A star rating of 4 out of 5.

Fresh from the renewal of Bertie Carvel's Dalgliesh and the commission of its first true crime drama, Maxine, Channel 5 has just added another title to its ever-expanding drama slate: the thriller Witness No. 3.


Its star, Nina Toussaint-White, runs away with the project in the eponymous lead role, a salon-owner who becomes 'Witness Number Three' for a murder case.

From the get-go, there are a few irksome or repetitive choices in the show's editing – I lost count of the number of times the first episode used long, extended pre-laps (a sound transition trick which leaves you sat watching one scene whilst listening to another).

But ultimately, the show's success rests on its lead star, and Toussaint-White (Bodyguard, The Sister) definitely delivers.

The actress plays Jodie, a single mother and community-driven salon owner who is one of three early-risers to spot a couple of men walking through the local estate one morning.

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When the police put out an appeal for information about the men, Jodie doesn't hesitate in coming forward ("Most people keep their heads down," her partner tells her, half-exasperated, half-admiring).

Witness No 3
Ruaridh Mollica as gang member Po in Witness No 3 Channel 5

However, what the police haven't yet told Jodie is that the men were in fact a killer and his victim, whom she saw moments before the murder took place.

The killer is a major player in a powerful gang and, after Jodie leaves the police station, she's being followed – almost as though the gang have been tipped off about her (we'll get to that in a moment).

Witness No. 3
Nina Toussaint-White as Jodie and Clare Dunne as Detective Whelan in Witness No. 3 ViaCom

So begins a campaign of witness intimidation against Jodie – helmed by gang member Po – starting with threatening pictures of wolves and gagged victims sent to her phone, before things begin to escalate as the gang takes increasingly drastic measures to protect one of their own.

That escalation and the fear of what's next for Jodie will have viewers hanging onto the edge of their seats – but what will really grip viewers and keep them watching is the early suggestion that someone in Jodie's life has betrayed her.

Toussaint-White deftly portrays that growing paranoia, her face barely moving as we watch the inner-debate (Is this just an interested customer, or a gang member pushing for details?) play out before us in her eyes.

However, as the show hints at early on, Jodie isn't being paranoid at all: there's someone out there who will stop at nothing to silence her.

Witness No. 3 is coming to Channel 5 on Monday 18th July, and will be stripped across the week Monday-Thursday. Looking for something else to watch? Visit our Drama hub or check out our TV Guide.


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