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4.7 out of 5 stars
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4.7 out of 5 stars
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VINE VOICEon 17 September 2007
Why do the BBC keep delaying their release dates? This dvd was due out last year and has only just been released. So, was it worth that wait - you bet it was. Amanda Burton return as forensic pathologist Dr Sam Ryan. Series 2 of Silent Witness contains 4 stories each with two parts. Unlike the Dutch release which cobbled the 2 part stories together.
The first story Blood, Sweat And Tears concerns the death of a boxer and a series of deaths and accidents related to the gym where he trained.
The second story Cease Upon The Midnight is about the supicious death of a terminally ill man.
The next story Only The lonely sees Dr Ryan investigating the strangulation of a woman with her own tights. The m o seems similar to an old case.
The final story Friends Like These sees Dr Ryan at odds with her Police collegues over the investigation of an old woman beaten to death. The police think they have their man but Sam is not so sure.
The stories are well written and very enjoyable. There are some new characters like Detective Superintendent Peter Ross who is an ex lover of Dr Ryan's and once again the sparks fly. I only hope that the BBC start to release the rest of the series alot quicker. So come on BBC 2 Entertain get your scates on. We want more classic Silent Witness like this !
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on 9 February 2015
Amanda burton was just as good in this second series. As she was in the first. Few uk tv shows last more than a few series. Sadly. But this one has lasted right up to the present (2015). Watching this now is like taking a time trip back to the middle 90's , which was far more primitive scientifically than today. The uk was at least by that time using film and not video tape anymore. This early episodes don't have the later slickness that became popular in forensic shows after CSI. came out. That show is due to be cancelled this year unfortunately after 15 seasons. This is still going and you can watch some excellent brit crime tv in this series. The picture looks very good as it was preserved quite well before it's dvd release.
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VINE VOICEon 14 August 2008
Silent Witness is a long-running British television thriller series made by the BBC's in-house Drama Serials production department. As it is created by Nigel McCrery,a former murder squad detective, and based on real forensic pathologist from Sheffield one gets an impressive ring of reality.

The series is often criticised for showing the pathologist actively investigating the crime which is not a pathologist duty. I feel that is an unfair criticism as this is not a documentary on the work of pathologists but a "crime novel". Who would critise Agatha Christie for having Miss Marple investigating crimes when usually old spinster do not do that?

Each new case is original, well constructed and thoughtfully presented, addressing specific and often controversial issues. Unlike some American drama, the focus is on the storyline and character development. The stories are told with care, in detail, with real empathy, unlike the quick, crude, flashy effects in many series. They are challenging - plots and subplots intertwine cleverly, meaning it's not a "background" show, but one which is completely consuming for the viewer.

The theme music for Silent Witness is a song called "Silencium" by John Harle sticks in one's ears.

I enjoyed the understated, but powerful performance of the "hero" Amada Burton, complemented by the other member of the cast. I believe she got even better in the second series. It is more rounded, the character evolved and does not remain static, like Amanda's relationship.

All in all, I immensely enjoyed the second series.
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"Silent Witness Series Two," is an outstanding British mystery television series, produced by the British Broadcasting Company in association with the American Arts and Entertainment network. It stars Amanda Burton, who was voted the most popular TV actress in Britain for this show in 2001, was nominated again for this award in 2003, and was nominated for the IFTA Award for Best Actress in a TV show, again for "Silent Witness," in 2004. It is a police procedural, and was an original creation by Nigel McCrery, who also wrote some of the strongest episodes; debuted in Britain on February 21, 1996, and is filmed on location in Cambridge, and Cambridgeshire. The set consists of two DVDs, each of them containing two episodes, for approximately 379 minutes; there are also subtitles, though the cast speaks the Queen's English fairly clearly and isn't generally difficult to follow.

Amanda Burton (The Helen West Casebook ) stars as Dr. Sam Ryan, crusading forensic pathologist. She's ably supported by William Armstrong (Capital City - The Complete Series ) as Dr. Trevor Stewart, and Sam Parks ("Jurassic Park") as Fred, at the forensics laboratory. The Ryan family is represented by Ruth McCabe (My Left Foot,The Snapper ) as Sam's sister Wyn . Unfortunately, for reasons unknown to me, perhaps budgetary, half the outstanding members of the supporting cast are gone. Sam's family, which provided much of the drama in the first series, is now represented only by Wyn; Dr. Stewart's wife is gone, and we were left wondering for a while as to what had happened to his baby; and the cop shop, also a source of great drama in the first series, has been decimated. It is now headed by the blandly handsome Mick Ford (How to Get Ahead In Advertising ), who plays Detective Superintendent Peter Ross, and does double duty as Sam's beau; and Nicola Redmond (The Phoenix and the Carpet) as D.I. Rachel Selway: her looks are more interesting than she is as an actor. There are also fewer strong guest stars.

