Newspaper article Manchester Evening News

All Change at Silent Witness

Newspaper article Manchester Evening News

All Change at Silent Witness

Article excerpt

LIKE any good TV crime-busting duo, Silent Witness's Dr Nikki Alexander and Dr Harry Cunningham shared a real chemistry that hooked in fans almost as much as the gruesome cases they tackled.

But any hopes viewers had of the will-they-won't-they pair finally getting together were scuppered by the departure of Tom Ward who, after a decade as pathologist Harry, called time on the show at the end of the last series.

So as the drama starts its 16th series (BBC One, Thursday, 9pm), there's a new man on the scene to help fill the void at the Lyell Centre. In an effort to keep his investigative team up to date, Professor Leo Dalton, played by William Gaminara, brings strapping young forensic scientist Jack Hodgson (David Caves) into the fold.

For Emilia Fox, who has played Nikki since 2004, Ward's exit was "really sad, of course", but not a huge surprise after such a long stint on the programme.

Her alter ego, however, is experiencing "quite a lot of denial" since Harry left to take up a post in New York.

"There have always been feelings there, which is why there are feelings that he's gone," the actress explains. "And yet it's a really hard thing to do because it could slightly overwhelm the series that Harry and Nikki are not together again.

"So this series is more about re-forming relationships and also letting David come in and take his place in the trio. What's also good is that his is a different job from Harry's so there's no suggestion of replacing him as a pathologist or a person. It's a completely new energy and skill coming in."

Viewers first meet Jack when he shows up to hunt for clues in a hotel room, the scene of the mysterious death of the wealthy boss of a sweets firm.

Caves describes his character, a cagefighter in his spare time, as "a bit of a maverick". 'I just believe there. little christen cutting "He's loose around the edges at times, but very good at what he does. He's very focussed and driven and wants to make an impression as he has come to work for these guys. …

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