★★★ It’s gory and implausible, but why is CSI so popular? JG Ballard thought it was all about our innermost fears…
Channel 5: starts Saturday, 24 January, 10.15pm
WHAT A WEIRD and unsettling series CSI is. A house of horrors for the TV age, delving into nightmares of mortality with detachment and a throbbing rock beat.
Watching the opening episode of the 15th series, I was reminded of a typically provocative feature that JG Ballard wrote about the series 10 years ago in The Guardian. He became hooked on it and stated: ‘The series was original, slick and deeply disturbing, though I wasn’t too keen to find out why.’
But then he goes right ahead and dissects the drama anyway (excuse the pun). As a former medical student with experience in the exploration of corpses before he went on to write unsettling masterpieces such as Crash, The Unlimited Dream Company and High-Rise, his insights were intriguing.