Da Vinci's Inquest
is a Canadian
dramatic television series that aired on CBC Television
from 1998 to 2005. Seven seasons of thirteen episodes each were filmed for a total of ninety-one episodes.
The show, set and filmed in Vancouver, stars Nicholas Campbell as Dominic Da Vinci, once an undercover officer for the RCMP, but now a crusading coroner who seeks justice in the cases he investigates.
The cast also includes Gwynyth Walsh as Da Vinci's ex-wife and Chief Pathologist, Patricia Da Vinci, Donnelly Rhodes as detective Leo Shannon, and Ian Tracey as detective "Mick" Leary.
Da Vinci's Inquest
was based partly on the real life experiences of Larry Campbell
, the former chief coroner of Vancouver
, British Columbia
, who was elected mayor of that city in 2002. It is also similar to such earlier series as Wojeck
and the American Quincy, M.E.
insofar as the program revolves around a coroner who investigates unusual cases. However, its complex plots, along with the realistic character development and somber style of the show, make it more similar to Steven Bochco
's productions, especially the hit drama NYPD Blue
Campbell received the Gemini Award
for Best Performance in a Continuing Leading Dramatic Role for his work on the series and has guest-starred in American shows such as Monk
and T.J. Hooker
. Donnelly Rhodes
also received a Gemini Award
for Best Actor in 2002 and the Earle Grey Award
in 2006. The series was critically acclaimed as the best television series in Canada
after winning the Gemini Award for Best Dramatic Series for five of its first six seasons. When Da Vinci's Inquest
completed its seventh and final season, it was continued in 2005 as Da Vinci's City Hall
Availability outside Canada
Da Vinci's Inquest
made its U.S. debut the week of 17 September 2005
, when it was already in syndication after the original run. The show also has been airing on WGN America
, available via cable television
. The series is distributed in the United States by Program Partners
with ad-sales done by Sony Pictures Television
, it aired late Monday nights on the Nine Network
, and its affiliates WIN
(although on a different night) and NBN
. In mid 2006, the show was replaced with Quizmania
. As of early 2007, it has been screening again late on Thursday nights (technically early Friday morning).
It has also been aired in late night slots on RTÉ One in Ireland.
In Iceland, Skjár einn has aired the show in various slots, including Saturday evening.
The show currently airs daily at 3am in the United Kingdom on the Living Channel and on late Thursday evenings in Finland and northern parts of Estonia on Finnish YLE TV2.
Da Vinci's City Hall and TV movies
In Canada, the new spinoff series, Da Vinci's City Hall
, premiered on 25 October 2005
. However, after airing a complete first season of 13 episodes, the CBC cancelled the program.
In the US, this series was aired as an extension of Da Vinci's Inquest, even using the same intro as the last season of Inquest, despite the fact that some of the characters seen are not present in the new series. City Hall debuted in the US on Superstation WGN on April 27, 2007, and released into national syndication to local stations, also as part of Da Vinci's Inquest, on November 4, 2007.
A TV movie following up on the two series, The Quality of Life, aired on CBC on June 14, 2008. Depending on audience, more TV movies may follow.
Da Vinci's Inquest is notable for its unconventional story formats. Unlike most crime dramas, many crimes on Da Vinci's Inquest aren't clearly explained, and some aren't even solved. Many of the show's fans hail this characteristic as one of its finest qualities. Also unusual is its handling of story arcs. Some story arcs span the length of one or more season, but aren't touched on at all in some episodes within that season. Story arcs include Da Vinci's struggles with his ex-wife and daughter, Leo Shannon struggling to care for his mentally ill wife, the relocation of a mental hospital's cemetery and the intrigue that follows, and Da Vinci's quest to establish a red light district and safe injection site to protect the sex workers and drug addicts of Vancouver. In Internet fandom, the plot line following Mick Leary's descent into depression after a female constable infatuated with him commits suicide is often considered one of the most powerful and best-written arcs in the entire series by many fans.
- See List of Da Vinci's Inquest episodes
Season 1 (1998-1999)
On 15 December 2006
announced that Acorn Media
has made plans to release the complete first season on DVD. It contains all 13 episodes on 4 discs for US$59.99 in the US and CA$68.95 in Canada. The set was released February 27, 2007
The first season was also released by Alliance Atlantis in Canada in October 2003. That version lacks closed captioning. The Acorn Media release contains closed captioning on the episodes.
Season 2 (1999-2000)
The second season was released on November 13, 2007 on Amazon.com
. Special features include behind-the-scenes footage and an interview with series creator Chris Haddock. However it does not contain the original series intro. Also the french language version was dubbed in France, not in Québec.
Season 3 (2000-2001)
Acorn Media has announced the third season's release date for June 10, 2008. Special features will include two behind-the-scenes featurettes, photo gallery, cast filmographies, and creator biography.