Silk ending left too many doors open

A disappearing Martha (literally) didn’t quite cut it for the end of a series, says Emma Daly


Last night was the final episode of BBC courtroom drama Silk. Not just the end of the current third series, but the end of the whole show.


There was a lot of talk about square pegs and round holes as Martha continued her quest to call every police officer bent. In Martha’s eyes, police and the justice system simply bend the evidence to fit the preferred outcome.

Much like this forced ending then.

The only story that seemed to be tied up was Clive Reader’s (Rupert Penry-Jones). He finished up Head of Shoe Lane Chambers after sleeping with Harriet Hammond (Miranda Raison) the office manager. He’ll turn them into a prosecuting set and spend his days wandering between the courtroom and the bedroom. That I can get on board with.

But Martha Costello (Maxine Peake) literally disappearing as a bus sped past? No, that doesn’t quite fit. It was a bit like a dodgy version of Sean Connery’s Entrapment. One minute she was there, the next she was gone.

Sure Martha’s got her knickers in her bind because she’s a defence lawyer and doesn’t want to prosecute. But Senior Clerk Billy Lamb (Neil Stuke) was basically dying of prostate cancer in front of her very eyes and she chose to randomly pop off on the night bus?

Obviously it’s a pain to miss a bus, but come on now.

Writer Peter Moffat told that the ending was the “natural conclusion” for the characters. Explaining that taking the story on would be “dishonest” and “unfair to the integrity of the show”.

But what about some answers first?

Presumably we’re to decide for ourselves whether Billy makes it. Perhaps Martha, who’d admitted she was feeling homesick, has left London altogether? Is no one going to mention that Clive had a bit of an advantage in that he was sleeping with one of the voters? How is Caroline Warwick (Frances Barber) still getting away with the old vodka in the water bottle trick..?

Personally I’d rather have seen another series pitting Clive’s set against an angry Martha, who’d stomped her way into another defence Chambers. Blonde bob and red lippy in place, I know whose team I’d be on.