Thursday, 21 February 2013

Silent Witness Series Review

Silent Witness has come a long way in the last sixteen years and this latest series has seen some pretty big changes. The big one that I was expecting was that Tom Ward has left.

What was disappointing is the way he left. The last series was pretty poor and it aired out of order which meant that it ended with Harry moving in with Nikki after an explosion in his flat. This series had a quick mention of Harry accepting a professorship in America. And that was it. The only real reference to him all series.

It was frustrating that there's been years of build-up with Nikki and Harry, they've had this brilliant connection and play off each other so well, and it's all for nothing. I understand the actor wanting to leave, and I understand the fact that they couldn't change the last episode into his last one, but I think they could've done something just to include him a little more; maybe a couple of emails or something, just to make his disappearance more credible.

I also still haven't totally warmed to the new boy, Jack. On a totally shallow level, he's not as nice to look at as Harry. I'm also not that impressed by the tough guy routine. That said, he's an interesting character and I'm glad they've brought in someone who does forensics rather than just another pathologist; it's given them another angle to focus on with cases.

While it's taking me time to get used to Jack, I liked Clarissa from the off. I didn't like Jack's attitude that if they had him, they'd have her too, but I like her as a character, she balances out Jack.

During the last series Leo got on my nerves. A lot. It was his own fault for ditching Janet. The last episode of the series (before the gap due to an episode being too similar to a real life case) was just weird and I didn't like him in it at all. In this series he felt like the old Leo again, I really liked him, which I think is why the last episode shocked me so much.

Of the whole series I feel like the really standout episodes were the third (True Love Waits) and the fifth (Greater Love). The first episode was a strong start to to the series but I don't remember too much about the second; I'm sure I enjoyed it, but it's obviously not lodged in my memory.

The third episode really stuck with me, I think because it was so creepy. I was actually scared to go outside after watching it so made Mr Click take Tara out that night. The fourth episode felt like regular Silent Witness and then there's the last episode, and what can I say about that?

I haven't read any spoilers for this series, so aside from knowing Tom Ward wouldn't be in it and that David Caves and Liz Carr would, I had no idea what to expect. I always used to be a bit of a spoiler-fiend, looking out for what was coming next, but I've honestly enjoyed not knowing what was coming (except for some odd comments on Twitter about who Nikki was snogging). I think I'll try and stay spoiler-free about other TV series in the future now.

Leo's exit was cleverly done so that anyone who knew it was coming would think it was happening at the end of the first episode of Greater Love, especially as there were no clips of him in the preview. And then he was better and everything was good until the end! As it was happening I was thinking 'how are they going to get him out of this?' And the answer was, they didn't. He's gone.

Whenever a character dies in a TV show and you see the funeral, it's disappointing if former cast members don't return. I realise it's not practical but it still feels wrong. We've spent almost ten years watching the relationships between these characters and it doesn't feel believable to me that Harry wouldn't be at Leo's funeral. I'm in serious need of some fanfiction featuring Harry's flight being delayed so he couldn't be there and then a bit of he and Nikki comforting each other.

Thinking about Leo's departure, I think it was really the only way he could have gone. With Harry it's plausible that he could move on to better things but the shot at the end with Leo's name on the gravestone with his wife and daughter felt right (even if it does seen to have moved since we saw it last). Apparently Emilia Fox has signed on for the next series, which is good because the show improved in leaps and bounds since she joined. I can't help but wonder what direction it will take next year, especially as part of me wonders whether Tom Ward and William Gaminara were jumping ship because last year's series largely seemed disappointing.

I really hope that they don't run it into the ground and then cancel it. If it's going to end I hope it's at the end of a strong series which you can look back on fondly (I'm looking at you Waking The Dead and ER), rather than something which just fizzled out. It's such a great show and it's proved it can survive a major cast change before, so I want it to survive this one.

And if they're taking Leo away, the least they can do is let us have Harry back.

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