As much as I'd like to ask this about all detective shows, I've been watching Bones on Netflix recently. It feels like they solve their typical cases in about 48 hours.

How much (average) time elapses in a typical Bones episode?

1 Answer 1


I would say unless it's a multi-part episode 2-3 days is a good guess. TV by its existence requires most things to move much faster than they do in real life, and that definitely applies to any sort of crime solving. Some of the science they do (I have a masters in molecular biology) just can't be done in the time frame of a normal tv show, you can't have multiple weeks pass while waiting for one test when it's the key test to advance the plot.

Unless it's a show like a murder in the first or murder one that focused on one (or a few) ideas for the entirety of a season, the episodic nature of shows makes them tend to take a whole lot less time than they would in the 'real' world

  • I'd agree that 2-3 days is the norm. Occasionally they'll throw in a time-lapse, and occasionally they'll have a multipart episode. But MageeWorld is right, there's a lot of time compression taking place in all police procedurals. They also focus on one case at a time more than real world criminologists or law enforcement officers would.
    – Xalorous
    Oct 5, 2016 at 19:38
  • 1
    And, as someone with a masters degree in molecular biology, it took me a long time to get over this time compression thing - tests aren't that fast (though there's still outbreak which to me holds the most affrontery ever - tv just speeds things up - outbreak violated basic science fundamentals to fit its plot)
    – user37503
    Oct 5, 2016 at 22:59

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