Silent Witness Season 19 Review

By Adam Lock
Published: September 25, 2017 (Last updated: November 23, 2023)
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Silent Witness S16 - Generics - Leo Dalton [WILLIAM GAMINARA], Jack Hodgson [DAVID CAVES] & Nikki Alexander [EMILIA FOX]

The hit series returns for its nineteenth run showing crimes through the eyes of a team of forensic pathologists and forensic scientists.

Well, after nineteen years, I don’t think you really need me telling you about this one, but guess what? I’m going to anyway. Silent Witness has surely got to be one of the BBC’s longest-running crime dramas, if not the longest – and the wonderful thing about it is that even in all its longevity, it still returned this New Year feeling fresher than ever. Perhaps the secret is the major overhaul it received a couple or three years ago, replacing key characters and introducing a whole new way of solving the murders. It’s one that I always look forward to each year, and am always a little sad when its annual run comes to an end.

So, this year, all the main characters returned. The longest returning cast member, Emilia Fox, reminded us all why Nikki Alexander is everyone’s favourite pathologist again this time round. In the first story of the series, Nikki’s future was looking pretty bleak when she got arrested for murder, and then upon her release, a hitman paid a visit to her flat. She came out of it alive and kicking though and managed to stay out of trouble until the final episode of the year’s run when she nearly got herself killed. Once more, Fox proved to us all why fans have never once bored of the terrific performances she always turns out for us as the brilliant woman whose only goal is to seek justice for those who can’t seek it for themselves – something that is crystal clear in her weekly outings as Nikki.

Then we move onto the lovely Jack Hodgson played by the equally lovely David Caves who makes me very happy every week, and is probably the other reason why I eagerly anticipate the show’s return each year, although I’m sure you won’t be able to fathom out why this may be – other female viewers may especially struggle *winks*. Although he only joined the cast a few years back, Caves is now one of the second longest-serving stars, and with the way he moulded the character of Jack, it’s not hard to see why he was a hit with viewers. The friendship between the loyal-to-the-end forensic investigator and Nikki shone even more brightly this year, and the hint of hot-headedness about him made me, I mean us, love him even more.

Liz Carr returned also as Jack’s trusty assistant Clarissa Mullery. As Clarissa, Carr never fails to make me laugh with either the banter she has with her partner in crime (see what I did there?) or just how excited she gets about being able to fire off some guns. I also love the fact that she has hardly any time for the big police chiefs who walk into the Lyell Centre thinking miracles can be achieved. She’s another character where the friendship and camaraderie of all those working together at the Lyell shines through and was another welcome addition of the cast a few years ago.

Finally, returning for only his third series was Richard Lintern as Thomas Chamberlain. He wasn’t the most prominent figure this series, but did have one week where he got fairly heavily involved. Three years on from his first appearance, you still get the feeling that his colleagues haven’t quite warmed to him just yet, and I sort of feel that way too. There just isn’t the same feeling of familiarity with him yet as there is with Caves and Carr who joined, I think, only the year before. Ah well, maybe next year he’ll be everyone’s favourite?

Storylines this year were impeccable, which made it even harder when it came to an end last week. What made it even better was the fact that for the story titled “In Plain Sight”, I came out of absolutely nowhere and figured out the killer before my mum and dad had even got a suspect. Keep an eye out for my name on the next series is all I’m saying.

Silent Witness proved a winner again this year and will, of course, be returning in early 2017 marking the 20th anniversary of the show. I will most definitely be awaiting its arrival.

TV, TV Reviews
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