The BEST Episodes of Silent Witness

Every episode ever - ranked by fan votes!

Last Updated: Feb 14, 2020

Network: BBC One

Silent Witness originally followed the work of forensic pathologist Dr. Sam Ryan, played by Amanda Burton. In 2004, Burton left the series and Nikki Alexander, played by Emilia Fox, joined Dr. Leo Dalton (William Gaminara) and Dr. Harry Cunningham (Tom Ward) on the forensic pathology team. The series was created by an ex-police officer, Nigel McCrery.

Coup de Grace (2)

#1 - Coup de Grace (2)

Season 17 - Episode 4 - Aired Jan 10, 2014

Thomas is under increased pressure from DI Rachel Klein and the Home Office as he battles to save the Lyell Centre's reputation. Peter Masham makes an unlikely deal with Bennetto's brother-in-law. Jack and Clarissa finally uncover the true identity of murder victim Byron Lee.

star 8.47
172 votes
Greater Love (2)

#2 - Greater Love (2)

Season 16 - Episode 10 - Aired Feb 8, 2013

Nikki, Jack and Leo struggle to identify the human remains with only sections of skeleton found and basic forensic facilities, but believe Dan Lambert must have been captured by the Taliban, executed and buried. Whilst Leo grows closer to charity worker Fawzia, Nikki and Jack find and assemble the skull fragments and make an unnerving discovery that challenges their theory of what happened to Dan Lambert. However, when an imprisoned Taliban fighter is found dead in the compound, the team suspect he was murdered, and suspicions grow about Sean Nugent and his men's treatment of prisoners. No longer able to trust anyone, the increasingly isolated team doggedly piece together the circumstances surrounding Dan Lambert's disappearance, but the shocking truth triggers a chain of events which leaves everyone's lives in danger.

star 8.44
113 votes
And Then I Fell in Love (2)

#3 - And Then I Fell in Love (2)

Season 15 - Episode 12 - Aired Aug 20, 2012

Harry and Nikki make a crucial connection between the dead girls and sex-grooming victim Shannon, but is it too late for Hannah and Lauren?

star 8.39
93 votes
Directors: Mike Barker
Writers: Dudi Appleton, Jim Keeble
In a Lonely Place (2)

#4 - In a Lonely Place (2)

Season 17 - Episode 6 - Aired Jan 17, 2014

Nikki, Jack and DS Ross are feeling the pressure to close the net on a serial killer abducting young women. Concerns increase about missing Sarah, and solving her mysterious disappearance becomes an urgent priority for the team.

star 8.37
175 votes
Bloodlines (2)

#5 - Bloodlines (2)

Season 14 - Episode 8 - Aired Jan 25, 2011

Nikki makes her way to Budapest but there's not much she or Leo can do as every move they make is being watched by Tibor Orban. Leo manages to secretly meet Nikki where he reveals that Harry is still alive. Harry explains why he had to fake his own death and continues that he must find out why Anna was killed and unravel the dark secret of the prostitution racket.

star 8.36
143 votes
Directors: Dudi Appleton
Writers: Dudi Appleton, Jim Keeble
Bloodlines (1)

#6 - Bloodlines (1)

Season 14 - Episode 7 - Aired Jan 24, 2011

Harry is reunited with Anna Sandor when she calls him to Budapest to perform a second post-mortem on the body of a drowned prostitute, Sofi Mustafova. As they get reacquainted, Anna tells him she believes the death is suspicious and may be linked to her own investigations into the disappearance of other pregnant prostitutes. The women's body ends up being cremated before Harry can take a look at it. Harry's world is crushed when he finds out that Anna has been stabbed to death in her bed. He is forced to go underground where he manages to make a desperate call to Leo in London for help when he becomes the number one suspect. Harry continues with the investigation into the gang-run prostitution racket. When Leo shows up late for the meeting with Harry he witnesses a man being shot and burned. When he manages to retrieve a charred passport from the body it turns out to be Harry's.

star 8.30
149 votes
Directors: Dudi Appleton
Writers: Dudi Appleton, Jim Keeble
Fraternity (2)

#7 - Fraternity (2)

Season 17 - Episode 10 - Aired Jan 31, 2014

Jack's world has been blown apart following the discovery of Hannah's dead body. Nikki manages to find out the truth behind Jack and Ryan's strained relationship. Thomas thinks about hiring forensic scientist Helen as Jack's permanent replacement. Christy Nash is scared for the future of his marriage and business after DI Carter finds out abouts of his relationship with 15-year-old Katie.

