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Review: Silent Witness


The BBC’s crime drama returns for yet another series. But is it losing its charm? Emily Kerr gives us a review of the series so far. 

Silent Witness has returned for its 18th series as we enter 2015.

So, what’s changed? Dr Nikki Alexander (Emilia Fox) is still examining bodies in the most glamourous fashion imaginable and somehow, never manages to get blood on her flouncy blouses. With one glance at a corpse Dr Alexander is able to decipher the mental state of the deceased, their exact age, what they had for breakfast (right down to the sauce on their bagel) and the time of their yoga class later that day.

Image Credit: The Guardian
Image Credit: The Guardian

Not to worry though, the producers do splash some blood here and there as they attempt to simultaneously add an extra bit of ‘grit’ to plot and hide the unbelievable nature of the investigation.

Episode One is like a chain of dominoes built by an inexperienced child; rather than being able to mentally link each of the murders, the task of connecting them is impossible. Each domino falls short of hitting the next and the deaths, which begin with a shooting at a petrol station, force the viewer to become a ‘silent witness’, unable to consider even the motives of the killer. Momentum therefore, is non-existent and all that is left to do is to watch as somehow, amidst the chaotic plotline, Jack Hodgson (David Caves) and Dr Alexander hit the nail exactly on the head.

Episode Two shows that it was obvious all along (spoiler alert) – the killer was clearly a young boy who befriended an army shop owner in order to murder his abusive father, along with lots of random people, to put the police off the scent. Why didn’t I think of that? Additionally, you’d think (even with police force budget cuts) that pathologists wouldn’t need to double up as inspectors-come-therapists.

I’m not saying don’t watch Silent Witness, it’s perfect viewing for those evenings when you just want to switch off – just be prepared to observe it with a bag of Scooby Snacks in one hand.


Emily Kerr

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