Da Vinci's Inquest

TV review by
Melissa Camacho, Common Sense Media
Da Vinci's Inquest TV Poster Image
Crusading Canadian coroner seeks justice.

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The parents' guide to what's in this TV show.

Positive Messages

Efforts to solve mysterious deaths are sometimes motivated by compassion for the victim and sometimes by politics or other institutional reasons. While the cast is primarily Caucasian, some of the detectives, forensic examiners, criminals, and victims are of various ages and come from diverse racial, ethnic, and socio-economic backgrounds.


Contains descriptions of violent acts, including murder, child molestation, and other sexual crimes. Bloody crime scenes are sometimes visible. Murder victims are sometimes shown in the morgue or undergoing pathological study.


Occasional references to sexual behavior (usually violent) within the context of criminal investigations. Da Vinci supports the creation of a "red-light district" to protect Vancouver's sex workers.


Fairly mild -- "damn," "hell," etc.

Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

Alcohol and tobacco products occasionally visible. References to drug and alcohol abuse and occasional references to drug trafficking.

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that this critically acclaimed Canadian procedural crime drama centers on investigations of unusual deaths in Vancouver, British Columbia. Crime-solving procedures are emphasized, as are some of the investigators' personal issues. While the series' content is mild compared to some similarly themed stateside series, it does deal with mature topics and strong themes -- including prostitution and child molestation -- and has its share of bloody crime scenes.

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What's the story?

DA VINCI'S INQUEST is a critically acclaimed Canadian ensemble procedural crime drama that centers on Dominic Da Vinci (Nicholas Campbell), a former Royal Canadian Mountain Police undercover officer who's now a Vancouver coroner. Da Vinci investigates the details of the victims' cause of death with the help of homicide detectives Mick Leary (Ian Tracey), Leo Shannon (Donnelly Rhodes), and Angela Kosmo (Venus Terzo), veteran forensic investigator Chick Savoy (Alex Diakun), medical examiner Dr. Sunny Ramen (Suleka Mathew), and pathologist/ex-wife Dr. Patricia Da Vinci (Gwynyth Walsh). When the circumstances surrounding a death spark more questions than answers, Da Vinci calls an inquest -- a formal inquiry into the cause of death -- at the Coroner's Court, bringing all of the members of the crime-solving team together in front of a jury. Da Vinci's rigorous and sometimes unrelenting efforts to solve these mysteries often lead to clashes with Chief Coroner James Flynn (Robert Wisden) and Sgt. Sheila Kurtz (Sarah-Jane Redmond). But he can often win them over, thanks to behind-the-scenes help from his assistant, Helen (Sarah Strange).

Is it any good?

This dark, gritty series -- which is often compared to Steven Bochco's popular stateside cop show NYPD Blue -- offers well-written, multifaceted stories that combine investigation work with the characters' complex personal issues. In fact, many of the episodic mysteries remain unsolved when the show's focus shifts from crime -solving to understanding the complex personal issues that Da Vinci and his colleagues are dealing with. Da Vinci's Inquest originally ran from 1998-2005 in Canada and currently airs in syndication in the U.S.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about the media's relationship with crime. Do crime dramas like this one (or at least its U.S. cousins) glamorize violence or wrongdoing in any way? If so, how? How do you think this series would be different if it had been produced in America? How are the two countries' legal systems different? Families can also discuss the job of a coroner. What's the difference between a coroner and a medical examiner? How is a coroner's inquest conducted? Why is this an important part of crime-solving? Who participates?

TV details

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