How realistic is Silk? Do the public find it believable?
Last night’s episode wasn’t quite typical of what had gone before, but the modern slant given to the storyline – with a ‘football’ theme – may have given it some extra local appeal. Arguably, given the contents of Sol Campbell’s much self publicized autobiography over the weekend – raising the issues of race and homosexuality – it might even have given it some extra realism. Personally, I reckon Silk probably wins the credibility stakes against Sol’s book – it hasn’t gone down too well with the powers that be at the F.A., nor with ‘pundit royalty’ on ‘5 Live.’
The main ‘Silk’ in the show – Martha Costello – for those of you not familiar with the series is played by the ever excellent Maxine Peake. She plays it beautifully- totally committed to her clients, and burning the candle at both ends to ensure that she doesn’t miss a trick when a case comes on for trial. There are no weak links in the cast, but I especially like the way that her clerk, Billy, is played by Neil Stuke – his finger is on everyone’s pulse, and what he doesn’t know about the London legal circuit isn’t worth knowing. Unfortunately, it’s looking like he’s got s terminal illness storyline brewing, so watch him while you can, as I don’t fancy his chances of making it to series 4. Also, there’s prosecutor Caroline Warwick QC, played vampishly by the magnificent Frances Barber.
Last night featured a lovely cameo role too by everyone’s favourite Coronation Street homicidal maniac, Brian Capron, who played a smug football agent to a tee. Throw in a performance by Jessica Henwick as an out-of-her-depth pupil barrister, not quite sure of the world she had landed herself in, and, for those of us with some courtroom experience, I can say that much of Silk was very real indeed.
All of this on a backdrop of the legal heart of the capital – the beautiful Temple architecture in London; great characters; great acting; what’s not to like?