star 8.21
146 votes
Shadows (2)

#8 - Shadows (2)

Season 13 - Episode 8 - Aired Jan 29, 2010

Nikki and Harry try to help wounded victims of a campus shooting while trapped in the building with the rampaging shoote

star 8.14
140 votes
Writers: Dudi Appleton, Jim Keeble
Two Below zero (1)

#9 - Two Below zero (1)

Season 5 - Episode 3 - Aired Feb 12, 2001

When two snow-boarders cause an avalanche on a ski slope in Norway, the rescue team also discover the naked body of a woman. John Taylor informs the Townsends that the police think it could be their daughter, Ruth, who went missing a few weeks ago. His lawyer is also working with Sam on another case, and he tells Sam about it. Sam goes to the postmortem, where it is discovered that she has been murdered, but that it isn't Ruth Townsend.

star 8.05
127 votes
Writers: Tom Needham
Legacy (2)

#10 - Legacy (2)

Season 16 - Episode 8 - Aired Feb 1, 2013

Whilst Nikki and Jack close the net on Brian Blackburn's troubled son for murdering his co-worker at the eco-housing project, Leo finally finds someone willing to confirm his fear about the mysterious local health hazard. But when his would-be-informant is found murdered, Leo is convinced he was the victim of a government conspiracy to conceal the truth. And during his dogged efforts to expose the cause of the health hazard, Leo begins to suspect that Nikki's new man, science minister James Embleton, and his belligerent father, may be linked to a ruthless plot to silence him, which leaves Leo battling alone to seek justice and save future lives.

star 8.04
147 votes
The Greater Good (2)

#11 - The Greater Good (2)

Season 23 - Episode 10 - Aired Feb 5, 2020

Jack is rushed to hospital after collapsing at the scene of a car crash. Thomas discovers that soldier John Sealy may have been exposed to a nerve agent.

star 8.04
49 votes
Betrayal (2)

#12 - Betrayal (2)

Season 22 - Episode 10 - Aired Feb 5, 2019

When Thomas sides against her findings on a controversial case, Nikki suspects foul play and takes steps to prove her theory. Jack and Clarissa follow a forensic trail connecting a dead researcher with a billionaire scientist and a secret testing programme.

star 8.00
97 votes
Body of Work (2)

#13 - Body of Work (2)

Season 10 - Episode 6 - Aired Jul 31, 2006

Harry's ex-girlfriend, Penny Harris, is found dead after an unusual car accident. Nikki takes on the case – which initially looks like suicide – while DCI Ambrose learns that Penny may have been having an affair. Nikki's post mortem produces a devastating revelation for Harry. Leo works on the elaborately staged apparent suicide of conceptual artist Jimmy Triangle. An anonymous video puts art critic Seth Jewell in the frame. But Leo isn't convinced and he starts to realise that this death is an artwork in its own right.

star 7.96
183 votes
Directors: Martyn Friend
Writers: Rhidian Brook
Trust (2)

#14 - Trust (2)

Season 16 - Episode 4 - Aired Jan 18, 2013

As the basement women case highlights two cooperating killers, Nikki, Jack and DI Reed realise one victim was killed by a controlled sedative, stolen from a high-tech vaccine research lab. And suspicion falls on Lucas Ballinger, a scientist who works there. Meanwhile, Leo draws a blank with his theory that Shona's baby died of natural causes, but when he discovers Mark's violent past, Leo fears Shona may have taken the rap for her partner's child abuse. Jack makes a chilling forensic breakthrough which exposes a dangerous plot to breach national security, leaving the Lyell Centre paralysed by a government-imposed lockdown. With Nikki, Jack and DI Reed locked in a race against time to find Ballinger and prevent mass casualties, Leo has one last shot at proving that Shona's baby died from natural causes in a desperate bid to reunite her and Mark with their other son before he is adopted.

star 7.94
180 votes
Schism (1)

#15 - Schism (1)

Season 10 - Episode 9 - Aired Aug 13, 2006

Harry and Nikki are called out to a London dogs' home where the naked body of a teenage girl has been found, tortured to death. It becomes clear that a second girl is being held somewhere, the pathologists find themselves pulled into a world of violence, spies, extremism and cover-ups.

star 7.94
188 votes
Directors: Nicholas Renton
Writers: Christian Spurrier
Shadows (1)

