'Silent Witness' returns with 'clash of the titans' as Amanda Burton and Emilia Fox go head to head in the post-mortem room

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·TV Reporter, Yahoo Entertainment UK
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Amanda Burton and Emilia Fox in Silent Witness
Silent Witness stars have trailed a 'clash of the titans' in the post mortem room. (BBC)

Silent Witness is celebrating its 25th anniversary series with a "clash of the titans" that sees the show's original and current stars jostle for position in the post mortem room.

Amanda Burton is set to return to her role as Professor Sam Ryan after 17 years, but she'll have to share her former domain with successor Dr Nikki Alexander, played by Emilia Fox.

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David Caves who plays Jack Hodgson in the BBC One long-running forensics drama said: "It's a clash of the titans between Nikki and Sam."

Fox, who took the reins as chief pathologist after Burton's exit, said it was "nerve-racking" working alongside the woman who made the show's success.

Amanda Burton and Emilia Fox in Silent Witness
The Silent Witness 25th anniversary sees Amanda Burton and Emilia Fox star together. (BBC)

She said: "They tread carefully around each other. At one point in the first episode, Sam intervenes during a post-mortem that Nikki is doing. Nikki is trying to get the measure of Sam and fathom her out."

Asked what it was like acting a post-mortem examination scene in front of Burton, Fox admitted: "Nerve-racking! She is the empress of the post-mortem, so the pressure was on. I made sure I was very, very well prepared.

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"The post-mortems tax my brain, and I'm always delighted to get through them. But this time I had Sam interrupting all the time. That creates great character moments."

Burton said she had loved the opportunity to work alongside Fox: "It was wonderful. Coming together with Emilia, who's held this show together so brilliantly for so many years, was lovely. It was extraordinarily special.

Amanda Burton is back as Sam Ryan in Silent Witness. (BBC)
Amanda Burton is back as Sam Ryan in Silent Witness. (BBC)

"To see these two powerful characters working together was amazing. In the script, they call them the two titans of the medical world."

The actor added that she had enjoyed stepping back into her old role and was pleased to see that her trailblazing character had not disappeared into obscurity.

She said: "I loved the fact that she was still very much pioneering and busy and connected – that meant a lot to me.

"I was very, very happy that she wasn't being tracked down to some sort of remote corner of a British village where she was judging hen competitions!"

Silent Witness begins on Monday at 9pm on BBC One.

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