The pathologists join the police in removing the corpses of the refugees who suffocated in the locked van and find a possible clue in phone messages sent by the dying victims. Whilst a ... See full summary »

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Cast

Episode credited cast:
Leila Al-Jeboury ...
True Faith woman
...
Akka Khoury
Fiston Barek ...
Gyearbour Asante
Cristina Barreiro ...
Elia
Liz Carr ...
...
Jack Hodgson
Billy Cook ...
Abdul Al Wilson
...
Ittak Khoury
...
...
Wiry migrant
Natasha Joseph ...
Pia Butler
...
Sosa
Ryan Kiggell ...
DCI Rory Goodchild
...
Yusef Hamed
...
White van driver
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Storyline

The pathologists join the police in removing the corpses of the refugees who suffocated in the locked van and find a possible clue in phone messages sent by the dying victims. Whilst a customs officer due for retirement is suspected of allowing the people smuggling the team establish that the culprit took money from the relatives of the migrants he then left to die, Akka's mother among them. Yusuf rescues another batch of refugees from a second locked van, escaping with Sosa before the police arrive but the real clue surfaces via a Syrian charity to which the killer donated the victims' monies. Written by don @ minifie-1

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Crime | Drama | Mystery

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3 January 2017 (UK)  »

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The team get caught up in the issue of people smuggling
4 January 2017 | by (United Kingdom) – See all my reviews

These comments are based on the whole two part story not just episode two.

As this story opens Nikki is asked to examine a severed finger; it had been given to a family of Syrian refugees who have been told it belongs to a loved one who was being smuggled into the country and that she will be harmed they don't pay up. The authorities seem keener on rounding up the family, who are in the country illegally, which disturbs Nikki. Meanwhile a man involved in people smuggling is found at the bottom of a tall building; initially the police suspect suicide but it soon becomes apparent that he was stabbed in the neck then pushed. Inevitably the two cases are found to be linked. As the police and the team at the Lyle Centre work to uncover what is going on they make a shocking discovery; a van full of dead refugees deep in a Kent wood. Nikki ends up looking after fifteen year old Akka after her family assaults her for going to the authorities. While all this is going on we are also shown a twelve year old Syrian girl, Sosa, who is making her way from France to England and into potential danger.

This was a solid opening to the twentieth series of 'Silent Witness' that deals well with the issues of how to deal with those entering the country illegally. It could easily have become too preachy about whether we should 'let them all in' or 'kick them all out' but manages to be balanced even if a debate on the matter between Nikki and Tom seemed as though it was shoe-horned in to show balance. The central mystery is interesting and there are plenty of tense moments; especially those involving young Sosa as she gets closer to her destination it seems she is getting closer to the person responsible for an increasing number of deaths. The regular cast does a fine job, as one might expect and are given good support from guest stars; notably Lydia Kalian, who plays Sosa; Sofia Amir, who played Akka; and Gerald Kyd, who played people-smuggler Yusef Hamed. There are scenes that may upset some viewers dead bodies are shown as there are moments of fairly shocking violence. There are some unlikely details of course; we are told that the people who died in the van would have been trapped for days banging on the sides before they died, it is hard to believe nobody would have found the van in the woods before the authorities. Likewise the family reunion at the end relied on some perfect timing. These are minor problems though and certainly didn't spoil the story for me. I hope the remaining episodes in the current series are this good.


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