The death of a pregnant girl found submerged in a suitcase leaves Nikki (Emilia Fox) and Jack (David Caves) determined to find both her killer, and the baby taken from her womb in the first of a new Silent Witness.
It’s believed she died within a 24 hour period: her body having been dumped only two hours before the end of it. There’s a deep horizontal laceration to the back of her head which seems to be the main cause of death, but the motive remains a mystery.
As the disturbing case unfolds, Thomas (Richard Lintern) spots connections between the victim and the criminal underworld.
DS Sally Kirchner (Morven Christie) believes the prime suspect is unsympathetic Simon Turner (Alex Hassell), a married man and the baby’s father who compares the conception to a drunken liaison rather than to ‘Wuthering Heights’.
There is no shortage of shady suspects involved, including the victim’s addict boyfriend Nuri (Fady Elsayed), and drug dealer Bekir (Akin Gazi).
The latter is believed to be the brains behind the death of Colin Hart (Matthew Ashforde), a Drugs Squad cop who is shot in the head during a drive-by assassination.
DI John Brooke (Sean Gallagher), the dead man’s colleague, is out for revenge, but a new line of enquiry stems from Jack’s growing frustration over DI Brooke’s meddling in the case.
In case you didn’t know it, Silent Witness has been one of the BBC’s biggest success stories since it premiered in 1996.
This year marks the 10th anniversary of Emilia Fox joining the show.
In the early days some thought she would be here today and gone tomorrow, but the actress has given original star Amanda Burton a run for her money as long suffering forensic expert Nikki.
“All the episodes this series have got great stories, and that is what I hope viewers love about Silent Witness. There’s this great mix of whodunit thrillers, and also some really topical things as well,” she explains.
After a decade on air Nikki might be the veteran of the show, but fellow forensic expert Jack is a little more of a dark horse with some interesting skills. The fact he has a passion for cage fighting is one of them.
“Thankfully we have continued that thread on into this series,” explains David Caves. “So I get back into the cage and get beaten up, but also do a bit of the beating up.”
As beloved character Leo died at the end of the last series, the show needed someone worthy of filling his shoes. Step forward Richard Lintern as Thomas Chamberlain.
“He’s the new head of the Lyell Centre in the sad absence of Leo,” explains Richard. “He’s not taking over Leo’s character, he’s taking over Leo’s job, which causes quite a few feathers to fly.”
Richard adds: “If you imagine someone who works in your office or who’s in your life who always believes himself to be 100 per cent right, and 99 per cent of the time is.”
Thanks to that heady mix of great stories and characters, there’s little wonder Silent Witness is unlikely to go for a Burton just yet.