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  • Writer's picturePaul Gainey

Silent Witness

The 26th series of Silent Witness came to a conclusion on Tuesday night and the instalment saw the team continue their high-stakes investigation, uncovering corruption and deceit within the local police force in Southbay.

And million tuned in to see Nikki Alexander (Emilia Fox) and the team rummaging around in more cadavers.

The new double-episodes have gone reassuringly back to basics after a 25th anniversary series that welcomed Amanda Burton’s character, Sam Ryan, back to the show. This was meant as a treat for long-term fans but the conspiracy-tinged six-episode story arc proved less satisfying than the familiar self-enclosed weekly yarns.

I have no strong feelings on the Burton vs Fox question but rather admire the latter’s commitment to her role — a dedication that is blurring into real life as Fox begins a new round of investigating actual murder cases in Channel 4’s In the Footsteps of Killers.

Back at forensics HQ, Nikki’s fledgling romance with beefy colleague, Jack (David Caves), was largely on hold as the team got stuck into examining boot-prints and human innards.

New lab trainee Velvy Schur’s principal role seemed to be in asking questions that translated Nikki’s medical jargon into plain English. Played by Ridley Road actor Alastair Michael, Velvy’s back story was that he’s attempting to escape his ultra-Orthodox Jewish community.

The other newcomer to this series is pathologist Dr Gabriel Folukoya (Aki Omoshaybi, Star Wars: The Last Jedi).

There was a romantic ending, which saw Jack and Nikki frolicking on the beach together.

Written by Rebecca Wojciechowski, whose screen credits include EastEnders, Casualty and Holby City, this was Silent Witness safely back in its familiar groove, with straightforward storytelling, a plot that keeps you guessing and a side order of impressive technical jargon.

And while you sense the makers straining to be more ambitious, millions might respond with the adage about trying to fix things that ain’t broke.

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