top of page

Episode 1

Archibald Johnson, reporter for the Edinburgh Courant, interviews Dr Knox, during which he raises the subject of grave robbing and the appropriation of dead bodies. This is also a common cause for concern amongst the university professors who are seen as rivals to Knox.

Meanwhile Burke and Hare, on providing the dead body of Old Donald who has died from natural causes (for which they are paid handsomely) hatch a plan of murder to supply their benefactor, Dr Knox, with the bodies. Persuading their wives that the plan will enable them to escape poverty and the threat of their very survival through another harsh winter, the foursome embark on their murderous journey.

Knox attends a gathering with other professors where the conversation becomes uncomfortable as some accuse Knox of obtaining too many bodies which impacts on their own lectures.

Having supplied his editor with the interview for the next edition, Johnson indicates his interest in pursuing his suspicions of Knox and subsequently visits a graveyard where bodies have been stolen. He discovers a scrap of paper, which has been discarded by the resurrectionists, suggesting a connection to Knox and the university.

Knox’s sisters receive an invitation to a charity bazaar, at which Sir Walter Scott is due to attend. He leaves the residency he shares with them to visit his pregnant wife Susan, who is regarded by his sisters as below their status. She urges Knox to show no weakness in his rivalry with his colleagues.

Burke and Hare attract the attentions of an old lady and her grandson, luring them into their lodgings. In the presence of the sleeping child, they murder the old lady, only to discover (after the act) that the child has witnessed their terrible deeds.

Download Episode 1

johnson with ghost child BW cropped.jpg
bottom of page