TV Review: Silent Witness Series 4

Series 4 of Silent Witness sees Sam finally leave Cambridge for London and start to lean into her savant side…

“I’m not in the police, I’m independent. That’s what makes my opinion worth having”

Perhaps cognisant of just how much a pathologist can be needed to do in Cambridge, Series 4 of Silent Witness transplants Sam Ryan to London, ostensibly as a professor at Imperial University but in reality, becoming the pathologist-on-call for any and everyone who wants her services in this shortened series of 3 stories.

So she heads up to Lincolnshire to deal with a North Sea helicopter crash and even returns to Cambridge (already so soon) to reunite fractiously with now-DCI Connors for some furious hate-flirting over the bodies of 12 burnt-alive cinemagoers. The opening out of the scope of location is a definite plus for the series, allowing for a believable variety.

But whilst Sam continues on her one-pathologist journey to solve all crime, there’s still a strange tension about the show. The series has the balls to start off with Sam lecturing her students on following the evidence and only the evidence, and proceeds to show her ignoring police protocols to follow her own hunches and worst of all, being able to find answers by laying hands on her victims, staring into the middle-distance and putting herself in their place. Strangely enough, we don’t see her teaching her undergraduates that bit…

Top guest appearances

  1. Melanie Hill delivers one of her customary masterclasses in making the most out of the thinnest of material as a grieving woman waiting to find out if she’s a widow
  2. Aden Gillet will always be The House of Eliott’s Jack so I’m always well inclined to him, even if he’s playing a potentially shifty sort like DI Lightfoot
  3. Tom Georgeson also stars in the same story, another actor I like from another series (Between the Lines) and a performance not a million miles away from that character
  4. The final story of the season features Jack Dee in an entertaining straight role, he’s really not a back actor y’know
  5. And Christopher Colquhoun is smoking hot as Sam’s assistant, sadly only appearing this once in ‘A Good Body’

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