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Garrow's Law Series One and Two [DVD]

4.8 out of 5 stars 20 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Actors: Andrew Buchan, Alun Armstrong, Lyndsey Marshal
  • Format: PAL
  • Language: English
  • Subtitles: English
  • Region: Region 2 (This DVD may not be viewable outside Europe. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Number of discs: 4
  • Classification: 15
  • Studio: Acorn Media
  • DVD Release Date: 7 Feb. 2011
  • Run Time: 480 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (20 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B0045UK29U
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 70,906 in DVD & Blu-ray (See Top 100 in DVD & Blu-ray)

Product Description

18th Century England a time of turbulence, when the world was up for grabs, and belonged to those who used both hands. Lawyer, William Garrow, came to the courts of London s Old Bailey where defence of the accused and cross-examination in pursuit of justice was almost unheard of. Bounty hunters roamed the land in search of reward often creating villains where none existed. Judges were in the pocket of politicians and the public gallery of a courtroom was a place to witness spectacle. Garrow would give them that, and more. In the process he will make close friends and powerful enemies with the power to bring him down. Garrow s fight for justice will bring his life to centre stage, and he will have to give the performance of a lifetime if he is to survive. Based on true stories of rape and murder, of thievery and corruption, these are the cases that would shake the justice system to its core. These are the cases of Garrow s Law

Customer Reviews

4.8 out of 5 stars
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Top Customer Reviews

Only four one hours episodes for each series, but 8 hours of excellent entertainment. The series is based on the real Old Bailey Proceedings of William Garrow cases in the 17th centuary and is an excellent mix of court room, personal and period drama. With excellent sets and costume as you might expect from the BBC and even some humour in the mix.

The main pull of the series are the cases which focus mostly on the court room cut and thrust and twisting of the law but also some enlightenment on the case from action from the original events or their investigations. The cases are interesting in themselves, some show 'modern' points of view on slavery and homosexuality, and some that are just sad with their harsh verdicts.

Not to far behind the pull of the court room is the personal life of William Garrow which is complex and very interesting. I'll say no more so as not to spoil it.

The acting is very good from a brilliant cast. Andrew Buchan as Garrow is superb, intense, smart, head strong and precisely articulate. I'd like to see him in something else to see if he can adapt his performances; I'm sure he can. Alun Armstrong seems made for this period and tries well to counter balance Garrow's enthusiasm. Lyndsey Marsha players her difficult part very well part. Rupert Graves plays the badie deliciously.

I can't say too much more to recommend it other than I was literally on the edge of my seat during some cases and would love to know more of the truth about Garrow but I'll be forgoing that in case it spoils any future series.
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William Garrow, this 18th century barrister who's determined to change the law, making a defendant innocent until proven guilty makes for compulsive viewing.

Andrew Buchan's portrayal of William Garrow is nothing less than impressive, showing tremendous skills getting to grips with archaic dialogue, moving from playing an obstinate, intemperate, rude, complex and extrovert character in Court, to being very tender and considerate in his pursuit of Lady Sarah as his love interest, played very well by Lindsey Marshall. Andrew Buchan is indeed a very good actor - he just needs to be discovered by a wider public.
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By Eco Chica TOP 500 REVIEWER on 1 Dec. 2011
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The fact that Garrow was a real person and that you can read online transcripts of the cases he fought - just Google 'Old Bailey Trials' - is amazing enough, but on top of that you have this wonderful series of perfectly cast, BBC dramatisations.

Funny thing is, when the series first appeared I wasn't immediately hooked, so I bought this box set to go back and see why. That is not the case now, since series 2, I've been totally hooked on this fast-paced incisive look at the beginnings of real justice.

Garrow sprang to his feet in defence of innocent men who faced 'dancing the Tyburn jig' - where Marble Arch is now - on flimsy evidence that was fabricated for reward money. He presented us with the first idea of Legal Aid.

One review said "His love-life was more famous than his professional", I disagree. It was just like him - far ahead of its time.
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By M. Dowden HALL OF FAMETOP 50 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on 30 Nov. 2010
Here we are presented with the first two series of Garrow's Law, and we can only keep our fingers crossed that there will be more. William Garrow seems to get overlooked in this country which it has to be admitted is a public disgrace. Not of the Establishment he was originally looked down upon and reviled by them, much as William Wordworth was as a poet. But of course like Wordsworth he became ultimately revered. By his indirect approach he changed our court system into what it is today. We have an adversarial system which is now used by many other nations. It is thanks to him that the saying that you are innocent until proven guilty was really established; he brought cross-examination to a fine art, insisting that evidence must be thoroughly 'tested' before a jury.

Although inspired by using real cases of the time, Garrow didn't necessarily take part in all of them. This production shows more the type of cases and punishments prevalent at the time, and what sort of things Garrow faced in his dealings. With such cases as the corruption of the old thief-takers (think Jonathan Wild), through fraud and homosexuality, as well as shenanigans at Greenwich Hospital to the detriment of the seamen, and political gain, Garrow also has problems with his personal life as his friendship with Lady Sarah Hill (Sarah Dore) leads to her husband seeking divorce. All the time at his side with many a prodding idea or tactic is his mentor Thomas Southouse.

If you like something a bit more stimulating than the usual televisual fare then this could be right up your street.
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Deep, rich dialogue and characterisation with law, politics, society and history (even military?) insights to keep many tastes sated. Quality production too, nothing skimped on actors, sets or costume values. If Garrow is labelled a bit 'stiff' I wouldn't call it poor acting: I was convinced more of a reflective and troubled personality (you'll understand he's put to task for his reforming zeal by the powers that be).

The added interest of being biographical and historically accurate (broadly) can't hurt. Socially relevant even today: Garrow was a real 'mover and shaker' at a seminal time in British Jurisprudence, which added to a 'difficult' love life makes for good TV. So good you almost wonder wether this wasn't just a historical soap (which it isn't of course).

The extras shed extra light on Garrow the man too, I especially liked the Inns of court librarian pulling out Garrows own books, discussing his marginal comments and relating some accounts from his peers and such: He made it a very 'Living history'. Not too many extras but good quality background stuff I thought.

Recommended
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