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Silent and Misleading Witness

I’ve been quite enjoying the current series of Silent Witness via iPlayer. I suppose it could be billed as CSI London but, unlike the American shows, the lab technology is almost believable. Typically an episode, each one shown in two parts, will have a main plot and a significant subplot which may interweave to some extent. Some of the themes and scenes can be quite gruesome but overall justice is done even though it must be observed that some of the killers rack up too many victims for the outcome to count as an unmitigated success.

However, I do have a small gripe with the show. I appreciate that misdirection is part of building tension and has a long history in detective stories. Unfortunately Silent Witness pushes this rather far. If you see one of the characters clearly commit a crime any time before the last ten minutes, you can be fairly sure that while they might turn out to be complicit, they probably aren’t the key player. Sure, you saw them use the weapon on the victim but that’s just visualising a guess; later on you’ll find out that someone else (probably another apparent victim) is the real murderer.

It is gripping telly but could do with a little less showing you things that clearly aren’t true; I think the strength of the stories could bear this.

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