Silent Witness is back on the BBC for its long-awaited 25th series and to celebrate the landmark anniversary, the crime drama is bringing in the big guns with Amanda Burton returning as original Lyell member Sam Ryan.
The first episode of the new series saw Sam’s launch of a new health passport scheme come under attack as a shooting at the event left the health secretary dead and Sam’s husband wounded.
As the episode progresses, Sam and the Lyell team set about looking to piece together the fatal shooting and as they look to identify suspects, they are pointed in the direction of a shady character named Tom Faulkner.
But just who is Tom Faulkner, what’s his connection to both Sam and Nikki, and have we ever seen him in Silent Witness before?
*WARNING: Spoilers ahead for Silent Witness season 25*
Silent Witness season 25, episode 1 recap
Silent Witness’s 25th series began on Monday, May 23rd.
The episode, titled History – Part One, begins with the launch of a new health passport scheme by former Lyell pathologist Sam Ryan and her husband.
However, the launch is not a smooth one as the event comes under attack as Sam’s husband is shot while the attending health secretary is killed.
Sam calls Nikki and the Lyell team into action and the gang quickly set about attempting to piece together the case and work out who could have wanted to carry out such an attack.
As the episode progresses, the name of a suspect crops up, Tom Faulkner, after his fingerprints were found on the murder weapon and it’s revealed that this mysterious character has a history with both Sam and Nikki.
Tension mounts towards the end of the episode as Nikki believes that Sam isn’t telling her everything while Nikki receives a phone call from Tom and she secretly meets with him as he seemingly prepares to reveal more about the attack.
Who is Tom Faulkner in Silent Witness?
Tom Faulkner is a former military serviceman who has turned his talents to security work in recent years.
Most notably, Tom worked for the UN at the same time as Sam Ryan and he travelled to Stockholm with her to work as her security detail after another politician was killed in 2018.
Tom has never been seen on Silent Witness before, but the character was born in Cambridge, where the first three series of the show were set, which is likely how he first came into contact with Sam.
How Tom is connected to Nikki was revealed in the second episode of season 25 as it was confirmed that he was the husband Nikki had when she was just 21 and together the pair lost a baby who was stillborn after eight months.
Speaking ahead of season 25, Silent Witness producer Nick Lambon teased to Metro that: “‘I think it’ll be a huge shock when the audience find out who Tom is and why he’s such a significant person in Nikki’s past and how he’s connected to Sam as well.”
“Tom and Sam are two people who used to be very close,” Nick continued. “They used to work together and then they had a falling out.”
While Nick Lambon remained coy on exactly how Nikki and Sam know Tom, he did hint that the character is potentially being framed after his fingerprints were found on the murder weapon as Sam’s health passport scheme would see crucial health information become more widely available and susceptible to falling into the wrong hands, calling the DNA evidence that is so crucial to Silent Witness into question.
Who plays Tom Faulkner?
Tom Faulkner is played by Matthew Gravelle.
The 45-year-old Welsh actor has been a regular on our screens since making his acting debut back in 2000.
Matthew has more than 60 roles to his name while TV fans will likely know the actor best from his stints in Keeping Faith, Exile, Manhunt and Broadchurch where he played Joe Miller in series 1 and 2.
As well as plenty of TV roles, Matthew has lent his voice to a number of video game characters with his CV including appearances in The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt, Assassin’s Creed Valhalla, Hitman and Dragon Age: Inquisition.