New series of Silk on BBC 1

Maxine Peake as Martha Costello in second series of SilkThe first series took a while to build, but by the end, after getting to know and care about the characters, it seemed as if series two would be even better.

And it started promisingly enough. Martha Costello (Maxine Peake) is now a QC, attaining the status ahead of her rival in chambers Clive Reader (Rupert Penry-Jones), setting up a nice bit of conflict.

All good.

With the addition of the fabulous Frances Barber as a prosecuting barrister with a great collection of one-liners and a rebellious streak outside of the courtroom, the prospects of a great second outing were looking even better.

But then… guess who tipped up? Phil bleeding Davis. I thought it might be a one-off appearance, but judging from the first episode and the trailer for the second, it seems he’s destined to be not just a regular, but quite possibly pivotal in the story arc.

I’ve nothing against Phil Davis per se – he’s a British TV and movie stalwart. Love his work with Mike Leigh.

But.

Phil Davis and Rupert Penry-Jones back together again, so soon after the last series of Whitechapel?

I think it’s fair to assume in the great Venn diagram of TV crime drama audiences, there’s a whopping great overlap of Whitechapel and Silk viewers. The appearance of Phil Davis as a new character in Silk to play alongside his old mucker Rupert smacks of brilliant agenting (check IMDB for the many films/TV progs the man will be appearing in this year and next) and/or lazy casting.

As a viewer I feel insulted by the thoughtless choice. So much so, I’m not sure I can continue to watch. Which is a real shame – I’ve   pretty much loved everything Maxine Peake’s been in since that fabulous Southbank Show profile of her at RADA was broadcast in 1996.

As Twink might say: Arseholes on toast.

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About Eva Hudson
Eva Hudson is an author who specialises in writing crime thrillers featuring strong female leads. Eva was born and raised in south London and now splits her time between the Sussex countryside and central London. She’s been a government officer, singer, dotcom entrepreneur, portrait artist, web designer and project manager. In 2011 she won the inaugural Lucy Cavendish fiction prize for her first novel, political thriller, The Loyal Servant.

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