Last Night’s TV – Silent Witness

We’ve got something of a plethora of very gory police and forensics shows around at the minute, but the return of Silent Witness was a welcome addition for those of us with strong stomachs.

My husband – bless him – isn’t counted in that number and nervously asks before each viewing of such shows, “Is it going to be full of gross stuff?” to which I usually reply, “Oh god yeah…” prompting him to slink off and find something else to do, hence giving me full reign over the sofa.

And I know he’s not alone in his aversion to gore, albeit pretend gore. There’s been something of an upswell of late of viewer objections to seeing close-ups of hideous corpses and internal organs lobbed about willy nilly, but I think it’s brill.

The special effects and make-up bods must have a great time, sloshing about in all those buckets of fake blood and doing up actors to make them look horrifically murdered.

However, I have to say, if Silent Witness were real – and pray that there are few elements based on realism – I’d hate for my body to be left to the devices of the team at the helm here. They’re too busy having it away in car parks or angrily slamming stuff around, including bodies, to actually find out why you’re dead.

But in terms of tense drama, few do it better than Silent Witness. Tom Ward and Emilia Fox as Harry and Nikki respectively have on-screen personas that make them totally believable, but for me, the character of the wife of one of the stiffs – ironically enough, a bereavement counsellor – played by Lucy Cohu was just too OTT.

Her character, Rebecca, just screamed “I’m shady and a total bitch” from the get go, and there wasn’t much of the grieving widow about her as her husband Stephen, barely cold, seemed largely and instantaneously forgotten by her in her haste to snare another bloke into her tangled web.

But whether she’ll turn out to be a cunning murderer is anyone’s guess; there were so many red herrings lobbed into the plot last night, the whiff of fish was palpable.

I think one of my favourite characters has to be lab assistant Charlie who’s played by the much under-rated Wunmi Mosaku. Charlie’s so hostile and fed up, I just wanted to get someone to send her a memo telling her she’s doing a great job…

Yes she’s rude about the deceased, yes she’s prone to tantrums, and yes, she’s a tad careless with stuff, including it seems, cyanide – for which she paid a price – but she’s one of the most rounded characters in the show and she provides some laugh out loud moments in an otherwise rather sombre show.

But I think the best thing is that all the much talked about monetary crises haven’t affected the production of this well loved show, thank goodness. That being the case, I think we’re in for a treat during its present run, and for me personally, a whole sofa to myself every time it’s on… 😉

Lynn is an editor and writer here at Unreality TV and is trained psychotherapist and the author of two books. She's addicted to soaps, period drama and reality TV shows such as X Factor, I'm A Celeb and Big Brother.