The clever folks at the Lyell Centre are back! Silent Witness – the longest-running British crime drama currently on TV – has returned for a 22nd series, with our favourite forensic scientists and pathologists at the helm.
Emilia Fox, Richard Lintern, Liz Carr and David Caves are back in the lab to tell five brand-new two-part stories. And each one is full of exciting guest stars.
Here are the characters you need to meet – and the actors who play them…
Emilia Fox plays Dr Nikki Alexander
Who is Dr Nikki Alexander? Forensic Pathologist Dr Nikki Alexander has been a part of the team since her abrupt arrival in 2004. She is talented and tenacious, and a force to be reckoned with. This series she is trying to make a transatlantic relationship work with Matt Garcia (Michael Landes), who we met in the last series.
What else has Emilia Fox been in? Emilia Fox was born to a family of successful actors. She appeared in award-winning film The Pianist, and performed in many stage productions such as Rapture, Blister and Burn. More recently she’s featured in BBC productions The Casual Vacancy, The Secrets, James Corden comedy The Wrong Mans, Sky drama Delicious, and John Simm’s ITV thriller Strangers.
Richard Lintern plays Dr Thomas Chamberlain
Who is Dr Thomas Chamberlain? The Head of the Lyell Centre, the forensic science institute at the heart of Silent Witness. Thomas is cool and level-headed, and always thinks before he acts.
What else has Richard Lintern been in? Actor Richard Lintern appeared in period drama Spies of Warsaw alongside David Tennant. Before that he played a key role in cult BBC2 drama The Shadow Line. He also narrated the Bafta-winning documentary Between Life and Death, and, believe it or not, was the voice behind this David Beckham razor advert. The Crown fans might recognise him as the man who played Stephen Ward in the episode Mystery Man.
David Caves plays Dr Jack Hodgson
Who is Dr Jack Hodgson? The lead Forensic Scientist at the Lyell Centre, Jack is impulsive, clever and confident and the lead forensic scientist. When he isn’t solving impossible murder cases, Jack trains as a cage fighter.
David Caves says: “Jack has more carte blanche than perhaps the others do, as he is not attached to anyone. This gives him more freedom of movement, more potential for new relationships and a bit more mystery, which I think very important. We started a relationship with dad last year which develops more in this series. At heart, he’s still the lone-wolf he always was, but with very strong ties to Clarissa especially.”
What else has David Caves been in? Since joining Silent Witness in 2013, David Caves has found time to appear in Ironclad 2 and in Royal Shakespeare Company’s The Taming of The Shrew. He played Clint Hill in the Natalie Portman film Jackie.
Liz Carr plays Clarissa Mullery
Who is Clarissa Mullery? Clarissa is a witty, resourceful and efficient member of the team at the Lyell and has become Jack’s right-hand woman.
Liz Carr says: “I like to think that Clarissa is the lynchpin of the Lyell Centre, in that we see her there a lot – she is a forensic examiner. She is incredibly smart; she doesn’t suffer fools gladly. She has a sense of humour. She has a unique relationship with Jack particularly. She entered the show because of Jack and they continue to be the closest of friends – in a very strong platonic relationship, which is rare these days.”
What else has Liz Carr been in? Liz Carr is an actress, stand up comedian, broadcaster and disability rights activist, who has been a regular in Silent Witness since 2012. She presented the BBC Ouch! podcast for seven years until 2013, and fronted incisive BBC World Service documentary When Assisted Death Is Legal. You may recently have spotted her in Les Misérables, playing Fantine’s concierge.
Episode 3 & 4 guest stars
Samantha Womack plays DI Kate Ashton
Who is DI Kate Ashton? Detective Inspector Ashton is called to the scene to investigate a meth lab explosion which kills two people. She is desperate to get to the bottom of a spate of drug overdoses and stabbings that have blighted the local area. As soon as she begins to work with the forensics team at the Lyell Centre, DI Ashton takes a fancy to Jack (David Caves) and pursues him relentlessly.
What else has Samantha Womack been in? The actress spent a decade playing Ronnie Mitchell on EastEnders, before leaving in 2017. Her other credits include Tanya in Mount Pleasant, and Michelle Unwin in the Kingsman movies.
Colin Salmon plays headmaster Noah Taylor
Who is Noah Taylor? The headmaster of a local secondary school. Passionate about his students, he is determined to give them a brighter future, even if they come from extremely disadvantaged backgrounds. As a father of two teenagers himself, he wants to protect his kids and pupils from the lure of illegal drugs and a future of addiction.
What else has Colin Salmon been in? Colin Salmon plays General Zod in the TV series Krypton, and has also appeared in Resident Evil, Alien vs Predator, Limitless, 24: Live Another Day, and No Offence. Really dedicated Silent Witness fans may recognise him from way back in 1996, when he played a character called Sebastian Bird in the two-parter Long Days, Short Nights.
Shalisha James-Davis plays Faith Taylor
Who is Faith Taylor? Mr Taylor’s daughter, who is in her last year of school and anxiously waiting for a letter from the University of Oxford to see whether she has been offered a place. Faith is smart and sensible, and shares a close bond with her brother Jesse and with her parents.
What else has Shalisha James-Davis been in? You may have spotted her in ITV drama Next of Kin, where she played Shania, or in an episode of Vera. She also featured in 2019 movie Mary Queen of Scots alongside stars Saoirse Ronan and Margot Robbie.
Dan Li plays DS Lin
Who is DS Lin? DI Kate Ashton’s second-in-command. DS Lin can be dismissive and overly judgemental, and clearly feels that drug users deserve what they get.
What else has Dan Li been in? Like Colin Salmon, Dan Li appeared in 24: Live Another Day. He played Tim in the Black Mirror episode White Christmas, and was Stan Li in I, Daniel Blake. If his voice sounds familiar, that’s because he voices Yong Bao in the Thomas & Friends animated movies and TV shows.
Hara Yannas plays Pamela Trill
Who is Pamela? Pamela is completely lost to her drug addiction and is always in search of her next fix.
What else has Hara Yannas been in? The actress has made appearances in Dark Heart, Trauma, Patient Zero, Innocent, Broadchurch and Father Brown.
Alhaji Fofana plays Jesse Taylor
Who is Jesse Taylor? Faith’s brother, and Mr Taylor’s son. He is also very smart and determined to stay out of trouble.
What else has Alhaji Fofana been in? His first screen acting credit came in 2013, when he appeared in an episode of cult comedy The IT Crowd. Since then he’s been in Youngers, Brotherhood, Holby City, and Slaughterhouse Rulez, and also won a Bafta Children’s Award for his performance in Screwball!
India Brown plays Lysette
Who is Lysette? A young student at Mr Taylor’s school. She is behind on learning to read, but loves school and is extremely keen to learn.
What else has India Brown been in? The young actress stars as Lizzie in the TV series Hetty Feather. She has also made appearances in Fortitude, The Midnight Gang, and Topsy and Tim.
Jo Martin plays Grace Taylor
Who is Grace Taylor? Mrs Taylor is a music teacher at her husband’s school, and both of her kids are part of her choir. She is a proud and loving mother, and an inspiring teacher.
What else has Jo Martin been in? The actress has appeared in a number of TV shows and movies, including Jonathan Creek, NW, Top Boy, Chalet Girl, Batman Begins, and The Crouches. According to her CV, she is set to play a character called Pam in the second series of Fleabag.
Rad Kaim plays Rudi
Who is Rudi? Rudi is employed at a tyre shop near London. He also works for drugs lord Ramush. At first he arranges the distribution of meth, but after the lab explodes, Ramush finds a new supply of drugs – and asks Rudi to create a new network of dealers.
What else has Rad Kaim been in? Polish actor Radoslaw Kaim has appeared in Capital, Wallender and Spies of Warsaw.
Uriel Emil plays Ramush
Who is Ramush? Not a very nice man. Ramush is the man calling the shots and supplying the drugs that blight this local community. He is ruthless and violent.
What else has Uriel Emil been in? Uriel Emil stars alongside Sheridan Smith in ITV drama Cleaning Up, playing Viktor. Past credits include Homeland, The Honourable Woman, and The Great Fire.
Michael Ajao plays Glen
Who is Glen? Glen has a crush on Faith and is starting to succeed in winning her over. But her brother Jesse is concerned that he’s in with the wrong crowd, and is bad news for Faith.
What else has Michael Ajao been in? His first on-screen credit came in 2011 with an appearance in Attack the Block. Since then, he has been in Coming Up, Five by Five, and Code of a Killer, and played Corey Draper in the TV series Cuffs.
Tuwaine Barrett plays Zeno
Who is Zeno? Young, unemployed and disaffected, Zeno lives on the local council estate and is friends with Glen.
What else has Tuwaine Barrett been in? The actor made an appearance in A Discovery of Witches as the character Reese, and also popped up in Rellik.
Guiled Osman plays Dre
Who is Dre? Zeno’s sidekick.
What else has Guiled Osman been in? This is his first on-screen appearance.