TV Review: Silent Witness Series 14

With Kieran Bew with his top off and Barbara Flynn breaking every singe person’s heart, Series 14 of Silent Witness is mostly excellent. We just need to talk about Harry…

“If you’re deliberately trying to annoy me, you’re succeeding”

Series 14 of Silent Witness is the first one that contains episodes that I actually remember from first time around, two of them in fact. One – ‘Lost – can lay claim to being one of the best ever stories that the show has produced. The other indulges in a fakeout that had me hook line and sinker at the time though as I recall, not my dad!

It’s a season that start off tremendously, the serial killer vibes of ‘A Guilty Mind’ and the decades-spanning effects of ‘Lost’ offering up a different take on forensics for once. But towards the end of the run, it is clear that a decision has been made (who knows by whom) to give Harry more to do and that throws things off balance.

He gets to embrace his full-on Bourne/Bond fantasies in ‘Bloodlines’ whilst we’re expected to buy into the ‘love of his life’ suddenly emerging (and then leaving just as quick). And a line is crossed with a continual abandonment of his forensic pathology role as he ends up being the one leading questioning of suspects even with the police present.

In some ways ’twas ever thus with Silent Witness but here, it begins to feel too much. Throw into the mix Leo’s ongoing sanctimony and being the worst partner ever (poor Jaye Griffiths) and it’s hard not to shake the feeling that the need for a shake-up, teased at the end here, is increasingly apposite. 

Top guest performances

  1. Michael Shaeffer’s Jason Bodle is a rarity in that he gets to play evil from the start in ‘A Guilty Mind’ and thus is all the more chilling for it
  2. As Carol Fisher, Barbara Flynn is the beating heart of ‘Lost’, achingly moving as someone trying to reconcile the looming shadows of the past 
  3. It is extremely thoughful of them to give us a shower scene with the lovely Kieran Bew in ‘First Casualty’, especially since [spoiler alert] his Lieutenant Stephen Lockfield doesn’t last too long…
  4. And in the same episode, Michelle Fairley is brilliant as a DI who is so wound up by the team that she can’t control her inner snark
  5. Though she may not appear in ‘The Prodigal’ for long, Sarah Solemani is searingly effective as a woman truly hollowed out by grief and guilt

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