‘Professor T’ began tonight on ITV as viewers were introduced to Jasper Tempest aka Professor T (Ben Miller) for the first time.
If you want to avoid spoilers for ‘Professor T’, stop reading this article now.
The episode opened with a girl riding her bike at night in Cambridge as fireworks were being set off. After securing it outside a building, where a group of men wearing masks were leaving, the woman let herself into the building using her ID card and headed to the toilets. As she occupied one of the cubicles, she could hear laughter outside and after washing her hands, she discovered a man in a mask stood behind her. At first thinking it was a reveller, the woman pulled off his mask before he shoved her into the toilet cubicle and attacked her.
Following the opening credits, we saw Jasper washing his hands and putting on gloves before polishing his shoes and making coffee. It was established that he’s got OCD and likes his things in very particular places. After leaving his home, Jaspar stopped outside of a house that was up for sale and he saw himself as a young boy playing on the swings as his father angrily shouted at him to get inside the house.
Walking past the crime scene, Jasper headed to the Cambridge Institute of Criminology where he was handed a briefcase by a woman before arriving in his class. As he welcomed his students, a man wearing a balaclaver ran in and stole the briefcase. The class gasped before Jasper revealed that it was part of the day’s lesson.
At the crime scene, the police tried to figure out what had happened and it was revealed that the woman was attacked but alive. She had told them that her necklace had been stolen and Detective Sergeant Lisa Donckers (Emma Naomi) went to look in the bathroom. Lisa mentioned that it was ‘strange to be back’ and suggested she was going to get someone to help them.
In his class, Jasper grilled his students and imagine them to be a bunch of chickens. As he berated the students, Lisa entered the room and answered his question. Jasper explained how the chemistry of the brain once a person experiences trauma turns them into an unreliable witness. As the class started to leave, Lisa approached Jasper and asked for a minute of his time. Jasper was very curt as Lisa asked him to help solve the rape case she was working on.
Jasper refused but Lisa pursued him and shared her theory that she believed she was looking for a serial rapist. Despite her pleas, Jasper refused to help and walked away.
Paul Rabbit (Andy Gathergood) was talking to his boss Christina Brand (Juliet Aubrey) about the case and when she asked if he was OK, insinuating that the case would stir up old memories, he insisted he was fine and left the office.
Back at her desk, Lisa chatted to her colleague Dan Winters (Ben White), who was referring to the night before when the two had gone for drinks and had sex. Lisa said it meant nothing but Dan persisted, prompting Lisa to say it was a mistake and telling him to forget it had happened. Lisa turned the conversation to the rape of a friend of hers from five years earlier. She recounted what happened as her friend Saskia (Maïmouna Badje) went home during a night out together, only to be attacked and raped in her room. Lisa said that Saskia had never spoken to her since and that Saskia’s attacker had stolen her necklace and carved something into the bed posts.
Jasper called his mother Adelaide (Frances De La Tour) to talk about his childhood home being up for sale. The call ended abruptly when Jasper was interrupted by The Dean (Douglas Reith), who told him a student had complained that Jasper had insulted them. The Dean made it clear that Jasper could lose his job if he didn’t change his behaviour.
Lisa went to speak to Diana, the woman who was raped at the start of the episode, while Dan covered for her as he went to speak Henry Watson with Paul. They knocked on the door and a woman answered, but a younger man ran out of the back of the house. Dan and Paul gave chase but they couldn’t catch him.
Lisa took Diana (Lizzie Back) to see Jasper and he invited Lisa in but left Diana outside. Jasper told Lisa he didn’t appreciate being ambushed but she convinced him to speak to Diana. He let Diana into his office and asked her questions about the attack to see if he could help her remember anything. Jasper suggested that he could hypnotise her but warned her that it could bring up more than just memories of the attack. When Diana hesitated, Jasper left his office and Lisa chased him to ask why he wouldn’t help. Jasper explained that Diana didn’t want to remember what happened.
Christina asked Dan if they’d found Henry and he said they hadn’t. She then asked about Lisa and mentioned that Paul had complained about her frequent absences. Dan tried to cover for her but then revealed Lisa had gone to see Jasper, which caught Christina by surprise.
