08 January 2020 02:38
Each new series of Silent Witness sees the team sent off to brand-new locations, and in 2020 there are lots more in store. 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 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.
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.
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? The Lyell Centre is located in a warehouse at BBC Park Western in Acton, where a permanent set was built seven years ago. 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. Advertisement We'll be providing more news on filming locations as series 23 continues… After 22 series of Silent Witness, we have learned that forensic TV pathology is a complicated job. Of course it involves the obvious stuff, which requires zombie overalls and a pained expression. The facial discomfiture will vary, though the transition between mild indigestion and suppressed "Eureka!" will be as subtle as it is sudden. There will be whispering, out of respect for the mutilated corpses on the slab, because to wake them would turn Silent Witness into a different kind of drama. There will be jargon: to baffle and display expertise. Crimes of vast complexity will be solved after an hour or two of concentrated murmuring. This week, it's a plane crash. A small plane, but a significant one. "So," says Dr Nikki Alexander (Emilia Fox) immediately, "who was on it?" An excellent question. Open, yet curious, which is apt, as the occupants of the plane include Miriam Heller, the public face of an NGO, and Jonathan Kraft — "as in ex-US ambassador Jonathan Kraft". There's also 12-year-old Ezra (Harrison Abel) who is not quite dead — blood pressure 80 over 50, techno soundtrack enabled — and handy for mobile phone videos of the crash. Plus a non-flying pilot. A NON-FLYING PILOT. Television shows in 2020 11 show all Television shows in 2020 1/11 They're back: Doctor Who will return on Wednesday 1 January BBC / BBC Studios 2/11 Aimee Lou Wood as Aimee Gibbs and Emma Mackey as Maeve Wiley Netflix 3/11 The Masked Singer ITV 4/11 Love Island ITV 5/11 RuPaul's Drag Race UK BBC /Leigh Keily 6/11 After Life Netflix 7/11 The Circle Studio Lambert 8/11 White House Farm ITV 9/11 Deadwater Fell Mark Mainz 10/11 Star Trek: Picard CBS 11/11 Belgravia Carnival Films 1/11 They're back: Doctor Who will return on Wednesday 1 January BBC / BBC Studios 2/11 Aimee Lou Wood as Aimee Gibbs and Emma Mackey as Maeve Wiley Netflix 3/11 The Masked Singer ITV 4/11 Love Island ITV 5/11 RuPaul's Drag Race UK BBC /Leigh Keily 6/11 After Life Netflix 7/11 The Circle Studio Lambert 8/11 White House Farm ITV 9/11 Deadwater Fell Mark Mainz 10/11 Star Trek: Picard CBS 11/11 Belgravia Carnival Films So, nothing suspicious there. True, the bodies are scattered around like barbecued rejects from Antony Gormley's garden ornament factory, but as plane crashes go, everything seems to be in order. But remember Dr Nikki, with her ring-flash and relentless nose for truth. Sooner, not later, she is going to suspect there is more to this routine crash on which a former ambassador and terrorist target was a passenger. Attention will turn to the non-flying pilot. Who was he, and what was he doing if NOT FLYING? There's more. Silent Witness would be great if it just involved Emilia Fox wandering around looking worried, but there's a whole team of detective pathologists, all of them trained in Googling and slow supposition. So when Dr Thomas Chamberlain (Richard Lintern) is called away from this international disaster to attend to a routine suicide in which the victim has a questionable browser history and a rudimentary smiley tattoo, things get complicated. The non-flying pilot has the same tattoo. Strangely, the design is the same as the home-made tattoo done by film star Margot Robbie on last Friday's Graham Norton Show. Which may seem like a coincidence. Except that there are no coincidences in television pathology...