Series 22 of Silent Witness continues a rich vein of form as it hits 200 episodes of hot button topics
“Things don’t always conform to expectation”
Series 22 of Silent Witness sees the crime procedural hit the impressive landmark of 200 episodes and after the highs of the previous season, it maintains a strong standard of storytelling that keeps it feeling fresh, even if it does tend to fall back on its regular crutches as it refuses to let hardly any characters recur beyond their single stories.
Even with Nikki having found love and managing to maintain a transatlantic relationship with Michael Landes’ US diplomat Matt from last time around, keeping him in Washington means he’s barely there. And new intern Alice, who gets to play a big part in the final case, is only introduced just beforehand which feels like a waste of Kiran Sonia Sawar (and also reduces the story’s emotional impact since she’s practically a stranger, qv Mexican intern Luisa from last season’s finale…).
Still, we’re entertained here by trans issues and the Troubles, street drugs and the opioid crisis, the inevitable corrupt police officers and the reputation of the Lyell being questioned yet again (as if the sainted Nikki would ever be allowed to do anything wrong). There’s even time for a quick sojourn to Brighton and cracking a bit of internal betrayal, it’s all very well done.
Top guest appearances
- Jemima Rooper is one of those actors I’ve loved for a long time who by rights ought to be much more acclaimed. In ‘Two Spirits’, her wife is denial is a little underused but still emotively done
- The Fugitive Doctor herself pops up in ‘Lift Up Your Hearts’ and Jo Martin’s variation on the grieving mother theme is powerfully essayed, particularly through her work with the choir
- In the team’s day trip to Brighton in ‘To Brighton, To Brighton’, Samantha Bond’s late career changer DS Hannah Quicke is the best of a good bunch
- One of the problems of having so many people I’m happy to see on screen is that inevitably you don’t always get a lot of them. Unconnectedly, Amanda Root is good in ‘Death Maker’…
- Adelle Leonce makes her mark most effectively as a (predictably) tragic lesbian cop in ‘Betrayal’, the kinda police officer who deserves a series-long arc