Dark green forests, death amongst nature, achingly beautiful handheld photography….I kept thinking I’d wandered into a Lars Von Trier movie. Perhaps it’s best it was just Silent Witness, and not some weird Scottish-set sequel to Antichrist, as I have no wish to see Emilia Fox taking a pair of rusty scissors to her privates (don’t go getting ideas, BBC – copyright Barnaby Walter 2014; if you want the rights, we can talk).
The murders continued, though Nikki and her detective bestie (Martin Compston) had problems when the local pathologist turned up wanting to know why he’d been sidelined and she’s getting all the action. Maybe it’s because she is photogenic and played by a famous actor from a big family acting dynasty. Who knows.
The most impressive performance came from Gary Lewis (pictured above). Many will know him as the gruff dad in Stephen Daldry’s film Billy Elliot, and here he is pitch-perfect as a cop who got himself tied up in a case that quickly spiralled out of control.
As the bodies continue to pile up, things got more grisly, with distressed females in terrible circumstances. One highlight was a disturbing, roving shot of a woman chained up and screaming in a….well, it wasn’t clear where at the time, but it certainly wasn’t Debenhams.
Sometimes it looked like we were getting into Luther territory, where a compelling crime drama becomes so obsessed with nastiness it becomes close to unwatchable. Thankfully, we were spared anything too gratuitous. There will be some who accuse this weeks story of misogyny, and it is true there is too much violence towards women on television, but I’d argue more of a compelling case for misandry could be made. Men come off very badly in this, even the ones supposed to be on the side of the light rather than the dark.
This week’s story was really very well done, though like many Silent Witness episodes, it was easy to get confused with the many twists and turns by the time the finale arrived. Though it did get hysterical in the closing act, there was so much about tonight’s instalment to be impressed by it’s hard to mind
Silent Witness: In a Lonely Place is available to view on BBC iPlayer for a limited time.