Silent Witness: Why did Richard Lintern leave Silent Witness?

Silent Witness: Dr. Nikki and Jack gift Dr. Chamberlain a kite

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BBC crime drama Silent Witness will be starting this evening (May 23) with the latest series marking the show’s 25th anniversary. Fans of the show have become attached to the characters and always mourn an exit. Series 23 in 2020 saw not one but two big departures which left fans reeling. 

Why did Richard Lintern leave Silent Witness?

WARNING: This article contains major spoilers from the Silent Witness series 23 finale

Richard Lintern left Silent Witness in 2020 after his character Dr Thomas Chamberlain was killed off.

The character met his demise in the Lyell after he was killed by a nerve gas which could breach charcoal respiratory suits.

Nikki Alexander (Emilia Fox) and Clarissa Mullery (Liz Carr) could only look on in horror as he collapsed on the floor.

Thomas essentially died to save team member Jack Hodgson (David Caves), who was fighting for his life in hospital after inhaling the nerve agent known as KS79.

His corpse was seen inside a body bag as the character was taken away by people in hazmat suits.

While Thomas has been put in danger before, this time he wasn’t so lucky.

Last year it also looked like Thomas could be leaving the Lyell after he was offered another job, which he didn’t take in the end.

There’s no reason why star Lintern left the show, however, the star has been part of the drama since 2014.

Lintern played the pathologist for over 70 episodes but while starring in Silent Witness, he’s also featured in other projects.

One of his big roles outside of Silent Witness was portraying Stephen Ward in The Crown in 2017.

His other projects during his time on Silent Witness have included Foyle’s War, Pennyworth and the documentary series Nazi Megastructures.

According to IMDb, he will next be starring in World of Hurt and Roslund & Hellström: Cell 8.

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Clarissa also departed from the series after it looked like she had a new job on the horizon.

The show has previously seen the cast changes over the years.

The show also saw William Gaminara and Tom Ward doing stints on the series for a number of series before leaving.

Former lead Amanda Burton bowed out of Silent Witness after eight years with Fox taking over from her.

Burton played Sam Ryan between 1996 and 2004 before making the decision to leave. 

But Burton is going to be making a long-awaited return for the 25th anniversary.

Sadly, this is only going to be a fleeting visit with her appearance not a permanent one on the show.

Fox is now the longest-serving member of the cast having been part of the show for 16 series.

She is unlikely to be quitting any time soon with the BBC announcing it had recommissioned Silent Witness for series 24.

In a statement, the BBC confirmed Silent Witness has been recommissioned for a further two series.

BBC executive Piers Wenger said: “Silent Witness entertains audiences from all generations and continues to be one of the UK’s most successful returning crime drama series.

“I’m thrilled it will continue to grip the nation in 2021, and can’t wait for viewers to see what is in store for its 25th Anniversary in 2022.”

Silent Witness airs on BBC One tonight at 9pm

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