. But you need a special sort of copper to work on those cases ordinary police officers gave up on years ago. Luckily, Detective Chief Inspector Peter Boyd and his Cold Case Unit officers are just the right kind of coppers. No villain can hide in the mists of time once this lot get on the case.

All about Eve

Boyd is the lynchpin of the Cold Case Unit, and he loves driving his team to get the best results. The trouble is that he's so good at pressing their buttons that he sometimes ends up pushing the team too hard.

Trevor Eve plays Boyd as the ultimate driven man, but with flashes of vulnerability so that you're compelled to tune in next time. The role is a long way from the part that made him famous in the late 1970s - West Country private investigator and disc jockey Eddie Shoestring. Since then, Eve has worked in numerous film and TV productions, including The Politician's Wife and David Copperfield. More recently, he was in the Hollywood blockbuster epic, Troy.

Mind reader

Grace Foley is the perfect foil to Boyd. While he storms around shouting orders and chasing bad guys, Grace sits back and patiently pieces together the killer's profile. Sue Johnston is one of the most familiar faces on British television, with huge parts in Brookside and The Royle Family under her belt. But, like a true pro, none of her other roles grin through when she's playing Grace in Waking the Dead. Mind you, Grace wouldn't get much work done if she sat on the sofa watching the telly and smoking herself silly, would she?

On the slab

Cold cases are at their coldest when the body is lying on a forensic pathologist's slab. But this is when things begin to hot up for Frankie Wharton: she's the kind of girl who gets excited by DNA strings and unmentionable secretions. Well, someone's got to! Holly Aird, who plays Frankie, got her first big break in the long-running squaddie drama, Soldier, Soldier. Diverse roles in TV and film productions followed, including Fever Pitch, Dressing for Breakfast and Have your Cake and Eat It. Coincidentally, she worked with Trevor Eve in the 2002 literary mystery movie, Possession, starring Gwyneth Paltrow.

Run with it

With all these specialists around, Boyd needs old-fashioned detectives who know how to follow their instincts. DS Spencer Jordan, played by Wil Johnson, is hardly old-fashioned but he certainly knows how to follow his instincts. He's just as driven as Boyd and pretty ambitious too. Johnson, who has also starred in Babyfather and Clocking Off, was a promising sprinter as a youth and he still admires the way top athletes maintain their focus during demanding training sessions and elite races: "I've adopted a lot of that mentality in my own acting," he says.

Good for the Goose

Mel Silver may be the most junior member of the team but she's always in the thick of it. Another instinctive operator, Mel often ends up in tricky scrapes after following a hot lead. For most of us, Claire Goose was overwhelmingly associated with Casualty, in which she played the lovely, though occasionally wayward, Nurse Tina Seabrook. But she's Mel now and that's great news for Goose, who relishes her role as the inquisitive and questioning young detective. Goose also enjoys filming the action sequences, especially if she's behind the wheel: "I love stunt driving and most of the time Wil and I fight over who's going to drive the car. We are absolute children about it."