Amanda Burton was born and raised in a Protestant area of Londonderry, Northern Ireland, and the Ryan family had been given an appropriate, riveting backstory. They too are from Protestant Northern Ireland, and Ryan pere, a high-ranking Protestant policeman, was murdered one morning, in front of his family; the Irish Republican Army had rigged his Land Rover to explode at ignition. We're informed that this has had some pretty drastic effects upon them, as you might expect; depriving sister Wyn, an intelligent woman, of the will and resources to make a meaningful career for herself; and causing Sam to take up the study of the dead, rather than the living. (Mind you, Sam's mother, father - previously seen in flashback--and irritating nephew Ricky have disappeared in this series.) At any rate, Sam is now rather obsessive about her work, too, presumably as the result of her father's death; to her, "a dead body isn't a person. It's a puzzle. A story - with a beginning, a middle and an end." We therefore sometimes find her exceeding her brief, conducting her own enquiries outside the lab, interviewing witnesses, and generally making things sticky for the cops she's got to work with.

We continue to see a lot of blood and guts on this show, so be forewarned if that sort of thing will bother you: the show's packaging itself warns of strong forensic detail and bloody violence. The mysteries in this set telegraph their villains, but they do continue to be interesting to watch, reasonably original, and female-oriented. They are:
"Blood, Sweat and Tears." An apparently fit and healthy young boxer dies in the ring: Sam's suspicions are aroused.
"Cease Upon The Midnight." Sam's postmortem upon the body of Stuart Evans reveals a suspicious needle track on his foot. He was too ill with AIDS to have administered this to himself, so who did? Who would?
"Only the Lonely." A young woman is found strangled with her own tights. Ross would love to connect this case to an older, unsolved one: Sam isn't so sure.
"Friends Like These." The body is found of an older woman who was frequently seen walking her dog. Ross and Sam disagree about this one.

This second series isn't nearly up to the first, but it is still of reasonably high quality, and eminently watchable.
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on 13 August 2013
Am hooked on this Drama. Suitable to have the choice of seeing hourly episodes if you know you are in for interruptions. Only watch late evening when my ailing husband is asleep. Will gradually obtain the whole series.
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on 2 June 2013
We are fans of the new silent witness series so we thought we'd check out the original series. It's just as good albeit a bit more gruesome but I think a bit more realistic than the present one. I like Amanda Burton's character. Great series. thoroughly recommended even if you are a fan of the new version
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on 25 March 2013
I have started watching this series and think its fab, looking forward to ordering series 3 & 4. I would recommend this dvd series as its got plenty of great story lines and leaves you wondering what happens next.
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on 22 March 2011
Fantastic dvd - I would highly recommend this to everyone. These are proper BBC DVDS and NOT the dutch imports. The stories and acting are of the highest quality.

These Official BBC DVDS have taken a VERY VERY long time to be released, but the good new is that due to demand, the BBC has now also released series 3&4, 4&5 and 6&7.

It is also rumored that 8&9 will be out very shortly too. It's been a long,long wait but well worth it! HIGHLY RECOMMENDED!!! Well done to the BBC for at getting its act together and also to Amazon for a very speedy despatch.
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on 20 January 2014
The second series of Silent Witness follows the cases of Dr Sam Ryan, forensic pathologist. It's occasionally a bit silly in the way it presents a pathologist as more-or-less a detective, but very good fun.

Video Quality: 4/5

The transfers on this BBC DVD are generally very impressive considering the dated nature of the source material and the confinements of the DVD format. The series was shot on 16mm film, is presented in 4:3, though, looking at the framing, it is possible the show was shot with a widescreen version in mind (because it was made in the late-1990s, broadcasters regularly looked forward to the days when widescreen would become the norm). However, a slightly letterboxed alternative is presented here. Whether this is the original format or not is unknown. The image is often very clear, best in daylight shots outside and the colours are pleasing. The episodes are generally of much better video quality compared to those presented on the Series 3 and 4 boxset that followed.
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on 11 June 2011
I purchased this for my husband but I really enjoy this series also. We both love the detail that goes into finding out the cause of death and of course the fact that Sam (Amanda Burton)Always manages to handle the cops who always are more often than not quick to draw a conclusion about a death forgetting she is the expert in her field yet they still question her judgement at times. But she stands up to them and proves she is right and solves cases everytime for them. Great series to have. I like the earlier series with Amanda Burton best.
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