Silent Witness 2021—cast, episodes and more about the new series

Silent Witness is almost back on our screens but what lies in store for our favourite characters?

Silent Witness 2021 cast including Emilia Fox, Jason Wong and David Caves
(Image credit: BBC)

Silent Witness is back in 2021 and looks set to be bigger and better than ever as fans prepare for the return of our favourite cast members. 

Silent Witness has gone from strength to strength since it first debuted in 1996, then starring Amanda Burton as pathologist Dr Sam Ryan. Following her departure, acclaimed actor Emilia Fox followed in her footsteps and joined Silent Witness as the iconic Dr Nikki Alexander as the show became even darker and more intense. Now fans of thrillers such as Nine Perfect Strangers and Behind Her Eyes and BBC drama Vigil will no doubt be delighted to hear of the hit show's return after *that* emotional season 23 finale.

This saw Nikki and forensic specialist Jack Hodgson (David Caves) bid farewell to two of their much-loved colleagues in very different, yet equally tear-jerking, circumstances. Now they’re set to be joined by a new main character as Silent Witness builds towards its 25th anniversary year in 2022. 

But who is in the Silent Witness cast, how many episodes are there and when is it back on our screens? 

*Warning: spoilers ahead!*

When is Silent Witness back?

Silent Witness is back on Monday September 6, beginning with the first in a two-part episode mysteriously entitled Redemption. Though fans might have been expecting Silent Witness to be back on our screens sooner, the Covid-19 pandemic meant that the January release date of recent years was not possible. 

Silent Witness cast 2021

(Image credit: BBC)

Instead, the show returned to filming in early September 2020 after it had initially been scheduled to take place ahead of the UK’s lockdown. And it seems that despite the longer wait, fans will not be left disappointed, as RadioTimes has reported that executive producer Jo McCellen described the upcoming series as “brilliant”. 

“Series 24 is going to be brilliant and, although fans will have to wait a little while longer than usual to see it, I promise them it is worth it!” she revealed. 

The new Silent Witness episodes will be broadcast on Monday and Tuesdays on BBC One at 9pm. 

Who is in the Silent Witness cast for season 24?

 Silent Witness cast list: 

  • Dr Nikki Alexander - Emilia Fox 
  • Jack Hodgson - David Caves  
  • Dr Adam Yuen - Jason Wong 
  • Guest star Kevin Eldon
  • Guest star Sian Phillips
  • Guest star Nicholas Woodeson
  • Guest star Pauline McGlynn  

As all die-hard fans of the long-running crime drama will know, the Silent Witness cast will sadly be missing a few of our favourite characters when season 24 premieres on September 6. In the heart-stopping finale of Silent Witness season 23, Dr Nikki Alexander and Clarissa Mullery watched helplessly as their boss Thomas Chamberlain (played by Richard Lintern) investigated a nerve agent that had left their colleague Jack in hospital, only to tragically pass away from its effects himself. 

Though Thomas ultimately solved the mystery of the nerve agent’s components, he sacrificed his own life to do so. Earlier in the series, Clarissa had intention to leave the Lyell Centre and Thomas’ devastating death did nothing to change her mind. With Clarissa having arrived alongside Jack in season 16, the loss of her and Thomas as might leave some concerned about who exactly will be returning as Silent Witness cast members in the new series. 

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Thankfully for fans, both Nikki and Jack will be back in the Silent Witness cast in season 24. This makes Emilia Fox the most long-standing Silent Witness cast member left in the show. She has played the role of Nikki since 2004 and has previously opened up on her real-life dramas alongside her Silent Witness role.

She and David will be joined in Silent Witness season 24 by a new character, Dr Adam Yuen, played by newcomer Jason Wong. Though it’s not known yet exactly how this role will play out across the latest season, it’s understood that he will fill the gap left by Thomas, who was also a doctor.

Silent Witness 2021 cast

(Image credit: BBC)

As reported by RadioTimes, Jason Wong revealed his excitement at becoming part of the Silent Witness “family” as the show enters its 24th series.

“I am so excited to be joining Silent Witness, like everyone else I have been a huge fan of the show for years and to be becoming part of the family feels like a huge privilege,” he explained. “I can’t wait for audiences to see all we have in store for them in this new series.”

Jason, Emilia and Jack will also reportedly be acting alongside several wonderful guest stars playing currently undisclosed roles, including Sian Phillips, Nicholas Woodeson and Pauline McGlynn.

How many episodes are in the new series of Silent Witness?

As with many of the previous seasons, the new series of Silent Witness will have ten individual episodes. However, these episodes will make up five distinct storylines, with fans being kept in suspense by the show’s preference for a two-part structure. This means that when Silent Witness season 24 premieres on September 6, it will do so with Redemption Part 1. 

Viewers will then have to tune in again on September 7 for Redemption Part 2, to learn the truth of this mysterious case. The decision to continue the storyline across two nights certainly makes for a more intense experience and provides the opportunity for more in-depth storylines, with added space for further twists and turns that never fail to keep us guessing. 

What is the plot for Silent Witness season 24?

