Sad that the marvellous first series of Homeland had come to an end, the only two shows I’ve been regularly tuning into recently are The Bridge and the exceptionally superb Simon Amstell vehicle, Grandma’s House.
I needed something else to distract me from the rigours of everyday life. Then along came the second series of Silk. I’m a sucker for legal dramas, and I’ll watch anything with Phil Davis. Then I saw Frances Barber on Saturday Kitchen Live saying she’d be in the new series. Love that woman.
The three characters at the heart of Silk are Martha Costello (now QC, played by Maxine Peake), fellow barrister, Clive Reader (Rupert Penry-Jones, not QC, and not happy about playing second fiddle) and Senior Clerk at the Shoe Lane Chambers, Billy Lamb (Neil Stuke, last seen, by me, on Celebrity MasterChef).
The news series kicked off with a nasty storyline. A brutal gang and graphic details of a man’s eyeballs being ripped out. Personally, I prefer my legal dramas to concentrate on the bad behaviour of the key characters. Lots of sex, backstabbing and infidelity. To my way of thinking (shallow, vicarious sensation seeking from my sofa), there was not quite enough of the personal lives of the barristers and clerks in this.
For example, I’d like to have seen Maxine Peake actually out shopping for her new, utterly hideous QC horsehair wig and the weird frothy cuff appendages. You can’t buy that stuff in M&S. Where the hell do you go the get it all? And, say what you like about British traditions. We sure as hell know how to use historical dress to make people in public life look like utter tits (see also Beefeaters and anyone involved with the Speaker and woolsacks other Speaker carry ons in the Houses of Parliament).
Maxine Peake is a great actor and an attractive woman. But in her new QC get up, from behind, she looked like the Wicked Witch of the West with massive spaniel ears.
The preposterous clothing and the trickiness of trying to get dressed correctly (and, to be fair, I’d put it all on back to front, upside down or simply fall over trying to wear it) did give rise to my favourite scene. This was when Peake/Costello met Caroline Warwick QC (Frances Barber), AKA, Lady Macbeth, in the fancy robing room of the courthouse. They ended up leaning out the window to have a sisterly fag together before viciously laying into each other in court. Excellent fun.
The nastiest, most controlling and unscrupulous solicitor in town is Micky Joy, played by Phil Davis. I so hope we’ll be seeing a lot more of him.
The writer of Silk is Peter Moffat, who does legal drama very well. I hope we have more wig bound bitchy shenanigans in court in future episodes, but I also hope they’ll be more mischief.
Posted by Inkface