The nights are drawing in, the leaves are turning brown and Silent Witness is back on the box, autumn is here again.

Some people I know think of Silent Witness as a rather dowdy and second division British equivalent to far slicker American programmes such as CSI. Not a very charitable view since the past couple of series at least have been worth watching, not least because , unlike most home grown crime series, Silent Witness determinedly avoids all things cosy. There isn’t, thankfully, a thatched roof or superannuated character actor to be seen.

I can’t help feeling though that is sometimes tries a little too hard to be ‘dark’, ok a programme where the characters spend most of their time fiddling about with mangled corpses is always going to have a lower joke per episode ratio than Friends but a little gallows humour, or just an occasional glimpse of one of the main characters smiling, wouldn’t go amiss.

At present even when they aren’t up to their elbows in blood and guts the characters give every impression of having had a sense of humour bypass. Clearly it’s not being so cheerful that keeps them going.

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