Who is Velvy in Silent Witness, who plays him and what’s next for the character in season 27 as his wife returns?

Fans of Velvy in Silent Witness might be intrigued about what lies in store for him in season 27 as his wife Rivka makes another appearance

Velvy in Silent Witness played by Alastair Michael
(Image credit: BBC Studios/Gary Moyes)

Velvy in Silent Witness has become a much-loved character in the BBC drama in no time and the latest episodes have seen the return of his wife.

Since it first started in 1996 the cast of Silent Witness has evolved gradually and in season 26 fans were introduced to Velvy Schur. Full of enthusiasm and curiosity, Velvy is now very much an established part of the team alongside Dr Nikki Alexander and Jack Hodgson and we’ve learnt more and more about his backstory along the way. Having left his family and community behind, Velvy has so much to contend with alongside working on the team’s intense cases. 

In season 27’s latest episodes, Invisible parts 1 and 2, which are both on BBC iPlayer now, his personal life came to the fore once again and it might have got some fans wanting to know more about Velvy in Silent Witness.

*Warning: Spoilers ahead*

Who is Velvy in Silent Witness? 

Velvy Schur is the newest recruit in the Lyell Centre team and the Trainee Anatomical Pathology Technologist. Since joining pathologist Dr Nikki Alexander and forensic scientist (and her boyfriend) Jack Hodgson, he’s thrown himself into everything from going out to grab on-site forensics at crime scenes to being on-hand for Nikki as she examines bodies in the mortuary.

Prior to joining the team, Velvy in Silent Witness was part of an Orthodox Jewish community which he subsequently left. Nikki gently asked him about this in the season 26 episode, The Penitent Part 2, giving fans a new insight into his personal experience and journey.

Remarking that he’d left everything behind, she asked if he missed his old life and family. Velvy admitted that he did, responding, “I miss it all. I miss my life. Not only that, I miss my God. He was always there for me.”

In the same discussion, it was revealed that he had been “found” by a former regular character (not to mention fan-favorite), Clarissa in Silent Witness. This special name-drop shows just how much faith she must’ve had in his future and abilities.

Velvy Schur’s actor Alastair Michael previously reflected to the BBC that in the latest series of Silent Witness, Velvy has slowly reached the conclusion that he should focus simply on being “good” rather than brooding too deeply on the past.


(Image credit: BBC Studios/Robert Wilson)

“He is coming to a realisation that the very best thing for him to do - both for himself and his children and reconciling what he was then with who he is now – is just to make as good a life for himself as he can,” Alastair said, “He is going to focus on being good at his job and progressing to the point where he might be able to point at what he's made for himself and say, ‘Look, it was a success. I did the right thing.’”

The right thing isn’t always easy, but Alastair believes that Velvy’s children, Tirza and Yosele, are a source of “inspiration” for him to build a future for himself.

Velvy (ALASTAIR MICHAEL), Jack Hodgson (DAVID CAVES) & Dr Nikki Alexander (EMILIA FOX)

(Image credit: BBC Studios/Gary Moyes)

The actor said, “Then he can use that as an inspiration for his children. He has to stop dwelling on the past and try to do something positive with what he's got to ensure his own future. So that's where we find Velvy at the start of the series, absolutely sinking his teeth into the work.”

Alastair confirmed that his character “still has this fear that he might run into someone he knows from his past because geographically he's not gone that far”. He added that “mentally and spiritually, he's trying to go very far” and is likely “haunted by his past” and whether he made the right decision.

Who plays Velvy in Silent Witness?

Alastair Michael plays Velvy in Silent Witness and you might have seen him before if you’re a fan of the BBC’s period drama Ridley Road. The actor has also been in Snatch alongside Harry Potter star Rupert Grint and Bridgerton’s Phoebe Dynevor.

Why did Velvy leave his family in Silent Witness? 

Velvy left his family in Silent Witness because he began to experience doubts and wanted to explore life beyond his Orthodox Jewish community. He declared in his first episode on the show, The Penitent, that whilst his parents had been told to “consider [him] dead” he’d “never felt more alive” since embarking on his new life. He added that he’s not sure what he believes now, but remarked that it’s “like they say on Strictly [Strictly Come Dancing] I guess I’m on my journey.”


