TV | Silk – Courtroom battles, sex, hypocrisy and even a little bit of Joy Division

Battles in the courtroom, sex, hypocrisy, terminal illness, love, power, and even a bit of Joy Division. What doesn’t series three of Silk have to offer?

Well, for Martha Costello (Maxine Peake), it doesn’t seem to offer success; her client, declared guilty, kills himself, whilst competitor Clive Reader (Rupert Penry-Jones) seems to be top-dog, his silk party opening the series. And who knew, he is apparently outrageously in love with Martha. However, is this the only surprise this new series had to offer?

Episode one threw the son of Shoe Lane’s Head of Chambers, David, into a trial, in which Martha’s somewhat motherly instincts render her unable to distinguish between a requirement to defend a client and a compelling need to protect a child. On trial for causing the death of a police officer in a rally, the possibility of a police-fabricated frame offers a possible answer, but perhaps not originality.

Yet, the big reveal of David’s schizophrenia unravels in just sixty seconds, the voice inside his head demanding he kill being brushed aside after its contribution to plot; has Silk’s creator, Peter Moffat, missed a possible compelling complexity?

The second episode of the series may also lack surprises, with Martha’s empathetic nature yet again conquering all, including her beau Clive. Proving to a court that an assault, committed by a professional footballer in front of millions of spectators, was in fact self-defence, Martha saves the day, along with her client and his closely guarded secret about his sexuality.

Maybe Silk playing it safe in the ever expanding realm of legal drama, but it is an easy watch, attracting viewers by the million. Let’s not forget, there may be potential for the Clive-Martha match-make, but will love may well tear them apart? As for the rest of the series? The jury’s not out on that one quite yet.

 Katie Dawtry

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