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Silent Witness is back in 2021 and is already bigger and better than ever as fans enjoy 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 were no doubt 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 another 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!*
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When is Silent Witness back?
Silent Witness returned to our screens 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 sooner, the Covid-19 pandemic meant that the January release date of recent years was not possible.
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 (opens in new tab) 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 Mondays 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
- Simone Tyler - Genesis Lynea
- 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.
If you’re already missing Clarissa Mullery as much we are, here are some of her #SilentWitness best bits to enjoy! 🙌 pic.twitter.com/CcYaJZXLonFebruary 22, 2020
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 were joined in Silent Witness season 24 by a new character, Dr Adam Yuen, played by newcomer Jason Wong. As a fellow pathologist, he filled the gap left by Thomas and stunned Nikki and Jack with his seemingly boundless knowledge.
As reported by RadioTimes (opens in new tab) ahead of his debut, 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.”
Though sadly for Adam fans his tenure on the show wasn't quite as long as they might've hoped. In the closing minutes of Silent Witness season 24 episode 6 entitled Reputations Part 2, the brilliant doctor passed away after being hit by a car driven by the episode's murderer, Alan Cowley.
Thank you all for your support. It’s been a truly wonderful experience being part of the #SilentWitness family and watch this space for more projects from me. 🖤 @EmiliaFox @MrDavidCaves @lawrencetill pic.twitter.com/PEC3ZgYUfPSeptember 22, 2021
Having turned his back to call Nikki and Jack and inform them of his discovery that Cowley was the killer, Adam tragically lost his life after ambulance staff were unable to revive him. Though he did almost single-handedly solve this case and will no doubt be remembered with great affection by his tearful colleagues.
In his stead, a new character is set to join the Lyell Centre team from the very next episode. Played by Genesis Lynea, who fans might recognize from Netflix's Shadow and Bone, Simone Tyler is a forensic ecologist.
As reported by ED! (opens in new tab), Genesis said of her exciting new role, "Simone Tyler is a zealous and meticulous ecologist who is making a massive jump from museum to the mortuary.
“It’s been a lovely surprise to film a project during such a testing time, with so much to learn and sink my teeth into. It’s really fulfilling to learn a new way of thinking and seeing through the eyes of Simone—as she learns, I learn," she added.
“The science of forensics is very intricate work and it’s been fun to play alongside the Silent Witness team. Watch this space!”
Emilia, Jack and Genesis 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.
Viewers will see Part 1 of each storyline air on Mondays, but will then have to tune in again on Tuesdays to learn the truth of that week's mysterious case in Part 2. 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, both scenes that have already appeared in the episodes aired so far. 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.
“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.
Though we might not know where they'll end up by the end, already this season fans have seen Jack coming to terms with the revelation that he has a long-lost niece, who is actually possibly his own daughter after he had an affair with his brother Ryan's ex-girlfriend. Whilst Adam's death in Reputation Part 2 will likely continue to send shockwaves throughout the series as Nikki and Jack grieve their late colleague and welcome Simone to the team.
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 features its classic blend of the familiar and the surprising, as new cast member Genesis is established in the show alongside Emilia and David.
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.”
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 keep tuning in to see how season 24 changes things for Nikki and Jack.
And for thriller fans eagerly looking forward to the next episode, 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 airs on Mondays and Tuesdays on BBC One at 9pm.
Emma is a Senior Lifestyle Writer with six years of experience working in digital publishing. Her specialist areas including literature, the British Royal Family and knowing all there is to know about the latest TV shows on the BBC, ITV, Channel 4 and every streaming service out there. When she’s not writing about the next unmissable show to add to your to-watch list or delving into royal protocol, you can find Emma cooking and watching yet more crime dramas.
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