Review: Silent Witness 2020

Film editor Lucy Lillystone reviews the latest season of Silent Witness

Lucy Lillystone
9th February 2020
Credit; BBC, IMDb
The best part of the new year for me is always a new series of Silent Witness. It's like clockwork - the new year hits, we're officially in January which could only mean the return of Jack, Nikki, Clarissa and Thomas for another 10 action packed episodes of drama. And this January was no different except from the occasional reschedule of the second part of an episode onto a Wednesday because of football (no surprise there though, football is apparently always the priority? Not like I waited a whole year for this show).

As usual, I could not remember a single thing about the previous season but this was no problem. The great thing about Silent Witness is you don't really need to watch any of the other series to know what is going on, as proven by my housemate who joined me this year for the first time. Anyway, the 23rd season started off with a harrowing plane crash that turned into something much deeper regarding a suicide chat room but in classic Silent Witness style, the team solved the mystery as they always do.

Usually, I know whose done the killing just before the end of the first episode. However, for this story-line, I had no clue

What really touched me this season, though, was the two-part episode dealing with domestic abuse. and was quite surprised to find that it was the abused all along, punishing the abusers of her friends. For me, this was one of the harder episodes to watch, really dealing with domestic abuse in a realistic and heart-breaking way and in a way that isn't usually depicted on screen (female abusers is very much a thing). It was also extremely upsetting to see Nikki's flashbacks regarding her mum and dad.

In terms of our Lyell team, this was not an easy season for them as we watch Clarissa go through taking care of her ill mother and having to decide whether to help her or ease her suffering. Which, by the end of the season, culminates in her deciding to leave the Lyell which almost had me in tears. It most definitely will not be the same without Clarissa and god knows how Jack will survive. Their dynamic is one of my favourite things about the show and she will most definitely be missed.

Credit: IMDb, BBC

Speaking of the last episode, Silent Witness left with a bang. Literally. The finale saw viewers shocked as one of it's main characters, Dr Thomas Chamberlain died. Now, despite not being my favourite character, his death definitely had tears rolling down my cheeks as you realise the harrowing gap he is leaving behind and the pain his colleagues (friends!) must now go through. Since his arrival in 2014, he has been the heart and soul of the Lyell and what made his death even worse was that we saw him choke to death in front of Nikki and Clarissa after being exposed to a nerve agent. He heroically prevents them from entering the room before dying moments later and it is truly heartbreaking.

On top of this, the previous episode had us scared for the life of Jack, another main character and member of the team (and if I say so, my favourite character). So, while you're worrying for this man as his father cries at the glass window in the hospital, Thomas is dying elsewhere. Truly, the episode was devastating and made us realise just how dangerous the jobs these characters undertake are and that really, none of them are safe. While it was refreshing to not have Nikki in a dangerous situation this season, I didn't appreciate the pain I went through from Jack and Thomas.

All in all, this season of Silent Witness was just as jam-packed, hard-hitting, action-filled and emotional as ever and I look forward to the following seasons. Although, sadly, it will not be the same without Thomas and Clarissa.

Credit; BBC trailers, Youtube
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AUTHOR: Lucy Lillystone
English Language and Literature graduate, writer and Film Editor 2019/20. Passionate about film, TV and books. 99.9% of my articles are me crying, emotional over my love for my favourite characters. Twitter: @lucylillystone_

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