A thousand thanks to the reader who sent in the following sneak peek of the next series of Silk. He is wasted as a lawyer.
Clive Reader has now been Head of Chambers for six months and Shoe Lane has become a prosecuting set. Martha is absent. The clerks room is now known as the “Practice Hub
”, the clerks as “Case engineers
”, and all is overseen by Harriet who has been appointed “Senior Chief Facilitator
” are no longer referred to as such, instead the CPS deliver “Victim protection and retributive justice assignments
The West Ham pictures have gone and instead there are two very large pictures, one of Clive looking very handsome and masterful and another with a slogan in big letters: “Vive la prosecution
”. We learn, from a whispered conversation between John, Jake and Bethany that Billy only works one day a week now because it is all he can manage but they think it is “all this
” which is killing him, not his cancer.
Clive is seen being visited in his room by a number of attractive female solicitors from the CPS who deliver instructions, flirt and leave saying they will see him later. A montage of shots follows revealing his life to consist of glamorous and well-paid prosecutions by day and dinner, parties and sex with his instructing solicitors by night.
The montage includes courtroom shots with Clive prosecuting and the bent policeman from series 3 saying things like “We found the drugs in his van
”, “His fingerprints were all over the gun
” and “He’s as guilty as the day is long
”, a succession of hapless defence Counsel doing a very poor job, and various defendants being led from the dock looking upset/angry/bewildered as the judge says “Take him down
” and the bent copper and Clive smiling with satisfaction.
Clearly Clive has gone over to the dark side and justice is not being done.
Billy is shown shaking his head with sadness, looking at a framed picture of Martha and asking the other clerks if there is any news of her and they just shake their heads and look sympathetic.
This is then contrasted with a sequence showing other members of Chambers to be doing nothing but crappy, low-level prosecutions and being very unhappy about it.
The only exception to this is Amy – we see her being utterly hopeless in case after case but somehow all end with a shot of each jury foreman saying “Guilty
”. This results in her in getting ever more important and well-paid briefs, being generally feted (including appearing in the Times as “Lawyer of the Week
” and later having her own weekly column in the same newspaper).
CW lurches around Chambers drinking, slurring and swearing (she doesn’t try to hide it and just doesn’t care any more) and fomenting revolution.
There is still no sign of Martha. Clive has to deal with complaints from a number of members of Chambers about the way he is running things. He calls a meeting of all members and staff (including Billy) to enable matters to be aired and opens by saying his door is always open and people should feel free to raise any concerns with him. A number of people do and are promptly and harshly rebuked. Whilst explaining “again for the benefit of people who still don’t get it
” why Shoe Lane had to become a prosecution set he is interrupted by Jake who accuses him of having blood on his hands because his changes are killing Billy. Clive tries to explain that it is his cancer that is killing him but at that point Billy collapses.
Billy knows this is the end and makes a deathbed speech about the Bar, history, tradition etc. and implores Clive to make Shoe Lane a defence set again and restore its former glory. However, just as this is drawing to an end he is suddenly and dramatically interrupted by MARTHA'S RETURN. She tells everyone that she has retrained as an oncologist and surgeon and specialises in cases of disadvantaged people who have been unfairly diagnosed with cancer. She picks up Billy and carries him into a side room and begins to treat him. In a short sequence of shots which obviously last no more than about three days Billy has been completely cured by her.
Being back in Chambers has reawakened Martha’s passion for being a barrister and the episode ends with her deciding to combine her legal and medical practice. Together with Billy she sets up a combined Chambers and clinic next door to Shoe Lane. It is called simply "Deliverance
" and its motto is “Doing Justice, Curing Cancer
”. The receptionist directs those visiting accordingly: “Fitted up by the police? To the left and into the clerks room
”, “Malignant tumour? To the right and take a seat in the waiting room
||Fighting cancer. And injustice.
Martha reveals to CW the secret of her disappearance at the end of the last series: she had dived in the river to rescue Mickey Joy after he was coshed and pushed in by underworld gangsters. She pulled him out, gave him mouth to mouth and revived him and he is now working for FIFA.
