Silent Witness-A New Series-
One Of Our Own
Some notes and dialogue on first watching.
Please see end of these notes for final review PART TWO of this series of Silent Witness.
(thunder and rain)
Church In The wild”-Kayne West
(cool lyrics actually!)
Kayne West: (sings)
“Jeezy laid beats..”
So Jack is cage fighting…Oo La La.
“Torn wound margins”
“No powder tattoo”
“large exit wound at the occipital bone..”
Hunky new Detective talking all huskily is the latest incomer to visit Niki, the oracle.
He looks at her disconsolately and says:
“If this was my office this would be when I would break out the Scotch…”
(another) Crime scene.
“OK, foot prints, two maybe, lots of activity..”
“He was bleeding, someone knelt..”
Jack to Clarissa🙁 on the ‘phone)
“Money nut, scissors, I like this game”
“Why would anyone Velcro their i-pod inside the passenger seat?”
“Don’t worry, I am looking intrigued..”
“When is a door not a door?..”
So Niki brings a crap bottle of Scotch to the hunky Detective’s office. She is looking all bright and bushy tailed.
“I’ve got a much better one at home…”
“Much better..” Oo La La.
Kayne West: (sings)
“Jeezy laid beats..”
Another chance for us to objectify Jack with no shirt on. Terrible, truly terrible.
Another crime scene.
“He walked here..”
“He entered a catatonic state when he was shot..”
Niki is rocking a cool sideways bunch in her hair with a kind of Elvis Presley slick back top.
“Visual match to that used on Honeywell..
“IR Spectrometry to confirm..”
Niki knows everything.
“Borstals closed down ten years ago..”
“Youth Custody Centre Spots just doesn’t have the same ring to it”!
The lungs look suspiciously floppy and pink like some oddly shaped fish that Niki is playing with in a steel bowl.
Ah, it’s nice to see Niki happy. In the orange shadowed Laboratory corridor.
Jack to Niki:
“For what it’s worth, I think he’s allright”
“Crazy, middle aged, alcoholic..”
“Then there’s me..”
So they actually send Jack in to fight a suspect to check whether the suspect can hit with his left arm above the elbow.
(I was a bit slow on the uptake there)
Final Review of Silent Witness
Yes, I know I pillory Silent witness . However Silent Witness is one of those dramas that is both enjoyable to watch and to write about. And make fun of.
Me, as described along the way in my reviews find the autopsies to be particularly interesting and amusing at the same time. A realisation which is or should be surprising to me. since I have a long held aversion to close up gore.
Dead bodies and bloody pulp. Lashings of blood. probing plucking with tiny tweezers to unearth a silvery shining hair or bullet. To be pulled or plopped or extricated. The find from some subterranean subcutaneous tissue. As always.
I remember Twin Peaks and the autopsy of Laura Palmer being considered hugely and horrifically shocking at the time. Particularly the tweezing out (in slow motion ) of that special something beneath her fingernails.
Today this autopsy scene is so commonplace as to be considered ordinary in Detective drama. We really have pretty much seen it all. The autopsy is now a concentrated theatre of spectacle. Where the human body holds both the answer and the clues. To its own death.
Where once I found autopsies horrendous: Silent Witness has made the performance of them into a kind of art. Call it histological art. Or possibly the human body in all its histological glory.
The solving of the physiological conundrum is parallel to the crime solving. Perhaps I am just a sucker for when Mr. Smooth asks:
“Did you do a brain histology?”
I am like, yes, let’s see that. I want to see that in fact. That would be very interesting indeed.
So we have had likeable Russian billionaires. whose fate we were suspense fully involved in worrying about. There were enjoyable and believable baddies.
In fact the secondary characters I felt were all excellent performances. There were resourceful Cockney ex-soldiers and well spoken anarchists. There were chilling transformations and a credible Bonnie & Clyde style pairing full of pathos and dread.
Then there were Essex wide boys and ex-gangsters. With rarely seen sights of Essex seaside towns in sweeping vistas of blue. Equally unknown to most TV dramas were the insides of traditional English bungalows with sandy beige interiors, sepia paintings and original glass mottled inner doors.
There were beautiful people in perilously high skyscrapers, dreaming of success or more success and riches. A robotic and trance-like beauty living a cloistered life. Who lisped dutifully through incredible bow shaped lips.
There were harried and soul weary Social workers near burn out or worse. There were themes intermingled of the quandaries of decision of child protection. As seen from the side of the parents and social workers too.
There was an allusion, I felt, to an actual real life case. Just not with such a halfway happy ending. Silent witness after all has done this before. Laudably so.
Then there is Niki and her crew and their side stories. With a large helping of histrionic melodrama. The requisite human interest story lines. You can either buy into this soap opera side helping or not. Myself, I never fully do.
However this off-kilter assonance of love interest and day to day quips and banalities from the Lyle Laboratories crew is what gives Silent Witness it’s charm.
The unlikely utterances and over-emotionality of the various Detective Inspectors that come Niki’s way and unburden themselves into her stalwart metaphorical embrace: is what endears Silent witness to me.
Then of course there is clever and witty Clarissa and increasingly cynical world weary Jack. he too, like Niki, the walking talking Oracle to all and sundry who darken her sumptuous glass office door: knows everything. Pretty much.
As does Mrs. Smooth. Who is the only one to consider IR Spectrometry and a brain histology. And a multitude of finer points of pathology besides.
I like how Silent Witness offers us up at least three possible suspects per story. How they shuffle those possibilities around. How we can sometimes guess right from the beginning. something later confirmed for example, by ultraviolet light.
Silent Witness can also shock you with the final reveal, as it did me, with a completely surprising revelation, of murdering baddies.
Then of course, no one does death quite so stylishly and imaginatively as in 1001 possible ways to die. Illustrated for our understanding in shadowy flashback like a medical tutorial:
“”He entered a catatonic state and walked there..”
Has to be my prime pick.
Then of course there is Niki. Indefatigable, implacable. Impervious, mostly, to all subjectivity. Except for the previously described soap opera soppiness.
Niki has finally been given free reign to put her paws all over the giant windowed files on the Lyle Laboratory monitor screen. She persistently insists the correct nature of a pathological clue. Niki has been officially awarded my highest accolade: that of being supercool.
I could have sworn that another person entirely was the/ a murderer in the story involving a hamster..
I must have missed something.
I especially liked the words riverine and aliquot.
It seems the designer of Niki’s jumper could not decide upon lace or wool. So they made a jumper of half of each.
Those who remember the British series The League Of Gentlemen will recognise one of the actors from that series. Giving a wonderful and tortured performance in a claustrophobic case of domestic horror and tragedy.