Nikki Alexander
Nikki Alexander
Vital statistics
Portrayed by Emilia Fox
Status Alive
Occupation Forensic pathologist

Forensic anthropologist (formerly)

First Seen Nowhere Fast
Last Seen Awakening part 2
Relatives Victor Alexander (father, deceased)

Mother (deceased)

Grandmother (deceased)

Marital Status Single

Dr Nikki Alexander is a major character in Silent Witness. She becomes a series regular in Series 8. She is a forensic pathologist and is also an expert in anthropology. Nikki is portrayed by Emilia Fox.

Biography Edit

Background Edit

Nikki is a mix of contradictions. She was born in South Africa, into a well-off Home Counties family. Her mother was South African and her father Victor was a English-born businessman. When Nikki was a child, her father abruptly left her mother and rarely contacted Nikki, which was quite traumatic for her. Nikki's mother died when she was a teenager. She received a top class education in England where she excelled, particularly in sciences. However, she struggled with her unhappy home life; at one point, she attempted to run away, but was found and brought back safely by her headteacher, Noel Hopkins. Nikki has always been grateful to Hopkins for his kindness and for encouraging her love of science.

As soon as she could Nikki left the family home and found a university as far as she could from her father. Always curious and open-minded, Nikki revelled in her passion for history and anthropology and she began her academic career in those areas, studying in various universities in Europe. Her expertise with archaeological finds - in particular bones - led her into that field and she gained her qualifications as a pathologist along the way. When she was twenty, Nikki dated a fellow student named Scott King and intended to go travelling with him, but was instead convinced by Professor Belinda Roach to begin her training as a pathologist right away, leading them breaking up. Nikki trained at the Institute of Pathology under Roach; she was also mentored by Dr Helen Karamides. Nikki was eventually qualified to be certified by the Home Office to practise pathology. She found work as a forensic anthropologist specialising in Iron Age finds; prior to her arrival at the Lyell Centre, Nikki also worked as a pathologist for six months in Johannesburg.

Silent Witness Edit

Nikki Nowhere Fast

Nikki's first appearance in Nowhere Fast part 1

Originally appearing in Nowhere Fast, Nikki was initially assigned to the Lyell Centre to defuse the tension between Harry Cunningham and Leo Dalton after Sam Ryan's departure. However, Nikki soon became a permanent fixture within the team, and although she features more prominently in the series, holds a lower rank in pathology than Leo. Despite her native home being South Africa, Nikki regards the United Kingdom as her second home, as the reason for her departure from the country lies solely in the hands of her father, Victor, as explained in Double Dare.

Nikki sometimes inadvertently puts herself into dangerous situations in pursuit of justice, making her a target for criminals. In Hippocratic Oath, Nikki was attacked by a murderer in a hospital basement, leaving her with a serious head injury. Nikki survived, but was worried when she found herself unable to remember certain things; fortunately she was able to make a full recovery. Nikki often flirted with fellow colleague Harry, and even invited him to stay at her house after his flat blew up in an explosion. As well as this, she developed a close relationship with Leo and looked to him as a father figure. She befriends Jack Hodgson and Clarissa Mullery when they come to work at the Lyell Centre following Harry's departure. She saves Jack's life in True Love Waits, whacking serial killer Alan Lane over the head with a metal pipe to prevent him from stabbing Jack in the throat.

After Leo is killed in Greater Love, a devastated Nikki does her best to move on and appears to have largely come to terms with his death by Series 17. However, she refuses to accept the position of the new head of the Lyell Centre (although she does run the centre until a replacement can be found). She is initially somewhat hostile towards her new boss, Thomas Chamberlain, but eventually warms up to him.

Personality Edit

Nikki wears her heart on her sleeve. She can be impetuous and idealistic, and her open-ness and skill at being able to read people means they often find her easy to confide in. Nikki will often go to great lengths to find out the truth and secure justice. She won't tolerate anything she finds to be morally wrong or unjust, sometimes causing conflict. Its also hinted that she may have commitment issues in her numerous relationships - none of which last very long - possibly stemming from being abandoned by her father. Since her arrival at the Lyell Centre, Nikki has grown into a skilled and confident pathologist, and a force to be reckoned with.

Relationships Edit

Leo Dalton Edit

Nikki is good friends with Leo, respecting him and viewing him as a father figure. She states in Greater Love that he is "the closest thing to a father" she has. She is devastated when he is killed and delivers the eulogy at his funeral.

Harry Cunningham Edit

Nikki is very close to Harry. The pair often flirt with one another and Nikki even invited him to stay in her house after his flat was blown up. Nikki becomes very distressed if Harry is in danger, including when he was shot and when he was thought to have been killed. It is implied that they may have romantic feelings for one another, but as Harry leaves for America at the end of Series 15, nothing comes of it. Nikki is shown to be saddened by Harry's departure, but does her best to move on.

Victor Alexander Edit

Nikki has a very strained relationship with her father, stemming from the fact he practically abandoned her and her mother when she was a child, and never seemed to acknowledge the emotional pain he'd caused her. Nikki eventually revealed the full extent of her feelings to Victor in Series 11; this may have helped Nikki overcome her resentment of Victor somewhat, as by the time he dies in Series 15, Nikki tells Harry that things have been "alright" between them the last couple of years. She initially finds herself unable to grieve over Victor's death, unsure of how to feel over it, but by the end of Death Has No Dominion, she accepts his death and breaks down in tears.

Jack Hodgson Edit

Nikki seems to have a mixed reaction to Jack upon first meeting him, appearing to admire his intelligence and perceptiveness, but also finding his hostility towards the police and abruptness off-putting. She is also baffled by his love of cage fighting, regarding it as being a rather "ignorant" and risky hobby. However, the pair become friends after Jack begins working at the Lyell Centre; they often flirt with one another the way Nikki used to do with Harry, but it is unknown if their relationship is anything more than platonic.

Clarissa Mullery Edit

Nikki and Clarissa get on well, exchanging banter and playfully teasing Jack together. They appear to have grown closer after the events of Series 16 and are seen interacting with each other more frequently.

Thomas Chamberlain Edit

Nikki is initially rather cold and even hostile towards Thomas, due in part to her continued grief over Leo's death and their rather awkward first meeting. However, Nikki gradually warms up to Thomas and comes to respect him.

Romantic relationships Edit

Nikki has had numerous romantic interests over the years, including:

All of these relationships ended, either due to the death of the love interest, or incompatibility.

Trivia Edit

  • Nikki Alexander is usually depicted with blonde hair; however in Series 12 she dyes it red-brown, before dying it back to blonde again in the following series.
  • Between Series 16 and 17, Nikki cuts her hair short and keeps it short until Series 19, where she is shown to have grown it again.
  • In the Series 11 story, Hippocratic Oath, it is stated that Nikki is in her late twenties or early thirties. This would make her current age in her late thirties or early forties.
  • As of Series 19, Nikki has appeared in the most episodes out of all the main cast, having appeared in a total of 120 episodes.
  • Nikki is mentioned as being 1.65 m (around 5.4 ft) in height.

Gallery Edit