Import from The Netherlands with English soundtrack. SUMMARY: The fact that John Thaw was able to make his eponymous character in Kavanagh QC stand out as a unique personality distinct from the superficially similar Inspector Morse says much about his understated skills as an actor. Thaw brought his trademark mixture of curmudgeonly belligerence and gruff sensitivity to Kavanagh, but the barrister--who first appeared on our screens in 1995 while the Oxford detective was still alive and kicking--is no polished-up Morse. He is far worldlier, is married and has a family. And although he is often troubled by his cases, he is never afraid to play the system. He knows that there are devious, even superficial lawyers, some of them in his own chambers, who he must face across the courtroom, but he acknowledges them as an unavoidable aspect of the world in which he works.
The plots are often convoluted, but Kavanagh's wielding of the trusty sword of truth is always irresistible, particularly when the case involves some kind of high-level government aberration. "The End of Law" is a case in point; a particularly nasty tale about an unexceptional businessman framed for a murder which covers up an unpleasant security scandal. It's dark and dirty and full of troubling compromises. In the end, as with most of his cases, Kavanagh's craggy features convey a subtle hint of the sourness which comes with his chosen territory. --Piers Ford