SILK – Legal Drama

Christina Knight | March 29, 2018

Silk's main characters

Silk’s main characters: Clive Reader (RUPERT PENRY-JONES) and Martha Costello (MAXINE PEAKE) © BBC 2011

No fashion-house drama, the title of this British series refers to the silk gowns worn by the sharp-as-tacks and competitive lawyers (barristers) appointed by the Queen to Queen’s Counsel.

Smart and classy with witty dialogue, Silk is a fast-paced drama following the rivalry, tension, passion and intrigue of life on the front line of criminal law.

All three seasons of of the legal drama Silk will be available April 1 for THIRTEEN members who have activated their THIRTEEN Passport benefit. THIRTEEN Passport gives access to a streaming, on-demand library of THIRTEEN’s best programs, including archival THIRTEEN productions that have never streamed anywhere else. Watch on Thirteen.org or our Thirteen Explore app for tablets, Roku, Apple TV, and Fire TV (Amazon).

Silk’s Characters

Cast of Silk

Cast of Silk, l to r: Billy (NEIL STUKE), Kate Brockman (NINA SOSANYA), Martha Costello (MAXINE PEAKE), Nick Slade (TOM HUGHES), Clive Reader (RUPERT PENRY-JONES), Niamh Cranitch (NATALIE DORMER).


Martha Costello (Maxine Peake) is a brilliant, passionate defense barrister. Hard working and dedicated, Martha has a reputation for defending the poor and downtrodden, firmly believing all are innocent until proven guilty. It’s an exciting time for Martha. She is about to embark on the next step of her career and apply to become Queen’s Counsel. If she’s successful, she’ll be considered one of the top barristers in her field. But she’s not the only one at her chambers applying.

Joining Martha is Clive Reader (Rupert Penry-Jones from Whitechapel): charming and ruthless, funny, gifted and dangerous. Only one is likely to be made QC so how they perform in court is vital and Clive knows how to play the game.

Assigned to Clive and Martha are Niamh (Natalie Dormer) and Nick (played by a young Tom Hughes, most recently seen as Albert in Victoria – Masterpiece), their pupils. As trainee barristers, they’re thrown in at the deep end. They know that regardless of whether they like each other, regardless of how much they help each other, ultimately only one of them will be taken on as a member of the chambers.

Billy Lamb
(Neil Stuke) is the clerk to both Martha and Clive and holds the chambers together.

Over the course of the series, Martha faces challenging cases and surprising clients. She finds her beliefs and prejudices, her conscience and her faith in the criminal justice system tested to breaking point as she deals
with clients who are good, bad and sometimes evil. From award-winning writer Peter Moffat, Silk is a thrilling legal drama about the lives, loves and hard cases facing a group of Britain’s best barristers.

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