Case Histories – New PBS Masterpiece tonight!


There’s a new sheriff in the PBS Masterpiece town. Actually, depending on who you talk to, there’s either a maverick ex-cop or a private investigator in town. In either case, he goes by the name of Jackson Brodie and is played brilliantly by Jason Isaacs. Isaacs, who’s most recent gig was as Lucius Malfoy in the final two Harry Potter films, has his own way of doing things.

Case Histories, a 3-part series which premieres tonight as part of PBS’ Masterpiece series, is set in Edinburgh and features a mix of cold case crimes and fresh bloodshed, all needing the unique detective talents of one, Jackson Brodie.

Case Histories was adapted for the BBC by Ashley Pharoah. You may or may not be familiar with the name, but you certainly should know Pharoah’s work. She was co-creator/co-writer of the greatness of Life on Mars and Ashes to Ashes. Unfortunately, Sam Tyler and Gene Hunt are long gone from the picture but, thankfully, Pharoah found the likes of Jackson Brodie and the novels of Kate Atkinson. As you can imagine adapting an existing product for television is not an easy task. Ashley shares her process of how Case Histories went from script to screen.

Case Histories, premiering tonight at 9p ET/8p CT on PBS’ Masterpiece.

  • Deborah Stembridge

    Loved PBS’ Case Histories One. Whose music does Brodie listen to?

    • @Deborah: Will see what I can find out. Glad you enjoyed. Stick around for the next two installments on Oct 23 and 30.

  • Carolyn Harlow

    What do the red letters in the credits spell out? They are an anagram, I suppose. The letters are: NOAOTEAROAAHAU. I believe the last name of the Executive Producer, Rebecca Eaton, may be in there but if so, what else?

  • beverly

    Not only did I become enchanged by this series, I loved the music played in the background. How can I access that music?

  • Stephanie

    The letters are the phrase “No aoteroa ahua” which means I am from New Zealand in Maori according to Marlee Brodie.

  • chris

    I did a search on some lyrics and I think one song Brodie listens to in his car is “Mercy Now” by Mary Gauthier, although the version he listens to is by someone else.

    There’s another song later, but I didn’t catch the lyrics. Would love to see the credits (those on pbs don’t include the music credits).

  • shirl

    Love Case Histories…I would love to know more info regarding the backround music…???

  • GERI

    My husband and I love the soundtrack in Case Histories, and are wondering where we can access the credits for the pieces used?

    • @Geri: I will see what I can find out on Monday. Not sure what is mentioned on the credits of DVD that I have, but will get with folks at Masterpiece to get answer. Stay tuned.

  • Pam Phillips

    Yes, “Mercy Now” is correct. The first song is “Speed of the Sound of Loneliness, written by John Prine and sung by Nancy Griffith. Not sure about the others in the first episode (and haven’t seen the second yet) and really want to know.

  • Vince

    I am also looking for the music credits. It sounds like something I would like to get if it is available on CD. Usually the music is included in the credits but now for this show.

  • WTC

    Please include me in your reply when you find out more about the specifics of the sound track..

  • Mack

    By chance, caught pt.2 first and was delighted I could watch episode 1 on computer via PBS.Love the music also.Pt 2 opens with ‘when you walk on’ – Eliza Gilkyson (got from Googling lyrics.) Nancy Griffith singing the John Prine song “Speed of the Sound of Loneliness.” (per NYTimes review of pt 1.)

  • Fay DeWire

    In Part I, I recognized the voice of Emmy Lou Harris and in Part II Lucinda Williams. Looking forward to finding out more about the music.

  • Sarah

    I too came here looking for a track list. I finally found it a track list, by episode here: http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b011w4g0

  • Barbara Dunn

    I have seen both episodes of Case Histories and liked it very much. I too am interested in knowing about the music Brodie is listening to and may be sometimes background. Please include me in your message if more info becomes available. Thank you.

  • charlene barbknecht

    I am very interested in the soundtracks of the Case Histories series. Is there a CD available or a list of songs & aritists?

  • Skilly

    I too loved the music and found this sight by googling for music information. I recognized Lucinda Williams voice, (but I do not know that song) in part II at the close.

  • Skilly

    WXXI web site says
    The hero’s personal playlist includes such American folk and country stars as Lucinda Williams, Iris DeMent, Nanci Griffith, and Eliza Gilkyson. While Jackson’s cheerful young daughter in the series (Millie Innes) finds her dad’s musical taste “depressing,” it’s the perfect soundtrack for his weary, lovelorn life.”

  • Alistair Grant

    Love the music too. The one I’m desperate to find is in episode 6 when Jason and Reggie go back to Reggies Tutor’s house in the hire car. The accordian tune is really haunting – any clues to the title and artist?

  • Alistair Grant

    Just realised this site is in the USA and you’re perhaps getting three two hour shows instead of the six one hour shows as shown by BBC in the UK. At least I didn’t include any spoilers in my last post !

  • The music played in the background is beautiful. Where can I find it? Love the show!

  • Debbie Riley

    Seems like there’s a general thread here, I loved the music in the 1st episode also – haven’t watched the 2nd yet, it’s dvr’d. If PBS doesn’t release a CD for purchase, they’re missing a HUGE opportunity to make $$. I’d love to have to have it. Just like Titanic, Zhivago, and many others, I think it would be a hit!

  • Debbie Riley

    Seems like there’s a general thread here, I loved the music in the 1st episode also – haven’t watched the 2nd yet, it’s dvr’d. If PBS doesn’t release a CD for purchase, they’re missing a HUGE opportunity to make $$. I’d love to have it. Just like Titanic, Zhivago, and many others, I think it would be a hit!

  • mack
  • Alistair Grant

    The music listed in the original BBC site has a few extra tracks. I’m not sure if this link is accessable outside the UK but :-
    http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b011w4g0
    gives track list for episode 1, you can then step through the episodes using the window in the upper right of the page. This show was screened in six parts in UK, PBS did it in three so you haven’t missed any!

  • mack

    @Alistair – Your link worked fine, thank you. I had not realized I’d read an Atkinson book,’When will there be good news’,until the scene in epis. 3 (5 and 6 there?) where the mother and her kids get attacked by the boy- images that do not fade easily even with my memory leaks. Then the character Reggie and rest of story came back. Spent a spell looking at actor Isaacs, saying to myself, ‘I know that face!’ Wasn’t until I read the online review of Case Histories that he, of course, was the senior Malfoy in Potter films. Cheers.

  • Billie Beyer

    I love these mysteries but where is the town is it in Scotland

    • @Billie: Case Histories was both filmed and set in Edinburgh. Would strongly suggest a trip there someday. Well worth it.

  • Richard Moore

    Need to get this soundtrack.awesome.