#16 - Shadows (1)

Season 13 - Episode 7 - Aired Jan 28, 2010

Nikki and Harry try to help wounded victims of a campus shooting while trapped in the building with the rampaging shoote

star 7.93
151 votes
Writers: Dudi Appleton, Jim Keeble
The Prodigal (2)

#17 - The Prodigal (2)

Season 14 - Episode 10 - Aired Feb 1, 2011

Harry discovers evidence of extensive plastic surgery on the corpse of the bodyguard as an autopsy is carried out. He also manages to locate the missing boy, Jack Van Buren, who is hiding in the basement of the Embassy. Nikki takes a look at the evidence from the 1996 disappearance of Jacob and learns that a DNA sample from Pieter's dead brother, Diederick, matches the profile of the dead bodyguard. The Van Burens' version of what happens becomes increasingly unlikely and when the body of the family's au pair, Mary Olivant, is found hanged near the Van Buren family home, Leo discovers the remains of a young boy in the ground. Klara ends up confessing that she was responsible for the shootings.

star 7.93
107 votes
Directors: James Strong
Writers: Michael Crompton
Double Dare (2)

#18 - Double Dare (2)

Season 11 - Episode 8 - Aired Sep 18, 2007

Nikki's reconstruction of the old crime scene delivered a devastating blow – doubts she had over the previous case were confirmed. When her father unwittingly leaked the story to the press, her professional integrity hung in the balance. Harry's investigation into the decomposing bodies of two teenage girls led him back to the Anna Holland case – and his findings ultimately exonerated Anna Holland. The hunt for Anna’s killer continued to draw blanks until the team received some shocking news. The badly burned woman in the hospital was not Carla, but Anna - which meant it was not Anna, but Carla who was murdered.

star 7.92
117 votes
Writers: Michael Crompton
Body 21 (2)

#19 - Body 21 (2)

Season 8 - Episode 8 - Aired Sep 27, 2004

The team are approached by a support group of survivors from a recent train crash, who want them to investigate what happened. They agree and begin to look into how the crash occurred, and the identity of the unidentified Body 21.

star 7.92
215 votes
Writers: Michael Crompton
Terminus (1)

#20 - Terminus (1)

Season 10 - Episode 3 - Aired Jul 23, 2006

Harry is joined by Sergeant Susan Fenn to investigate a hit-and-run accident on a run-down council estate. Leo and arch-cynic DI De Rohan are drawn into the case of a woman killed in a terrible fire at her house. And Nikki examines the body of a woman who collapsed and died at her own hen night.

star 7.92
193 votes
Directors: Alrick Riley
Writers: Jeff Povey
Home (2)

#21 - Home (2)

Season 13 - Episode 10 - Aired Feb 5, 2010

An asylum seeker from Zimbabwe is unfairly deported to South Africa, and Leo strives to find a way to have her return to the UK, which may be more complex that it would first seem

star 7.92
95 votes
Directors: Paul Wilmshurst
Writers: Michael Crompton
Peripheral Vision (2)

#22 - Peripheral Vision (2)

Season 11 - Episode 10 - Aired Sep 25, 2007

Having fallen out with both the police and Clara’s family, Nikki finds herself increasingly alone in her search for the killer.

star 7.90
113 votes
Directors: Bruce Goodison
Writers: Christian Spurrier
Family (2)

#23 - Family (2)

Season 21 - Episode 10 - Aired Feb 7, 2018

As the truth behind the McMorris family is revealed, the team is brought together by the conclusion of a shocking Christmas family tragedy. Reuniting with their respective families, Nikki finds her secret Santa gift is a visit from a loved one.

star 7.89
167 votes
Directors: Colin Teague
Writers: Michael Crompton
Fraternity (1)

#24 - Fraternity (1)

Season 17 - Episode 9 - Aired Jan 30, 2014

Jack becomes involved in an investigation into the murder of a 15-year-old girl owing to his personal connection with the prime suspect. Thomas needs to clear up the conflict of interest.

star 7.87
151 votes
Body 21 (1)

#25 - Body 21 (1)

Season 8 - Episode 7 - Aired Sep 25, 2004

The team are approached by a support group of survivors from a recent train crash, who want them to investigate what happened. They agree and begin to look into how the crash occurred, and the identity of the unidentified Body 21.

star 7.87
214 votes
Writers: Michael Crompton