Our favourite team of forensic scientists/wannabe detectives are back for an eighteenth series. Of course, the team isn’t what it used to be. It started as a one-woman show where Amanda Burton, in her role of Dr. Sam Ryan, stared out of the window for ninety per cent of the time and upset everyone around her for the remaining ten. Then it became Sam, Leo and Harry, then after Sam had gone, Nikki, Leo and Harry. But now Leo and Harry have vanished too (Harry resigned, Leo was blown up – bad times) and Nikki (Emilia Fox) has to cope with weird cage fighter Jack and his outspoken assistant Clarissa. Richard Lintern is also wandering around in the background but, to be honest, he didn’t do much last series so it’s probably best not to get one’s hopes up regarding him.
Last year the series was not at its best, with stories ranging from the utterly incoherent to the plain ridiculous. And considering the series has had a track record of experimenting drastically with stylish high definition filmmaking, the whole thing looked pretty grey and unremarkable. And to make matters worse, nobody ever turned the bloody lights on! It was a shame, as series fifteen and sixteen had been some of the best ever, with ensnaring stories and shocking moments (so daring the BBC had to apologise).
A lot of the promotional photography for this upcoming series features dark landscapes of the UK’s capital and writer Ed Whitmore has said that this series aims to ‘hold up a microscope to contemporary London’. He continues to say that ‘Executive Producer Phillippa Giles and Producer Sharon Bloom have been fearless and far-minded in nurturing stories that propel our heroes into new and perilous worlds. In turn, those worlds have been indelibly brought to life by the terrific work of our actors and the cinematic ambition of the direction, cinematography and production design.’
Silent Witness Series 18 begins on BBC One & BBC One HD on Tuesday 6 January and will be available on BBC iPlayer for 30 days. Watch a clip below from the first episode, Sniper’s Nest, below: