Where is series 23 of Silent Witness filmed?

Lawrence Till tells RadioTimes.com about all the locations you'll see on screen in the 2020 series of Silent Witness

Silent Witness

Each new series of Silent Witness sees the team sent off to brand-new locations, and in 2020 there are lots more in store.

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According to producer Lawrence Till, series 23 will feature everything from a plane crash to a cryogenics centre, as well as chemical labs and army barracks and idyllic villages.

Here’s what you need to know…


Where is the cryogenics lab filmed?

Hakeem Kae-Kazim plays Adam Brookham in Silent Witness

Episodes seven and eight feature a fictional cryogenics lab called Protech Visions, where – for a hefty financial “donation” – dead bodies can be preserved and stored until some unknown point in the future where science will be able to bring them back to life.

The team used the BioPark at Welwyn Garden City to create the lab. Once a part of the University of Hertfordshire, it’s been shut down and is now up for sale.

Lawrence Till tells us: “It used to be part of the university, it’s a science park, but it’s disused now. I think they’re going to be pulling it down or something… but we had to create the tanks in which the bodies are storied. But they clearly would have been high tech labs.”

Two-parter “Hope” is also a story of Clarissa Mullery (Liz Carr) and her mother, who is terminally ill with cancer. These scenes were shot at Ealing Hospital. 

Further filming took place at the opticians on Uxbridge Road, Eyes on the Common, and at Stoke Court.


Where were the nerve agent episodes filmed?

Silent Witness

Headley Court in Epsom, Surrey, stands in for the army barracks training camp. This is a building and 85-acre property used as a rehabilitation centre for injured members of the British Armed forces from the Second World War until 2018, when a new centre opened and Headley Court was shut down. It’s now privately-owned and may soon be redeveloped as housing.

The two-parter also features a car crash filmed at Longcross Test Track, and a building belonging to “Barton Industries” which was filmed at Thorpe Eden, and a character’s flat filmed on South Acton Estate. 

Then there’s a scene where Dr Thomas Chamberlain (Richard Lintern) spends some time at the park, which was filmed at Wormwood Scrubs, while Katherine’s office and lab were filmed at Stoke Court. 


Where is the women’s refuge filmed?

Silent Witness

Episodes five and six, titled Seven Times, are set at locations across London – but the storyline centres around a women’s refuge.

Lawrence Till told us: “Seven Times is about domestic violence, it’s about a group of women who all meet in a women’s refuge – and it’s sort of a set of different stories, but we discovered that they’re all linked by the refuge. And then, Nikki has a personal memory of abuse in her family between her parents, which ties her into that story.”

The women’s refuge was filmed on-set in Ealing at the London Drama Studio.

Boston Manor Service Station was used to recreate the interior of the garage where Brian Collyer (Geoff Bell) works, while nearby Boston Manor Park was the location of the children’s playground.

There’s also a scene between couple Jade (Seraphina Beh) and Lucie (Alexa Davies) filmed at The Tea House in Ravenscourt Park Mansions, and a train platform scene shot at Princes Risborough Railway Station.

The family court scenes (interiors and exteriors) were shot at Surrey County Council.


Where was Close to Home filmed?

In episodes three and four, Close to Home, Dr Chamberlain & co. must work out who killed Jason Forbes – a young boy who disappeared on his way home from judo training, and whose body has just been found. The victim is from the village of Hartford, which lies outside the Lyell Centre’s usual jurisdiction – but Assistant Commissioner Tim Holloway (Tom Goodman-Hill) has specially requested their help on the job.

Hartford is actually fictional, but Till and his team filmed much of the episode in the village of Shere. Full of traditional buildings, Shere is located in Surrey and formed the perfect backdrop.

The village of Shere, where filming for Silent Witness took place

Till said: “We used the centre of the village, Sheer village itself, and then we used the church there. And we used a number of domestic locations across the village.”

Filming took place at South Mimms Service Station, and at St James Church, and at Pulleyn Transport Ltd (which stood in for Faulkner Haulage). The barn at Painshill Farm was used to paint a picture of the fictional Mayhew Farm, and Hurley Riverside Park was used for the scenes set on the caravan site.

The interior of New Scotland Yard was filmed at Westminster College.


Where was the plane crash episode filmed?

Silent Witness starts off very dramatically this year, with a business jet plunging from the skies and crashing into the trees, tearing itself apart and killing multiple pilots and passengers. It’s such a “big-scale” stunt, in fact, that David Caves (Dr Jack Hodgson) has compared it to a Bond film.

Silent Witness

The crash kicks off a double bill called Deadhead. And while our forensics experts team up with the police and the Air Accidents Investigation Branch (AAIB) to work out what happened, there’s also a personal angle for Dr Nikki Alexander (Emilia Fox); one of the crash victims is the former US ambassador – who also happens to be friends with her boyfriend, Matt Garcia (Michael Landes).

The plane interior was filmed at Shoot Aviation Ltd in Maidenhead, a facility which handles a ton of the aviation-related scenes you’ll see on TV and in movies – from The Capture to the Kingsman movies to Wonder Woman 84, Cold Feet, the Night Manager, Black Mirror, and many more.

Shoot Aviation Ltd was also used to film the interior of the hangar in Farnborough, where the AAIB’s Jess Fisher (Emma Cunliffe) and her team of experts have collected all the pieces of the private jet and laid them out to help with their investigation.

The actual crash site and the debris field which we see still smouldering when the Lyell team arrive at the scene was filmed around Shoot Aviation HQ in Maidenhead, in nearby fields and woodland.

Silent Witness

The episode also includes scenes set in a hotel, which were filmed at the Clayton Hotel on Chiswick High Road in London, and hospital scenes filmed at Guy’s Hospital.

A sequence showing Nikki’s boyfriend Matt at the airport was filmed at Heathrow Terminal 2.


Where is the Lyell Centre filmed?

Richard Lintern plays Dr Thomas Chamberlain in Silent Witness

The Lyell Centre is located in a warehouse at BBC Park Western in Acton, where a permanent set was built seven years ago.

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This is now official Silent Witness HQ with the art and props departments based in the building and ready to provide fake blood and cadavers on demand.