Peter Moffat’s slick courtroom drama Silk returns for its six-part second series with high anticipations after the hit of the first, and It doesn’t disappoint!
Maxine Peake, Rupert Penry – Jones and Neil Stuke all return as Martha, Clive and Billy. Last years juniors Nick and Niamh have moved on to pastures new leaving us with three new junior clerks and the almighty additions of Phil Davis as Mickey Joy, and Francis Barber as Caroline Warwick – The Lady Macbeth of the prosecution; bringing with them more talent than you can shake a stick at.
Shoe Lane Chambers’ newly qualified QC Martha Costello has her work cut out when faced with defending the muscle of the Farr family – London’s biggest crime gang, after he viciously attacked an innocent man by blinding him. However Martha has to prove that things are not that simple when she believes her client, Brendan is of low intelligence and venerable to fear and manipulation by the Farr’s. Meanwhile Clive is failing quite miserably at not sulking about losing out to Silk to Martha, and now having to act as her junior. He almost throws a brotherly strop when she inadvertently refers to him as “note taker.” He deals with it like most men by buying a motorbike and trying and failing (for the moment anyway) to sleep with the new solicitor George Duggan (Indira Varma).
Davis is superb as the shady solicitor Mickey Joy who has some great lines throughout the show. My favourite sums up his character and Phil’s performance perfectly. “There is only one hymn sheet, it is mine! I give it to you and you make totally bloody sure it’s Onward Christian Soldiers everyone is singing. You got it?” With that delivery Phil, how can we not?
Talking of great lines: Billy’s gone all poetic on us this series. On one hand he plays at the proud father figure to Martha but behind the scenes weaving in and out of whose side he’s actually on. He tells junior clerk Jake “We need to celebrate the triumph and handle the disaster” as he so eloquently describes the outcome of Silk for Martha and Clive. Poor Jake doesn’t know if he’s coming or going. One minute Billy’s lackey and confidante the next tossed out like a bad penny when not needed, and on top of that he’s a little startled into awkwardness when Bethany the new young pretty junior turns up.
Silk is British TV at its best with great scripts, acting and doesn’t insult the intelligence or the heart of the British audience. Maxine Peake brings with her not only a strong powerful figure but an empathetic character in Martha, who cares about her clients and makes us the viewer feel the same. A great return and so far has jumped to the top of my list of 2012 drama’s.
Next week: Martha has to deal with the knowledge of Brendan’s death, and Matthew McNulty guest stars.