As well as the forensic mysteries and nerve-wracking thrills, the return of Silent Witness season 25 poses another conundrum: will Dr Nikki Alexander and scientist Jack Hodgson pursue the romance that exploded in last season's finale?
Reading between the lines, the answer is yes. The colleagues spent the night together and Emilia Fox, who plays Nikki, said: “The kiss begged the question of why these two people who have worked together for so long and love each other and are single were not already having a relationship...”
Emilia said it threw up many questions about their past and future. How do friends become romantic partners? Will that dominate, even confuse, their relationship? How will it impact on their jobs?
“The lovely thing is that the audience have wanted Jack and Nikki to be together. It's great that they have invested so much in that relationship,” she said.
As befits a drama with so many twists and turns, the path of true love will not run smooth. “We wanted to play Jack and Nikki adapting to the transition and going through ups and downs. That's something the audience will enjoy without putting a label on it. Do they maintain their romance? You'll have to wait and see.”
David Caves, who stars as Jack, said he hopes they continue to tease that kiss and keep it ambiguous. “We don’t want to give away too much too soon!”
Silent Witness 25 is notable for the return of Amanda Burton as the original forensic expert Sam Ryan, who calls on the Lyell team when her husband, the Health Secretary, is shot and the dubious world of big pharma and healthcare for profit is explored.
David described it as ‘a clash of the titans’ when Sam and Nikki join forces and he said it’s not long before the team are in over their heads.
Emilia, meanwhile, says she and Sam ‘tread carefully around each other’ and Nikki tries to fathom her out and get the measure of her.
“She is the empress of the post-mortem, so the pressure was on. I made sure I was very, very well prepared. The post-mortems tax my brain, and I’m always delighted to get through them. But this time I had Sam interrupting all the time. That creates great character moments.”
Silent Witness returns to BBC One later in May.
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Patrick McLennan is a London-based journalist and documentary maker who has worked as a writer, sub-editor, digital editor and TV producer in the UK and New Zealand. His CV includes spells as a news producer at the BBC and TVNZ, as well as web editor for Time Inc UK. He has produced TV news and entertainment features on personalities as diverse as Nick Cave, Tom Hardy, Clive James, Jodie Marsh and Kevin Bacon and he co-produced and directed The Ponds, which has screened in UK cinemas, BBC Four and is currently available on Netflix.
An entertainment writer with a diverse taste in TV and film, he lists Seinfeld, The Sopranos, The Chase, The Thick of It and Detectorists among his favourite shows, but steers well clear of most sci-fi.