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Review: Silent Witness

By Andrea on January 4th, 2011 5 comments

I thanked the TV gods for V+ last night when ITV and BBC One decided to put on key crime dramas at the same time.

BBC One brightened up what looked to be a depressing evening as many of us had to come back to work with a new episode of Silent Witness, while ITV went for a Lynda La Plante adaptation for Beyond Suspicion. Unfortunately I haven’t had time to watch the latter but I will be doing so very shortly. In the meantime here’s my opinion on Silent Witness, which I’ve followed since the very first episode starring Amanda Burton.

However,  it was only when Harry and Leo and later Nikki came onto the scene that the series began to gain momentum. Perhaps this is because the show got a bigger budget or maybe it’s just because the three characters gel alot better.

After waiting a long while for the new series the first episode last night didn’t disappoint. Five bodies came in – probably one of the most counts we’ve seen unless there has been an accident. This was followed by a sixth later. And three storylines dominated the hour long two parter. What we really noticed was that the level of gruesomeness had grown. We were treated to more skull cutting and skin peeling than we could remember in the past, and the story line was alot more intricate and complex. We won’t spoil it for those of you who missed it but it was a cracker. We can’t wait to see what happens tonight.

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  • liz

    I have been watching silent witness since it started the latest last two new episodes i thought were total rubbish. Nikki the pathologist is meant to be a professional pathologist but not happy with the demanding job of being a pathologist she has to poke her nose into everyones business and hear voices very unprofessional think you would be sacked if you went on like that. the policeman and police woman were awful in it and very unbelievable the lady working at as a receptionist looked like she should have retired 20 years ago what age do you retire in the nhs these days’ also dont think nikki would be laying on a mortuary slab with red high heels on total rubbish lets hope it will get better but sounds like leo is going to have a crisis next week why dont they just get on with the job very unconvincing rubbish

  • Ian

    @ liz. I think you are quite wrong. The extra-professional activities are as necessary a plot device as, for example, Morse’s disregard of procedure, the free reign Christie gave to Poirot or countless other ways in which crime drama on the page or the screen created plot out of what would otherwise be dull procedure. The contamination of the mortuary slap was commented on, and is suffering from depression triggered by the murder and rape of an eight year old girl.

    If the ‘just got on with the job’ it wouldn’t be watchable television – if you want that go and watch some real forensic pathologists at work.

  • liz

    @ Ian,

    I agree with political license as with Frost being unconventional on the television and many other programmes but in a mortuary I think this is very unprofessional. I would like to see more of the forensic plot rather than nikki acting like an airhead. When amanda Burton did the first series this is how the plot seemed to go but I feel it has all got rather ridiculous. I am sure as a pathologist she would have dealt with many procedures from babies to elderly people why did an eight year old trigger depression and voices. As a pathologist she must have had to deal with many traumatic situations and be trained to deal with this.

  • Eun-mi

    I actually thought that Nikki’s breakdown was one of the things that made the programme more realistic. Pathologists do suffer with cases from time to time, particularly with those involving children, and it was the first time we were able to see that side of the job on the show. I really enjoyed this weeks episodes and can’t wait to see how the storyline progresses over the next few weeks.

  • guest

    Silent Witness has sure become bigger but appears rather commercialized since Amanda Burton left many years ago. Probably because the 3 main characters gel a lot better resulting in losing the edge in the show. I loved the first 8 series with the arrogant, annoying Prof. Sam Ryan in it creating tension everywhere she went, and when she reveals her vulnerability and heart, how rarely it may be, making the scene even more moving.


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