YMMV / Silent Witness

  • Alternate Character Interpretation: Was DI Chrissy Reed from "Trust" actually just an ambitious woman who made a few mistakes and genuinely cared about Jack, or was she really just a Manipulative Bitch who knowingly tampered with evidence and slept her way to the top?
  • Crowning Moment of Awesome: Nikki Alexander going up against serial killer Arnold Mears (James Cosmo) and (intellectually-speaking) kicking his ass in "Paradise Lost".
  • Crowning Music of Awesome: The beautiful yet haunting theme, "Silencium" by John Harle.
  • Fan-Preferred Couple: Nikki/Harry is by far the most popular pairing. It's helped by the massive amounts of Unresolved Sexual Tension and Ship Tease between the two (and the fact all their other love interests are derailed in one way or another).
  • Ensemble Dark Horse: Clarissa Mullery, probably for being a wise-cracking Deadpan Snarker who provides some much needed humour on a show that is often rather bleak and gritty, played by Liz Carr, with fans frequently wishing for Clarissa to get more focus in the stories or for the writers to reveal more about her past and personal life.
  • Harsher in Hindsight: An in-universe example in Greater Love. After Leo gets beaten up, Nikki states that he's "the closest thing to a father I have" and that she doesn't know what she'd do without him. At the end of the episode Leo is Killed Off for Real.
  • Hilarious in Hindsight:
    • Jack Hodgson's been Rey's step-uncle and Padme's bodyguard (in the 2016 film Jackie).
    • Emilia Fox is also known for playing the sorceress Morgause in Merlin (2008), where she makes repeated attempts to kill Bradley James's character, Arthur Pendragon. On Silent Witness, Nikki once dated one Greg Walker, portrayed by Tobias Menzies, whose character in Underworld: Blood Wars also has a crack at killing Bradley James. In the same film, he also tries to kill Theo James's character...and Theo James plays Fox's love interest in the 2017 play Sex With Strangers. And then one remembers that Charles Dance plays Theo James's dad in Blood Wars; years earlier, he played Maxim de Winter, whilst Fox played his wife, Mrs de Winter, in a miniseries adaption of Rebecca.
  • Nightmare Fuel:
    • "Body 21", a story about a train crash.
    • Also Naomi Silverlake, a physical embodiment of this trope.
    • The entire plot of "After the Fall", combined with Paranoia Fuel.
    • The second part of "Awakening", where Nikki is kidnapped by a cartel and buried alive, with only a cellphone with limited signal and a single bottle of water, and little hope of rescue.
    • "In A Lonely Place", which revolves around a serial killer who kidnaps and rapes vulnerable women, forces them to run naked through the woods whilst hunting them down like animals and has been getting away with it for years, because no one cared enough about these women - most of whom are strippers, prostitutes and runaways - to look for them. Taken Up to Eleven when the one woman who managed to escape from the killer gets taken by him a second time and must relive her ordeal.
  • Replacement Scrappy: A few viewers saw Jack as this for the popular Harry, when his character first appeared. Mostly, Harry/Nikki shippers or people who found him to be a Suspiciously Similar Substitute for Harry. However, this mostly seems to have died off now, likely due to Jack being established as an independent character in his own right rather than a carbon copy of Harry. There are even an increasing number of fans (starting from around Season 19) who actually ship Nikki and Jack together.
  • Retroactive Recognition:
  • Seasonal Rot: Some viewers feel that the show has started to suffer from this. Some say the rot first began when Sam Ryan left, others say it's when Harry left or Leo died. Common criticisms include the storylines focusing less on the characters and more on the cases, and the storylines becoming less plausible and more over-the-top. However, this is strictly YMMV, as the show remains one of the longest-running crime shows in the world and rakes in millions of viewers. Season 18 in particular was highly praised, and many viewers actually prefer the episodic style of the series and ensemble cast, and feel that the stories, whilst they may not be strictly realistic, are still entertaining and current.
  • Tearjerker:
    • DCI Tom Wimber's health slowly deteriorating throughout "The Meaning of Death" and his death by cancer at the end of the story.
    • Leo Dalton's Heroic Sacrifice at the end of "Greater Love" and the subsequent funeral scene.
  • Unintentionally Unsympathetic: It's not clear if she is intended to be sympathetic, but Katie, Carl's wife, from One of Our Own, is hard to feel sorry for. Sure, the man she loves was brutally murdered, but at the same time, she was cheating on her husband Carl with Honeywell, who was her husband's best friend. At one point, she even ditches her kids with a babysitter to go hook up with Honeywell. Carl doesn't appear to be a bad husband; he clearly loves Katie and the only real reason Katie gives for cheating is that Honeywell pays attention to her and "makes her feel special". Carl himself states the reason he's been somewhat distant lately is because he's been working overtime to provide for them all, so it's not like he's intentionally mistreating her or abusing her in any way. Finally, when Honeywell turns up dead, Katie's immediate assumption is that her husband must have killed him. She never even considers another suspect - nope, Carl must've killed his best friend - the cop working around drug dealers and other dangerous people 24/7 - because of our affair (Carl didn't kill Honeywell, by the way). She never really apologizes for falsely accusing her husband of his best friend's murder or cheating on him and instead just sits there wailing about how she misses her lover, whilst Carl is in the midst of a (perfectly understandable) mental breakdown.
  • The Woobie:
    • Geraldine Briggs (played by Sharon Small) from "Change". Dear God. She was raped at the age of sixteen by her uncle and got pregnant. Her father wouldn't let her have an abortion, didn't believe her about being raped and forced her to not only carry the pregnancy to term, but keep it a secret to avoid a scandal. When she finally had the baby, she grew to love her, only for her parents to take her baby away to be adopted. Her mother straight up told her she was "put on this earth to endure pain" and its implied she was blamed for her death. She was estranged from her father for years, then he died suddenly. Geraldine meets a young woman she's been lead to believe is her daughter...only for her to be murdered. Then it turns out she wasn't her daughter. And then she gets accused of murdering her. And then, her only friend is murdered and she's accused of killing her too! It's definitely a Crowning Moment Of Heart Warming when Nikki tracks down Geraldine's real daughter and they are reunited.
    • Jack Hodgson in Fraternity, especially by the end. He very nearly ruined his reputation and his relationship with his colleagues, came close to losing his job, and was seriously injured and almost killed in an effort to prove his brother Ryan's innocence in a murder case. Then it turns out that Ryan, whilst he isn't a murderer, still manipulated a teenage girl into sleeping with a doctor to blackmail him, which directly lead to her death and the death of Ryan's stepdaughter, after he spent the whole time telling Jack he wasn't involved. His relationship with his brother is left in tatters, and is possibly damaged beyond repair after Jack turns him in to the police, unable to bear the guilt. The look on his face as he watches Ryan being arrested really says it all.
http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/YMMV/SilentWitness