The exact plot of all of Silent Witness season 24’s episodes has not been confirmed, though the RadioTimes reports that the BBC revealed that Dr Nikki Alexander and Jack Hodgson are looking towards the future at the start of the season. They supposedly explained that, “However buried secrets and memories soon surface, and, when ghosts from the past emerge, the two are forced increasingly close to one another.”

This certainly seems to have been reflected in the recent Silent Witness trailer released by the BBC which has dropped some more pretty dramatic - and concerning! - hints about what could lie in store for Jack and Nikki. It opens with Nikki speaking passionately about their work as investigators, intercut with footage of her, Jack and police officers at crime scenes.

“Our work is vitally important. Someone needs to speak for the dead,” the pathologist declared. Viewers are then introduced to Dr Adam Yuen (played by Jason Wong), who introduces himself at a crime scene. “I’m new,” he says, before confirming, “Not new-new. I’ve done this before,” to which the investigating officer dryly responds, “I should hope so.”

From this the scenes flash through, becoming more and more fast-paced, with Nikki locking eyes with a criminal being walked through a prison and Jack diving heroically into the sea. As the Silent Witness teaser trailer reaches its conclusion fans are then faced with an even more enigmatic turn of events. 

“I need to make some serious changes to my life,” Jack tells Nikki as the trailer shows the close friends embracing, both looking devastated. 

Silent Witness cast Emilia Fox and David Caves

(Image credit: BBC)

“Well, maybe it’s time,” she replies. “For both of us.” Whilst this might have got fans hoping against hope that doesn’t mean the much-loved duo will be departing Silent Witness, things are certainly left on a very ambiguous note. The final scene of the trailer sees them sitting on either side of a park bench, Nikki looking at Jack as he gives her arm a gentle squeeze and then turns to look in the opposite direction. 

Though we might not know where they'll end up, according to the BBC, Redemption, the first episode of the new series of Silent Witness will see Nikki confront a familiar face. In series 13, Nikki witnesses a mass shooting at a school perpetrated by Scott Weston (played by Elliott Tittensor). In Redemption, she and Jack are set to encounter him as they enter a high security prison to investigate the suspicious death of his cellmate. 

Convinced that Scott should be their main suspect, Jack is not quite so sure, but only time will tell if the murderer has truly struck again. 

What else can we expect from the new series?

With five dramatic cases set to unfold over the coming weeks, the new series of Silent Witness is sure to feature its classic blend of the familiar and the surprising, as new cast member Jason establishes himself in the show alongside Emilia and David. 

Silent Witness cast including Emilia Fox, David Caves and Jason Wong

(Image credit: BBC)

Speaking after the show began filming again following a hiatus during the Covid-19 pandemic, star Emilia Fox said, “It’s fantastic to be back filming Series 24 of Silent Witness with five terrific new storylines, our wonderful crew, great new casts for each story and to be welcoming the very lovely and talented Jason Wong to the Lyell team, who is an absolute joy to work with!”

Silent Witness season 24 will also no doubt have a particularly spellbinding final episode as it paves the way for the highly-anticipated season 25 next year. This has already been confirmed by the BBC and will be broadcast in honor of the show’s 25th anniversary in 2022. 

Piers Wenger, Controller of BBC Drama, said: “Silent Witness entertains audiences from all generations and continues to be one of the UK’s most successful returning crime drama series. I’m thrilled it will continue to grip the nation in 2021, and can’t wait for viewers to see what is in store for its 25th anniversary in 2022.” 

Silent Witness Emilia Fox and David Caves

(Image credit: BBC)

It could be that the upcoming new season of Silent Witness goes some way towards setting up something even more impactful for next year’s important anniversary. Until then, fans will just have to tune in this autumn to see how season 24 changes things for Nikki and Jack.

And for thriller fans eagerly looking forward to the drama's return, several of the best French Netflix shows also feature plenty of tension-filled moments well worth checking out as you wait for each new instalment of Silent Witness season 24.

Silent Witness season 24 will be broadcast on September 6th on BBC One at 9pm.

Emma Shacklock
Emma Shacklock

Emma is a Senior Lifestyle Writer with five years experience working in digital publishing, ranging from book publishing to magazines. She currently looks after all things Lifestyle for Woman&Home, GoodToKnow and My Imperfect Life.

Before she joined Future Publishing, Emma graduated from the University of Warwick with a Bachelor of Arts degree in English and Comparative Literary Studies. After leaving education, she started out her publishing career in the world of books, working as a Publisher for an independent digital publisher specializing in back-list and debut commercial fiction novels. With a huge book list and a passion for bringing the best stories to the broadest audience possible, Emma filled her spare time with reading the latest best-sellers and catching up on hit adaptations.

In 2017 she joined TI Media as a fiction writing coordinator on Woman’s Weekly and Woman’s Weekly Fiction as part of the features team. From here, she used her love of books, working to bring short stories to our dedicated readers and began writing for the books pages of Woman, Woman’s Own and Woman&Home, as well as online features ranging from genre round-ups to travel pieces for 

After honing her skills, Emma branched out online in 2020 when Future gave her the opportunity to focus on digital-first. When she’s not writing about the next big lifestyle trend, she enjoys cooking, long walks and watching as many crime dramas as she can!