The Best Episodes of Silent Witness

Last Updated: Oct 26, 2018

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.

Greater Love (2)

#1 - Greater Love (2)

Season 16 - Episode 10

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 8.01
74 votes
Family (2)

#2 - Family (2)

Season 21 - Episode 10

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 7.91
113 votes
Directors: Colin Teague
Writers: Michael Crompton
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Coup de Grace (2)

#3 - Coup de Grace (2)

Season 17 - Episode 4

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 7.86
102 votes
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Covenant (2)

#4 - Covenant (2)

Season 20 - Episode 8

Examining the contents of Liam's phone, Clarissa has found a longer version of the video and sees a flash of Paul's face as he peers from the stairs. Retrieving Paul's laptop, Clarissa takes it to Max's lab and finds reams of communication between Paul and another person, under pseudonyms, which starts to unravel the mystery of the Billingsgate killings. Meanwhile, Clarissa is amused to see Thomas' nose put out of joint and Jack soon feels paranoid that Max is poaching Clarissa for his own lab. Will Clarissa remain with the Lyell team?

star 7.86
162 votes
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Fraternity (2)

#5 - Fraternity (2)

Season 17 - Episode 10

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 7.86
104 votes
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Awakening (2)

#6 - Awakening (2)

Season 20 - Episode 10

A frantic Jack carries out forensic examinations on the spot where Nikki disappeared. With Thomas at the airport ready to come out and help, but still 24 hours away and no leads left to follow, Jack receives a text message containing a mysterious phone number. However when Jack calls through, expecting to hear from Nikki's captors, he is shocked at who answers the phone. Last in the series

star 7.84
186 votes
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Sniper's Nest (2)

#7 - Sniper's Nest (2)

Season 18 - Episode 2

DCI De Freitas’s expertise in victim and killer profiling is used to help narrow down the suspects as she contains her undercurrent of animosity with Drake.

star 7.78
120 votes
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Legacy (1)

#8 - Legacy (1)

Season 16 - Episode 7

Nikki and Jack are under pressure when a teenager's remains halt an eco-housing project, while Leo is trapped in a dangerous hospital siege as distraught Tom Hancock holds a ward at gunpoint to turn off his terminally ill son's life support. Leo agrees to do his son's post-mortem to diffuse the situation, and becomes embroiled in Tom's quest for the truth behind his son's cancerous tumours. When Leo discovers that Tom's son had the same kidney disorder as the housing project victim, he suspects a dangerous local health hazard. Far from convinced, Nikki enjoys a whirlwind romance with charismatic science minister James Embleton, the eco-housing project owner, despite his belligerent father's discomfort. New construction site evidence leads Jack to builder Brian Blackburn, with suspicion falling on his son, who has sudden behavioural problems. And as Leo's investigation into a health hazard hits another barrier, he becomes convinced he is onto a cover up.

star 7.77
91 votes
Identity (2)

#9 - Identity (2)

Season 20 - Episode 2

When Nikki, Jack and Thomas make a horrific discovery in the van, they are confronted with the work of a killer who preys on illegal immigrants. With the help of Clarissa, they must work out where the killer will strike next before more vulnerable people meet the same fate.

star 7.77
213 votes
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Trust (1)

#10 - Trust (1)

Season 16 - Episode 3

The case of two young women shot dead in a house basement forces Jack to lock horns with an old flame, the ambitious DI Chrissy Reed. As the pair's animosity rapidly escalates due to their conflicting motive theories and failure to ID the victims, Nikki's probing unearths the potentially career-damaging truth behind it. Meanwhile, Leo wrestles with providing a second post-mortem on a baby suspected of being abused and smothered to death by his mother, Shona. The father, Mark, is adamant she is innocent. He pleads with Leo to find an alternative cause for their son's fractures and death to free his wife before their other son, Darius, is adopted. However, Leo soon realises that to achieve this he must re-examine the work of his pathologist friend, Richard Fell, and prove he made a mistake in his evidence against Shona.

star 7.76
95 votes
Commodity (1)

#11 - Commodity (1)

Season 17 - Episode 1

Premiership footballer Isaac Dreyfus finds his career in tatters after a sex tape links him to the brutal murder of a young woman, threatening to destroy both his reputation and marriage. He is desperate to prove his innocence, while Adam Freedman turns to a mysterious source for help to avenge the murder of his wife and child. Nikki finds it hard to deal with Leo’s death following the arrival of the new Lyell Centre boss, pathologist Thomas Chamberlain.

