Britain’s most ridiculous (though terrifically compelling) crime drama is at it again: trying to convince their audience a leading character has died at the end of the first of a two part story. In the trailer for tomorrow’s finale we see Nikki sitting by a coffin crying and saying things like ‘He’s been like a father to me’. Who knows, maybe Professor Leo Dalton has really been beaten to death while investigating a killing in Afghanistan. Or maybe we’re being deceived by clever editing. Tomorrow we shall know the truth.
Tonight’s story opener – the last two-parter in the series – was largely set in Afghanistan, and saw Nikki and Jack joining the professor in the desert to examine the scene of crime where a dead Briton was found. Nikki was in her element, as bones are her thing, and the young man’s corpse is heavily decomposed. Meanwhile Jack, though ruggedly handsome, acted like an idiot for the majority of the running time, pissing off soldiers and throwing his weight around (and that is some substantial weight if those arms and shoulders are anything to go by).
As always, the pathologists spent most of their time not doing their jobs, but by setting it in the desert, with limited authority available, the writers have found a loophole. They can have their pathologists acting like detectives and get away with it even more than usual. If they can avoid the roadside bombs, that is (there’s a very near miss for poor Leo at one point).
Middle-aged women across the country will be holding their breaths tomorrow to see if dearest Leo is still alive. Though after the ‘Harry Cunningham is dead’ con Silent Witness pulled in 2011, I’d advise not opening the box of Kleenex just yet.
Silent Witness, Series 16, concludes on BBC One HD & BBC One on 8 February at 9PM. Previous episodes can currently be found on BBC iPlayer.