Prodigal Son is currently carving a niche for itself as one of the most gruesome crime procedurals on television. While Malcolm Bright's (Tom Payne) mental stresses and bonkers relationship with his serial killer father, Martin (Michael Sheen), serve as the spine of the series, the show still boasts a case-of-the-week styling, and each week, the crime scenes seem to be getting even weirder than the last.
So far, we've seen a guy get his arm chopped off so that he could escape a bomb-strapped chair, another man who was poisoned and stuffed with a live snake, a lady who was poisoned with an astronomical amount of LSD to induce a heart attack, and yet another guy whose brains got scooped out and left his eyes all white. Those cases may seem like some creations of twisted fancy, but according to the show's resident expert, everything that happens on the show can happen in real life.
In this new teaser from the Fox series, Prodigal Son medical and forensic adviser, Shiya Ribowsky, proudly declared of these faux crime scenes, "No detail is too small. If it happens, it could possibly happen." Ribowsky said that he is consulted on all number of issues for the series, from matters of whether the cast should wear booties and gloves in an autopsy scene to whether the prop instruments are labeled correctly in the lab. "The show feels grounded and realistic because the science is real. And the writers and producers are making a concerted effort to get it right," he said.
For the cast, that realism is essential to getting into the spirit of these macabre scenes. "I think the job that Bright has is a very specific type of job, it's not for everyone. He has a very deep understanding of how a serial killer would look at a room and look at a victim. It's really exciting. You don't have to fake anything, and it adds a whole dynamic to the show," Tom Payne said in the behind-the-scenes feature. "[The] bloody crime scenes and forensic reports, it was so helpful to inform everybody — lighting, sound, production design, wardrobe — it just got everybody's vision cohesive," added Bellamy Young.
While the wildest crimes aren't necessarily plucked from the headlines here, the fact that they even could be real is creepy enough indeed. And since we've been fairly warned that it's only going to get more bizarre from here, good luck sleeping for the rest of the season, everybody!
Prodigal Son airs Mondays at 9/8c on Fox.