CHRISTOPHER STEVENS reviews last night's TV

CHRISTOPHER STEVENS reviews last night’s TV: With Dr Nikki all loved up, where’s the cut and thrust of the mortuary?

Silent Witness

Rating: **

The Mayfair Hotel Megabuild

Rating: ** 

Love is making Dr Nikki cynical. The fragrant pathologist of Silent Witness (BBC1) used to ache with empathy for the bodies she sliced open.

But since an office romance swept her off her feet, our angel of the post-mortem room has become callous, even jaded. Musing over the impact of a fall from the roof of a 50-storey skyscraper, she seemed to relish the maths involved.

Terminal velocity multiplied by body mass meant an ordinary man, in this case an unfortunate banker, would hit the ground with the force of a seven-ton weight.

‘It’s not the fall that kills you,’ she added morbidly, ‘it’s the hard stop.’

Dr Nikki (Emilia Fox) and her boyfriend, forensics expert Jack, were having a little sadistic fun with their new recruit. Velvy (played by Alastair Michael) is an unworldly innocent, so inexperienced that he’s never travelled beyond the M25.

Dr Nikki (Emilia Fox) (pictured) and her boyfriend, forensics expert Jack, were having a little sadistic fun with their new recruit in Silent Witness

How he got a job with Nikki and Jack, the SAS of the mortuary, who risk their lives weekly while running rings around the police, isn’t clear. Someone mentioned that he was recommended by a friend. That just goes to show — it’s who you know, not what.

Velvy is so clueless that, when he stumbled in to find Nikki and Jack sharing a moment, he was incredulous. ‘Were you kissing?’ he gasped.

Actually, they were just gazing at each other in admiration. Nikki was flushed and hyper ventilating. Jack (David Caves), who looks like a blow-up Mr Universe doll that has been slightly over-inflated, was rippling his pectorals — always a sign he’s in the grip of emotion.

Love must be good for Jack because he appears to have developed a new superpower — the ability to see into the past. Prowling around the banker’s offices, he spotted a spilled cup of coffee and a sandwich with a bite out of it.

From this, he deduced that the dead man was chased onto the roof by a killer in red shoes, before climbing onto a parapet and slipping to his doom.

Later, Jack visited a tattoo parlour where his time-machine vision showed him an undercover policeman with a bunch of Italian gangsters and a torture chamber in the room upstairs.

Teams of miners from Donegal have been working below the foundations around the clock for years, digging out the clay by hand in near silence on The Mayfair Hotel Megabuild 

When the work is finished, Claridge’s will have a five-storey underground complex. It’s an astonishing feat, partly financed by the Qatari Royal Family, but this documentary managed to make it a little mundane

That aroused the interest of detective Laine Cassidy (Sophia Myles) from the National Crime Agency. And it takes a lot to pique her curiosity. ‘I don’t leave my corner office for murder,’ she announced. ‘This is rather more serious than that.’

Meanwhile, Nikki was dissecting a pig that had recently eaten a human corpse. A scrap of tattooed skin enabled her to identify the victim as the undercover copper.

In her single days, Dr Nikki would have been aghast. Now she’s all loved up, she just chuckled and called the pig ‘Peppa’.

Emilia Fox was also narrating The Mayfair Hotel Megabuild (BBC2), her voice cooing with the glamour of it as Claridge’s in London was treated to ‘the most audacious hotel upgrade ever attempted’.

The engineering is certainly impressive. Teams of miners from Donegal have been working below the foundations around the clock for years, digging out the clay by hand in near silence . . . so as not to disturb the guests.

When the work is finished, Claridge’s will have a five-storey underground complex. It’s an astonishing feat, partly financed by the Qatari Royal Family, but this documentary managed to make it a little mundane. We saw a few brief introductions and a lot of shots of men in hard hats.

There’s a fascinating story here, but so far this film hasn’t unearthed it.

Source: Read Full Article