Not a moment too soon, Series 6 of Silent Witness finally includes some colleagues for Sam Ryan to give us some relief from her relentless dourness
“Everyone know you love…getting involved”
Having flirted with releasing Sam Ryan from her torment with a suspected tumour at the end of the last season, Series 6 of Silent Witness makes the wise decision to change things up by building a team around her, to relieve some of the pressure of making her the centre of every case. So we welcome William Gaminara’s Professor Leo Dalton and Tom Ward’s Dr Harry Cunningham as colleagues to the sainted Sam, who allow for multiple cases to now be featured in each story.
It’s a good development and one which improves as the season goes on, even if the inclusion of drama in both their personal lives pushes us a little closer to the soapier side of things. But with the show now anchored in London, we do start to see the rapid changeover of police personnel between each story which, to me, feels like a missed opportunity. Brilliant work by the likes of Lia Williams and Stuart Graham, even Tim Healy, makes any of their investigating officers ripe for a series-long feature but no, it’s not to be.
And even with colleagues in tow, the show now openly mocks Sam’s predilection for getting involved, aka meddling, even to the point of standing in the middle of an active police operation with her hands on her hips saying ‘how dare you tell me what to do’. It’s a ridiculousness that is increasingly hard to bear.
Top guest appearances
- Lia Williams is icily brilliant in ‘The Fall Out’as the almost eerie DCI Deacon, playing her cards very close to her chest with regards to the case of the day and rightly furious at Sam’s meddling ways
- It’s so cute to see a baby Russell Tovey in the thick of it in ‘Kith and Kill’
- And a young Benedict Cumberbatch makes a striking appearance in ‘Tell No Tales’ as a student desperate to be in with the cool kids
- Dominic Rowan appears in the same story, looking as handsome as ever
- The final story ‘Closed Ranks’ offers Tom Ward’s Harry a meaty subplot, as former uni mate Esther Hall asks an ethical dilemma of a favour of him