(Image credit: BBC Studios/Gary Moyes)

That doesn’t mean his journey is an easy one - far from it. Towards the end of Star Part 2 in season 26, he revealed to Cara he hadn’t seen his baby boy Yosele since he was 9 days old. This has clearly affected him deeply, especially since Velvy’s mother had called him earlier in the episode completely out of the blue, after he’d left his number with her six months earlier. 

It emerged via this call that he has multiple children. She explained that Rivka “brings the babies round” to see her and reassured Velvy that “they’re healthy. They’re beautiful”.

Cara Connelly (RHIANNON JONES), Velvy Schur (ALASTAIR MICHAEL), Dr Nikki Alexander (EMILIA FOX), Jack Hodgson (DAVID CAVES), Gabriel Folukoya (AKI OMOSHAYBI)

(Image credit: BBC Studios/Robert Wilson)

His mother also shared how she and Rivka seem to be keeping his memory alive for them as she added, “You’re alive to all of us” before hanging up on the Trainee Anatomical Pathology Technologist. At the end of the episode we saw a moment of bravery from Velvy in Silent Witness as he declared to Nikki that he’d been “caught up in himself a lot” recently, but that he’d decided the time had come to do something about this.

In Hearts of Darkness Part 2, we then saw him calling Rivka and tell her that he knew she “couldn’t speak to [him]”, but he just wanted to hear the children. His wife granted his request and the emotion on his face as Velvy listened to his children playing on the other end of the line was both heart-breaking and uplifting all at once.

Who is Velvy’s wife Rivka Schur in Silent Witness? 

Velvy’s wife Rivka Schur is first mentioned and is seen in a photo in his first ever episode, but appears in person in the season 26 episodes Star Parts 1 and 2. Velvy explained to Jack’s niece Cara about his wife and said that Rivka had been planning to leave their community with him before ultimately deciding against it. As Velvy put it, it was “not easy” to make that decision.

Later on we saw him anxiously waiting in a café when a young woman arrived pushing a pram, accompanied by a little girl. After he retrieved the girl’s fallen cat toy, the girl greeted Velvy in Silent Witness season 26 delightedly as “Daddy” as her mother turned slowly around, shocked, as he said softly, “Rivka” and her identity as Velvy’s wife was revealed.


(Image credit: BBC Studios/Gary Moyes)

After no further on-screen appearances alongside Velvy in Silent Witness, Rivka returned, played by Chloe Tannenbaum, in season 27’s sixth episode, Invisible Part 2, which was made available on iPlayer at the same time as Part 1.All season long it had been clear that Velvy was keeping a secret and Nikki found him sleeping in the office, creating the impression that he had perhaps lost his home. It later emerged that he had a flat, but that it had no heating and was barely liveable.

Velvy asked Gabriel for an advance on his salary and was turned down, but Cara tracked him down and he confessed that he was still giving money to Rivka for her and the kids and renting a separate home on his one income.

“I have two homes to maintain,” he told Cara. “A family to provide for. There’s no more money.”


(Image credit: BBC Studios/Gary Moyes)

After his colleagues rallied round and discussed how they might help, Cara was asked by Nikki to call Velvy’s emergency contact and ask them to help. Following this Rivka and Velvy met and she dropped the envelope of money he’d given her earlier at his feet.

“No man should walk out on his wife and children. You cannot call yourself a father. You are an embarrassment,” Rivka told him, before leaving Velvy alone with the money looking devastated.

Will Velvy go back to his family? 

Fans will no doubt continue to hope for a reunion between Rivka and Velvy in Silent Witness, given how much he misses her and their children. Though at the moment, it’s not clear how this might come about as Rivka’s remarks to him in season 27 seem quite final and Velvy really took them to heart. Talking to Jack later about what his wife had said, Velvy said, “She was right. I have to live with it.”

Finding a way to live his daily life and come to terms with leaving his family behind is something that Velvy will likely focus on throughout the rest of Silent Witness season 27. He’s now moved into Jack’s spare room and it’s not clear if Invisible will be the last time we see Rivka this season.

Silent Witness airs at 9pm on BBC One on Mondays and Tuesdays, with episodes released each week on BBC iPlayer.

Emma Shacklock

Emma is a Royal Editor with eight years experience working in publishing. Her specialist areas include the British Royal Family, ranging from protocol to outfits. Alongside putting her royal knowledge to good use, Emma knows all there is to know about the latest TV shows on the BBC, ITV and more. When she’s not writing about the next unmissable show to add to your to-watch list or delving into royal protocol, Emma enjoys cooking, long walks and watching yet more crime dramas!