JUST because she’s a medical advisor to a mystery crime show doesn’t mean you should ask Clare Hampson for good ideas on how to get away with murder.
That’s not because the trainee pathologist hasn’t contemplated it. She is, after all, providing medical advice to The Doctor Blake Mysteries. It’s more that she doesn’t want to give the public any ideas.
“Obviously in forensics you’re thinking about how you could kill someone and get away with it,” she joked. “It runs through your head, you think ‘that’s interesting’.”
Set in 1950s Ballarat, The Doctor Blake Mysteries tells the stories of crime-solving doctor Lucien Blake. Dr Hampson provides medical advice to ensure the show is accurate.
“It is quite tricky because sometimes they ask how to conceal a murder and you think: ‘Oh, I don’t really want the public knowing that one. I might just keep that on the down-low’,” she said.
Currently training at St John of God Hospital, Dr Hampson said the questions varied from technical language to trying to identify 1950s medical technology.
The show recently was commissioned by the ABC for a second series after rating strongly. George Adams, creator of the show and head of drama at December Media, said good medical advice had been a “crucial part of the success of the show”.
While she worked with a colleague in season one, Dr Hampson said she would be providing advice individually for the next season. Doctor Blake is her first foray into script advising.
“In real life, murders mostly aren’t as tricky as they are in shows like this. It’s quite obvious there has been an attack. When someone’s trying to hide a murder from you, that’s when it gets more complicated.”
After beginning her studies in 2001, Dr Hampson said she hoped to be a forensic pathologist in 2018. She said a sense of humour was needed to deal with the “grisly side” of the job.
“Most people in forensics have a pretty nasty sense of humour,” she laughed.
Dr Hampson said before training at the Victorian Institute of Forensic Medicine she wasn’t really a big crime junkie. That’s changed and now she sees forensics as a career.
“Everyone assumes I’m creepier than I am, I’m really not that bad.”