Science Fair Project Encyclopedia
Silent Witness is a long-running British television thriller series made by the BBC's in-house Drama Serials production department, and screened on the BBC One network. First broadcast in 1996, it is still running as of 2004.
The programme originally followed the activities of an attractive female pathologist, Sam Ryan, played by Amanda Burton, although Ryan's character departed early in the eighth season in 2004 and a new character (Nikki Alexander, played by Emilia Fox) was introduced to the team.
The programme is typically made up of a series of two-part stories, usually with six to eight episodes per season.
The series is often criticised for apparently showing the pathologist actively investigating the crime, an approach which was parodied by British comedic duo French and Saunders as "Witless Silence". This characteristic of pathologiost as urban hero follows on earlier similar series such as Quincy, M.E. on US TV (itself based on an earlier Canadian TV series Wojeck) and is also shared by the continuing CBS series CSI: Crime Scene Investigation.
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