Jasper thought once again about his family home as he sat on the roof of a building as the sun went down.
The next day Lisa and Dan went to speak to the wife of Dennis Banks, the college cleaner, and Dan suggested that she buy him a drink to thank him for covering for her. Lisa brushed him off as a woman opened the door and invited them in. They asked questions about her husband and discovered he had insomnia but she was adamant he was at home with her.
As Lisa typed up her findings, another young woman entered the college and got into a lift with a man. Christina interrupted Lisa to ask about Jasper, and told Lisa that she needed authorisation from Paul but that she thought it was a good idea.
The woman we saw entering the college halls was attacked by a man at knife point. He took her necklace and she sprayed him in the eyes with mace. As she ran away, she tripped and fell down the stairs, hitting her head causing a pool of blood to form.
Jasper returned to his childhood home and made a call to the estate agents telling them that the house was no longer for sale. As he hung up, he noticed a message on his phone from Christina and it looks like the two have a complicated history.
Lisa and Dan were chatting in Christina’s office and Paul arrived, asking Lisa about her grandmother. When Lisa replied that her grandmother was dead, Paul realised Dan had covered for her. Jasper entered the office followed by Christina, and he agreed to work with the team on the case. He then briefed the team and received a hostile reception from Paul, who took over to discuss the suspects.
Jasper and Lisa revealed that they believed the case to be connected to one five years earlier, meaning the suspect had been associated with the college for at least that span of time. Jasper suggested that the suspect had lost control, he was a religious man and that he would rape again if he wasn’t caught soon before leaving the room.
Sitting on the roof, Jasper thought back to seeing Christina. He then day dreamed about them dancing a Tango together on the roof. Jasper was interrupted by his mother who had come to see him. She told him that she loved him before turning the conversation to the house sale, which Jasper refused to give permission to let her sell. Jasper said he was going to move into the house much to his mother’s dismay.
The young woman who was attacked earlier in the episode was in hospital in a coma. Lisa and Dan went to see her but were told that they wouldn’t be able to interview her. Determined to find something, Dan and Lisa looked through her belongings and smelt pepper spray on her clothes.
Diana agreed to be hypnotised and as Jasper was about to begin, Paul entered the interview room and insisted that he was sitting in on it. When Jasper said ‘no’, they had a chat outside the room where Jasper said that Paul’s personal problems were affecting his work. Lisa revealed Paul’s daughter had been killed in a hit-and-run six months earlier.
Jasper then returned to the room and began hypnotising Diana. He walked her through the events that took place on the night she was raped. As she recalled the rape, Diana remembered that the man had a tattoo on his hand of five dots. Lisa recognised the tattoo as a prison tattoo and that helped them close in on the murderer.
Lisa and Dan returned to the home of Dennis Banks and they found him in the aviary outside. When he was asked to show the back of his hands, Lisa saw the tattoo and they arrested him. Inside the aviary, Dan found the necklaces that had been taken from the victims.
Lisa brought Jasper up to speed and said that Dennis told her that he’d found Diana’s necklace while cleaning. Worried that they didn’t have enough evidence to charge him, Jasper and Lisa pushed him hard in the interview room. During the interview, Jasper suggested that Dennis had found out that his wife had been having an affair. Dennis admitted to tricking his wife into thinking he’d taken a sleeping pill and he caught her sneaking out of the house. Dan entered the room and put a note on the table for Jasper. Lisa pushed Dennis for a confession and he nodded his head before saying ‘yes’, admitting to all of the rapes. It was then revealed that the young woman in a coma had died.
Back in his office, Jasper received a goldfish in a bowl and a card from Diana. He then walked back to his childhood home and let himself inside the grounds.
As the episode drew to a close we saw Paul guzzling booze at his desk, Jasper entering his home and Lisa visiting Saskia to tell her that they found her rapist. We then saw the moment that a young Jasper found his father hanging in the hallway of the family home.
‘Professor T’ continues at 9pm Sunday on ITV.