Some cracking guest stars elevate Series 7 of Silent Witness which settles rather well into its mould of slightly fractious teamworking
“This is not Toy Town. I am not Mr Plod. You are not Tessie Bear”
The establishment of a team around Sam Ryan at the Lyell Centre was certainly one of the best decisions Silent Witness made, certainly while Amanda Burton’s frosty lead was still at the helm. And I think Series 7 ranks as one of her best as the writers finally tackle her self-declared infallibility and throw her inability to work nicely with others right under the microscope.
Through stories of suspected terrorism, steroid abuse and sexual assault, there’s an ongoing theme of reputational integrity, examining how far people will go to protect their name. Professionally, she has her own judgement called into question, both by outsiders and in a clever twist by William Gaminara’s Harry as the colleagues are pitted against each other in a high-profile case.
And then the team are also brought in to question the legacy of one of the greats in their industry (an excellent James Laurenson) in a thought-provoking finale which tackles medical ethics well. It’s a strong set of episodes and the team dynamic is interestingly explored, Sam’s default mode of prickliness showing no signs of going away even when offered a kind word. Legend.
Top guest appearances
- Deborah Findlay is magnificent as the slippery Mary Carter, a long-lost friend of Sam’s and possibly shady government employee who gets uncomfortably close to Sam’s investigation
- Ashley Jensen is good fun as a plain-speaking DI in ‘Fatal Error’
- There’s strong work from the marvellous Doña Croll as the rather entitled mother of a wealthy sports star in ‘Running on Empty’…
- …which also features Sally Gunnell in a brief appearance as herself as a sports commentator
- And the final spot has to be shared as Sorcha Cusack can’t not be mentioned but there’s only bloody Des Barnes in the final episode too! (aka Phil Middlemiss)