Jackson Brodie is a private investigator, originally from Yorkshire. A former soldier and policeman he now makes his money working from investigating infidelity and finding missing cats. Jackson’s tough-guy exterior belies a deeply empathetic heart. He’s unable to resist coming to the rescue and increasingly he becomes a magnet for the bereaved, the lost and the dysfunctional. His ability to connect comes from his own tragic childhood that still haunts him.
“Jackson had never felt at home in Cambridge, never felt at home in the south of England if it came to that. He had come here more or less by accident, following a girlfriend and staying for a wife. For years he had thought about moving back north, but he knew he never would. There was nothing there for him, just bad memories and a past he could never undo, and what was the point anyway when France was laid out on the other side of the Channel like an exotic patchwork of sunflowers and grapevines and little cafes where he could sit all afternoon drinking local wine and bitter espressos and smoking Gitanes, where everyone would say, Bonjour, Jackson, except they would pronounce it ‘zhaksong’, and he would be happy. Which was exactly the opposite of how he felt now.”
– From Case Histories
The TV series
About Case Histories
Case Histories is a BBC television series adapted from Kate Atkinson’s compelling mysteries. Two series have been broadcast, with six episodes in the first series and three in the second.
At the heart of these stories is private investigator Jackson Brodie, who is played by Jason Isaacs (Harry Potter, The Patriot). A complex and compulsive detective surrounded by death, intrigue and misfortune his own life haunted by a family tragedy, he attempts to unravel disparate case histories.
The series, which also starred Victoria Wood, Amanda Abbington and Natasha Little, is set amidst the iconic landscapes of modern Edinburgh, bringing to screen the delightful jigsaw puzzles of Kate Atkinson’s novels and the complexity of her hero Jackson Brodie.
A former soldier and policeman, Jackson’s tough-guy exterior belies a deeply empathetic heart. He’s unable to resist coming to the rescue and is a magnet for the bereaved, the lost and the dysfunctional.
Full of entertaining and original characters, each two part story is warm, poignant and life-affirming, enjoying humour whilst exploring the darkness that underpins each crime mystery.
The series was filmed and set in modern Edinburgh, and produced by Ruby Films for BBC One and was originally broadcast from the 5th June 2011 at 9pm (BST) on BBC One and 10:45pm (BST) on BBC HD. It received the TV Dagger at the ITV3 Crime Thriller Awards 2011.
Case Histories on DVD
Case Histories is a detective series set in contemporary Edinburgh, adapted from Kate Atkinson’s best-selling novels and devised for television by Ashley Pharoah (creator of Life on Mars).
Private investigator Jackson Brodie is played by Jason Isaacs (Harry Potter, The Patriot). A former soldier and policeman, Jackson’s tough-guy exterior belies a deeply empathetic heart. He’s unable to resist coming to the rescue and is a magnet for the bereaved, the lost and the dysfunctional.
Intriguing, moving and funny, the character driven stories conjure up a richly imagined world in which Jackson Brodie attempts to bring resolution to the victims of unexplained mysteries and comfort to the survivors of personal tragedies.
He is the ultimate survivor himself – a bruised optimist, compelled to help others.
Includes all episodes from series 1 and 2.
Case Histories, part 1
Case Histories, part 2
One Good Turn, part 1
One Good Turn, part 2
When Will There Be Good News, part 1
When Will There Be Good News, part 2
Started Early, Took My Dog
Jackson and the Women
– Behind The Scenes
– Interview with Jason Isaacs, Kate Atkinson, producer Helen Gregory and Amanda Abbington
– Jason Isaacs’ Video Diaries
– Stunts, Make-up, The Dog
Case Histories on DVD
Jason Isaacs on being Jackson Brodie
“Having narrated the audio-books of all the Jackson Brodie novels and being, as a consequence, dazzled not only by Kate’s sensational abilities to weave a story but, wittily and economically, to convey character flaws, strengths, sub and un-conscious desires and drives and more, to create a hypnotic world full of damaged, struggling and beautifully etched characters, it was with utter terror that I faced the prospect of putting one of them on the screen.Add to all that literary, emotional and anthropological excellence the fact that, in Jackson, she had created a Mr Rochester for the modern age, a post-modern, romantic fantasy figure of a man that countless hordes of women all over the world quasi-worship, and it’s easy to imagine why I flirted with dodging the bullet and watching someone else be the focus of the inevitable disappointment.
In the end it was that: the prospect of someone else, some other lucky bastard, trudging the streets in Jackson’s battered shoes that did it. It was unconscionable. I decided to have faith in the invisible tendrils of intrigue, horror and hope that Kate’s writing wraps around the hearts and minds of her fans. Maybe great stories are great stories in any medium, if you just get out of the way.
It seems from the responses to the series that, at the very least, we’ve driven even more people to discover her effortless (sorry Kate – seemingly effortless) prose. Her satirist’s eye, the minute observations that reveal everything about a person through the most innocuous gesture or phrase, the mischievous and audacious use of coincidence, the telescoping of time and experience can obviously work even in the literal, linear 2D world of television.
But let’s not fool ourselves: she’s a writer. Of books. Wildly and justifiably popular and engaging ones. We just rode her coat tails.Next time – if there is one – I’ll hold on tighter.”
Jason Isaacs – June 2011