Law & Order: Criminal Intent is the second spin-off show from the popular Law & Order programme and features the work of the Major Case Squad in a fictional police department.
Set in New York, the story follows the same path as the original show – and also Law & Order: Special Victims Unit – by taking inspiration for its plots from the headline-grabbing real crimes taking place in the city.
The writers also take inspiration from those crimes which have featured heavily in the media to create realistic and gripping storylines that help take Law & Order: Criminal Intent above the usual police investigative show.
The show relentlessly pursues some of New York’s worst criminals and one interesting aspect is that the crime is shown from the criminal’s point of view.
The team also come up with some interesting crime-solving techniques and takes a closer look at the psychology of those who are committing such awful crimes in a bid to find them – they reckon by working out the ‘why’ they can work out the ‘who’.
The detectives are shown investigating high profile cases, usually murders, which tend to involve government officials and employees as well as VIPs and art world celebrities.
For a number of series, the show featured the work of two teams of detectives but the main focus has always been to examine the motives and the actions of the criminals rather than how police find their culprits.
Unlike the other Law & Order shows, Law & Order: Criminal Intent tends not to end with a tense courtroom showdown but with a confession from the criminal.
Spoiler alert: Viewers with keen eyes the opening credits are specific to that episode and the culprit’s identity is usually revealed in that opening sequence as the camera pans across scenes from the victim’s life.