Silent Witness fans and disability rights activists have come to the defence of the long-running BBC crime drama after criticism was levelled at this week’s two-parter, which featured a storyline about care home abuse.
Viewers had criticised the show’s writers after Monday’s episode which saw Clarissa, played by disabled actress Liz Carr, delving into the suspicious deaths of a number of people living in a care home, calling it “badly written” and “unrealistic”.
However, after the two-part story had concluded on Tuesday night, many others, including disabled broadcaster and journalist Mik Scarlet, leapt to the show’s defence.
“So happy to see so much praise for this week’s #SilentWitness following yesterday’s wave of disgust,” Mik wrote on Twitter. “Proves you need to watch both parts of a two parter to judge. Also very glad the disabled cast, esp @theLizCarr, is getting the kudos they deserve.”
Tuesday’s conclusion saw Clarissa go undercover to investigate the care home, where she was subjected to harrowing abuse from worker Conor Flannery (Charlie Creed-Miles).
After the episode aired, tweets of praise heavily outweighed the dissenting voices, with many fans congratulating the show’s writers for depicting such a difficult, under-represented subject on TV. Check out some of the reaction below:
There was particular praise reserved for Liz Carr, who thanked followers on Twitter for sharing their own stories of abuse. “I’m thankful you felt you could open up about it in light of a storyline that is personal and painful for many,” she said.
On Monday, ahead of the airing of the two-parter, disability charity Scope published a blog which praised the series for shining “a light on a variety of issues that disabled people face”.
The charity’s helpline had been consulted on the script during the writing process.
Silent Witness returns on Monday 4th February at 9pm on BBC1