A state of civil war exists between Shoe Lane and Deliverance. Martha has cured CW of her dipsomania (“treatment of alcoholics was one of the optional subjects I took during my medical training
”) and together with Billy as Senior Clerk, they are running Deliverance. They are pitted against Clive, Amy and Harriet at Shoe Lane.
Shoe Lane scores an early victory when Amy becomes the latest character to take silk, something made possible by the massively truncated time periods in which everything happens in this series and the completely haphazard nature of the selection process. Deliverance is also shown to be struggling as Martha faces a series of dilemmas about how to balance her time between defending the innocent from injustice and curing the innocent of cancer.
Pupillage recruitment is a flashpoint with both sets shown interviewing the same candidate, but they spend less time interviewing her and more time trying to persuade her how cool and progressive they are. We switch between shots showing increasingly extravagant claims being made by both sets, with the pupil at first looking impressed but then visibly put off as the list goes on:
- “We have a chill out room
- “We encourage cycling and have a bike shed
- “All our computers and phones are from Apple
- “We hold one event for charity every month
- “We hold one event for charity every week
- “We provide free advice to victims of crime
- “We volunteer to help prisoners on death row overseas
- “We are opening a branch of Chambers in Afghanistan to provide advice on schemes of restorative justice
- “All of our pupils go on secondment to a leper colony in East Timor to advise them on their human rights
The interview ends with both panels asking if the candidate has any questions. She asks the same question of both: “My parents have no money and I have huge debts from university and Bar School – you place a lot of emphasis on voluntary work but how much will I get paid during my pupillage?
” Clive answers: “Er, nothing
.” Martha: “Nothing, sorry.
The episode ends with Martha and Clive in a café like De Niro and Pacino in Heat.
Clive: What’s become of us Martha? What happened to me and you? When you disappeared, I thought I’d never see you again
Martha: Don't keep anything in your life you're not willing to walk out on in 30 seconds flat if you feel the heat around the corner
Clive: Er, well I don’t. I just shag them and move on
A shocking discovery is made in the Temple when workmen laying a water main outside the Temple Church discover what appear to be human remains. Billy jokes to Martha that it could be the remains of a Knight Templar who, so the legend goes, brought the Holy Grail back to England but that when he reached the church one of its walls mysteriously collapsed, burying him but his body and the grail which then could never be found.
Martha thinks no more of it until a few days later when she is visited by a client who claims that he is a descendant of the knight and the bones should be buried in Glastonbury, which was the Isle of Avalon in the Arthurian legend and not in the Temple Church as the government has decided. Martha agrees to represent the client and later discovers that Clive is representing the government.
Subsequently CW is instructed on behalf of workmen who were laying the water main, who are claiming ownership of the bones and Amy is instructed on behalf of the Temple Church.
The case generates enormous press interest and the civil war between the two sets continue as they vie furiously to maximise the publicity they can get from it.
The hearing is one of the first to be televised under a pilot scheme allowing cameras into court – the case is being watched around the world.
Concerns about the effect on the dignity of the court process appear to be confirmed as the coverage begins and has a voiceover by that bloke from Big Brother. “Day 1 in Court 4
” he begins, “and the judges are in the courtroom
However, shortly after beginning, the case is dramatically halted when new evidence is discovered mid-hearing and brought into court showing that the bones are not human after all. Just as everyone is leaving court, there is another even more dramatic development as MICKEY JOY REAPPEARS. He says he knows where all the bodies are buried and to whom they belong and reveals that the bones are in fact those of Shergar. Uproar in court.
The publicity leads to a great coup for Deliverance Chambers as they reach a deal with the BBC to allow a documentary crew to film life in Deliverance Chambers. Clive, Amy and Harriet are furious. However, there is soon trouble as Martha makes various comments on camera about the effect government cuts are having on her ability to defend the poor and dispossessed and cure innocent people of cancer. This leads to complaints from government ministers and MPs about BBC bias. Martha responds that these critics are blurring the line between fiction and reality. At this juncture we can all see that she has a point. It no longer being possible to disentangle the two, the documentary is cancelled and the episode and series ends showing stage hands dismantling the sets at Shoe Lane and Deliverance Chambers and the cast going to the pub where they meet up with Harry and Ros from Spooks, Judge John Deed and Kavanagh QC.
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