It is my armchair critic’s opinion that tv dream sequences are always green. So when a show tries to convince you a favourite character has died with a trailer glimpse of them stretched out on a slab, I can always reassure you with the truth: it’s a dream sequence. How do I know? It’s tinged with green. Do androids dream of green-tinged electric sheep. Probably.
I tested my theory on Silent Witness, a long time favourite with my family, and Dr Nikki Alexander, a long time favourite character. Watching the show together is something of a tradition for us, a lone hold-out against a slow drift into changing tastes and schedules. This, despite a strange phenomenon. The show has slowed down to a near-tortuous degree. Each scene is at least 30 seconds too long, lingering dreamily on pieces of evidence or stricken faces of bereaved relatives. Silent Witness is in about as much of a hurry as its corpses. But we show up, my family and I, and we enjoy it every week. We like the actors, we like the characters, we even like the comfy predictability of the plots. It’s friendly and worn-in to perfection, like the sofas we sit on to view it.
So there were a few raised pulses at a glimpse of Nikki stretched out on a slab under a white sheet. Was our favourite forensic pathologist really dead…?
“Don’t worry.” I counselled. “It’s green.”