Emilia Fox, Richard Lintern and David Caves discuss series 17 of hit BBC One drama Silent Witness, including what the new head of the Lyell Centre, Dr Thomas Chamberlain, brings to the series.
Introduction from writer Tim Prager
Writer Tim Prager introduces Series 17
of Silent Witness, as the show returns to BBC One this January.
Silent Witness is back, returning with five
two-part dramas in which forensic pathology and forensic science are the means
to investigate our fears, weaknesses, manipulations and desires.
Change at the Lyell Centre continues as Dr
Nikki Alexander and her colleagues Jack Hodgson and Clarissa Mullery come to
terms with the arrival of a new boss, pathologist and politically adroit Thomas
Chamberlain played by Richard Lintern (Shadow
Line, Spies Of Warsaw). Tension
is high and the team are openly sceptical of his good intentions. Chamberlain quickly
recognises he will have to earn their confidence and trust if he is to make a
success of his new appointment.
Silent Witness is an extraordinarily
resilient programme, able to grow and adapt, as it delivers mysteries, which can
be both thought-provoking and thrilling. Emilia Fox, along with David Caves,
Richard Lintern and Liz Carr create a new and dynamic chemistry at the heart of
the series, bringing fresh energy and passion to each story.
The producing team behind the programme's
most recent success, Executive Producer Phillippa Giles and Producer Sharon
Bloom, have worked hard to ensure that the stories continue to be ambitious. The
range of subjects tackled are a measure of the show’s flexibility and its
determination to remain current as it challenges as well as entertains its
audience. The stories in this series range from extortion that leads to murder; Nikki’s pursuit of the truth that frees a convicted killer; a trip to
Scotland to investigate a violent death; and the hunt for a baby and ends with
Jack’s confrontation with his troubled past.
Silent Witness goes from
strength to strength as it continues to attract the finest quality of irecting and acting talent, and once again delivers the highest production values
on British television.
Dr Nikki Alexander
Forensic pathologist Nikki joined The Lyell Centre in 2004 when she gate-crashed Leo
Dalton’s morgue to use the mortuary’s facial reconstruction software… and never
left. An optimist with a curious and questioning approach, Nikki is highly
emotionally intelligent and has a sense of vulnerability about her. However,
when she’s up against it, Nikki is perfectly capable of showing her mettle.
She’s dealt with horrific situations in her work as a pathologist, and despite
losing her mother, and then her feckless father, her own strength and determination
has allowed her to follow her own path.
and disarmingly quick-witted, Jack is one of the youngest forensic scientists
in the country, but what he lacks in experience, he more than makes up for in
talent and dedication. Jack joined The Lyell Centre last year after leaving the
largest, best-funded private forensic services lab in London in order to move
more quickly up the hierarchy. Clever but not particularly cerebral, he exudes
the confidence of someone who always believes he’s right, but has sufficient
humility to admit his errors. Athletic with a brutal streak, Jack uses his
amateur cage-fighting as a release, or maybe self-inflicted punishment?
Dr Thomas Chamberlain
and experienced forensic pathologist, Thomas has a political nose that makes
him a good choice to lead the Lyell Centre forward. When Lyell Centre directors
head-hunted Thomas, he was seduced by the increase in money and status, but the
challenge of running a cutting-edge forensic facility sealed the deal. Positive,
dynamic, and charismatic, Thomas is a social animal who’s very astute at
reading people. Keen to ingratiate himself into the team, Thomas craves a sense
of belonging he’s never had before. Yet, he’ll soon see that achieving this and
following in Leo Dalton’s illustrious footsteps are tougher than he ever
dead-pan and a great listener, Clarissa is a super-efficient forensic examiner
who speaks with authority. Experienced in many disciplines, from ballistics to
blood-splatter analysis, Clarissa enjoyed a successful working relationship
with Jack in London over three years until he persuaded her to join him at the
Lyell Centre last year. Armed with an encyclopaedic knowledge of forensic
breakthroughs and always abreast of advancements in the field, Clarissa has
been crucial to Jack’s rise to lead forensic scientist - and he knows it. An
intensely private woman, Clarissa’s personal life remains a complete mystery to
all who work with her.