star 7.76
115 votes
Directors: Daniel O'Hara
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Legacy (2)

#12 - Legacy (2)

Season 16 - Episode 8

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 7.76
82 votes
Commodity (2)

#13 - Commodity (2)

Season 17 - Episode 2

Isaac Dreyfus fights to prove his innocence, whilst Adam Freedman turns to a mysterious source for help get revenge for the murder of his wife and child. Nikki questions the motive behind the murders and a re-examination of the Freedman crime scene leads Jack to make a shocking discovery.

star 7.75
100 votes
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Covenant (1)

#14 - Covenant (1)

Season 20 - Episode 7

Father and son Bill and Frankie McAteer are killed in a horrific car accident on their way home from work at Billingsgate Market. Nikki and Jack arrive at the scene of the crash to meet DS Jodie Tanner, and to discover Frankie's body still in the car but riddled with bullets. Whoever was driving the SUV had a gun. Back at the Lyell centre, Nikki's post mortem examinations suggest that Frankie was the target, rather than Bill. Clarissa and Max discover a deleted video on a mobile phone showing a sexual encounter between Frankie, his girlfriend Becky and best friend Liam, which was posted on a revenge porn website. However when Liam is also killed, the video becomes the key to the killings. When Nikki and Tanner visit Becky, her flatmate Paul enters and she bursts into tears about the murder. But Paul looks like he has worries of his own… Meanwhile, Clarissa's husband Max is an expert in the fast-developing field of digital forensics and lends some equipment to help crack Frankie's seemingly-empty phone, his arrival causing an icy reaction from both Thomas and Jack.

star 7.75
181 votes
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And Then I Fell in Love (2)

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

Season 15 - Episode 12

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 7.75
55 votes
Directors: Mike Barker
Writers: Dudi Appleton, Jim Keeble
One Day (2)

#16 - One Day (2)

Season 21 - Episode 8

The team are determined to uncover the truth about unexplained deaths of patients at a care home. They are desperate to rescue Serena and return her to safety. Unbeknownst to her colleagues in the Lyell Centre, Clarissa allows herself to be admitted to the care home in order to investigate. Her determination to find out what happened at the care home leads her to uncover a shocking truth, but puts her life in danger.

star 7.74
111 votes
Writers: Timothy Prager
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Bloodlines (2)

#17 - Bloodlines (2)

Season 14 - Episode 8

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 7.73
80 votes
Directors: Dudi Appleton
Writers: Dudi Appleton, Jim Keeble
In a Lonely Place (2)

#18 - In a Lonely Place (2)

Season 17 - Episode 6

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 7.70
103 votes
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Trust (2)

#19 - Trust (2)

Season 16 - Episode 4

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 7.70
90 votes
The Meaning of Death (2)

#20 - The Meaning of Death (2)

Season 9 - Episode 6

The team pursues a serial killer with a grisly desire to look at his victims' faces as they die, and the trail leads into the world of academic philosophy. However, Nikki is distracted from the case by the death of her grandmother, while Harry investigates the demise of a woman who apparently drowned in three inches of water.

star 7.70
83 votes
Directors: Bryn Higgins
Writers: Rhidian Brook
Death Has No Dominion (2)

#21 - Death Has No Dominion (2)

Season 15 - Episode 2

Harry and DI James deviate from the original investigation to secretly test DNA evidence from the rival Chesham laboratory to try to solve this stalled case.

star 7.69
94 votes
Directors: Andy Hay
Writers: Ed Whitmore
Body 21 (2)

#22 - Body 21 (2)

Season 8 - Episode 8

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 7.69
90 votes
Writers: Michael Crompton
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Fraternity (1)

#23 - Fraternity (1)

Season 17 - Episode 9

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 7.69
110 votes
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Remembrance (2)

#24 - Remembrance (2)

Season 20 - Episode 6

Nikki is under fire for leaking information on a suspect, and Thomas is called in to play peacemaker. Jack and DI Ashton track down the mystery witness. Before the killer strikes again, the team must uncover the true story of Ruth Tresize's disappearance three years earlier.

star 7.68
158 votes
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One Day (1)

#25 - One Day (1)

Season 21 - Episode 7

While two care home staff are chasing Kevin McDowd, a young man with learning disabilities and sociopathic tendencies, Nikki and Jack examine a fatal road accident where the deceased is Kevin McDowd's mother. The investigation led by police sergeant Button should be straightforward, but the forensic evidence suggests foul play.

star 7.68
116 votes
Writers: Timothy Prager
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