The Binge-Watch List Spotlight: "Silent Witness"
The stars of the Lyell Centre are returning to screens at home, and this time, with the addition of Jason Wong, the show’s first ever Asian lead.
For the uninitiated, Silent Witness has been Britain’s longest running crime series that’s currently on TV. How long, you ask? Well, the first ever episode aired in February 1996, and it’s now on its 24th season. The show follows a team of forensic pathology experts and their investigations into various crimes.
On 15 October, Dr Nikki Alexander and Jack Hodgson will be back, following the sudden death and departure of their friends from prior series. While we say goodbye to the much-loved Dr Thomas Chamberlain and Clarissa Mullery, the series welcomes two new main cast members.
Which actors are in the show?
The central character is Emilia Fox’s Dr Nikki Alexander. The role has been hers for 16 years, and from our conversation with the star herself, she considers the character to be her friend, and one that has taught her much about life. Besides starring in this series, Fox has also had another prominent role within the BBC content offerings as Merlin’s Morgause.
Alongside Fox is another Silent Witness permanent fixture, David Caves, who’s been with the show since 2013. His character, Jack Hodgson, is a former forensic scientist for the police. At Lyell, he’s the centre’s forensic expert.
And making their debut onto the show are Jason Wong (who’s part Singaporean, part Malaysian), and Genesis Lynea, as the forensic ecologist Simone Tyler. Wong’s Adam Yuen is the first ever Asian regular for the long-standing series, and will offer a fresh—albeit millennial—perspective.
What is Silent Witness Series 24 about?
This series marks a major evolution for the show. While two significant characters bid adieu to the show, two fresh faces enter the fray.
For Alexander, who witnessed the passing of Dr Thomas Chamberlain, the series starts with a nod to a prior episode, where a man was sent to prison for a school shooting. As she and Hodgson went to investigate a suspicious death in prison, she came across the perpetrator—which forces her to relive her trauma.
Hodgson, on the other hand, will have to find a way to work with the new recruit, Yuen, as the two got off on the wrong foot. “It slightly upsets the balance. Adam is quite a cocky guy, very bright, very clever and Jack is a bit suspicious of him, so there’s definite friction between the two of them”, Caves divulges.
As the trio find their working dynamic throughout the season, Alexander and Hodgson’s friendship might evolve into something more. “They don’t have significant others in their personal lives, [so] Jack and Nikki rely on each other. They are two single people, and their brother/sister relationship changes, and they look at each other with slightly different eyes”, Fox reveals.
What does this mean for Yuen? His character will resonate with Silent Witness’ younger audience. “He wants things now, he wants it fast and jumps in with both feet. He’s very direct and treads on everyone’s toes in the beginning because he wants to impress and do a great job”, shares Wong during the interview.
From the three early access episodes, this is a series you don’t want to miss. Fans will be pleased to see how the show fills in the roles of Dr Thomas Chamberlain and Clarissa Mullery while simultaneously future-proofing the show by bringing in the new characters of Adam Yuen and Simone Tyler.
Where’s the trailer?
Ready to get a slice of Lyell action? The show premieres Friday, 15 October. Catch the series on UnifiTV channel 481, and BBC Player on Astro Go.
Watch this space for the full interview with Jason Wong.