DVD review: 'Garrow’s Law – The Complete Collection'
More than just a courtroom procedural uniquely set in Georgian London in the late 1700s, “Garrow’s Law” is also a deeply compelling, reality-based legal drama of historical significance that explores startling social injustices in English law during this grim period.
Based on the work of real-life barrister William Garrow (1760-1840) to fight for the rights of the women, the poor and the illiterate, the BBC series, starring Andrew Buchan as the maverick Garrow, drew its stories from real cases recorded in “Old Bailey Proceedings,” and concerned Garrow’s often unwelcomed efforts to move British courts toward reformation and a more adversarial courtroom system.
Blessed with the usual high quality of acting and production values that viewers expect from BBC shows, this period drama collects 12 hour-long episodes from the series’ three seasons (before it was cancelled in 2012).
The fiery neophyte Garrow, working under the steady supervision of veteran barrister John Southouse (Alun Armstrong), is assigned some of the Old Bailey’s least promising (real-life) cases – from defending the “London Monster,” accused of stabbing a series of young women, to advocating for James Hadfield, charged with attempting to assassinate King George III.
Several historical figures crop in during the intricate court cases, including anti-slavery campaigner Gustavas Vassa, powerful newspaper magnate John Julius Angerstein and British Army Lt. Gen. Thomas Picton.
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