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  • Law And Order (BBC, 1978) [DVD]
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Law And Order (BBC, 1978) [DVD]

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Product details

  • Actors: Derek Martin, Ken Campbell, Peter Dean, Alan Ford
  • Directors: Leslie Blair
  • Format: PAL
  • Language: English
  • Region: Region 2 (This DVD may not be viewable outside Europe. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 4:3 - 1.33:1
  • Number of discs: 2
  • Classification: 15
  • Studio: 2entertain
  • DVD Release Date: 14 April 2008
  • Run Time: 320 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (26 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B0015083MQ
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 18,801 in DVD & Blu-ray (See Top 100 in DVD & Blu-ray)


Hugely controversial "factional drama" originally shown in 1978, in four parts; each from a different point of view - the Metropolitan Police, the criminal, the solicitor and the prison system.

Unseen on TV since its original transmission, this cult drama has now been beautifully restored and is available to buy on DVD for the first time in 30 years. A vivid portrayal of a murky 1970s world of bent coppers, crooked lawyers, grasses and career criminals.

The series was groundbreaking in both its style and its damning portrayal of corruption in the British legal system. The British Police had never been portrayed like this before on TV. The central premise of the drama claimed that the police and the criminals portrayed were not actually that different in terms of the way they operated.

The series caused a massive storm when broadcast on the BBC; the switchboards were jammed for hours with irate callers. Questions were asked in the House of Parliament concerning the issues raised by the programme.

Trivial fact: The cockney criminal slang in this Law and Order was so authentic that the Radio Times Magazine had to provide a glossary

Cast: Derek Martin & Peter Dean (who both went onto become huge stars in Eastenders. Also PH Moriarty (Lock Stock & Two Smoking Barrels). Written by Gordon Newman (creator of Judge John Deed).

Special features: "Criminal Minds" - a specially-shot 25-minute documentary about the making of and impact of Law and Order, containing interviews with the original cast and crew, includes the glossary of the criminal slang from The Radio Times.

Customer Reviews

4.5 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

16 of 16 people found the following review helpful By W. Hutchinson on 4 Jan. 2009
Format: DVD
This drama is about as good as you can get. Excellent inter-related stories with superb acting, and all this done without nonsense sound effects, screaming music and overacting. This is real adult viewing and not for those who need jarring every 30 seconds with yet another ridiculous noise. It seems amazing that this was screened over 30 years ago (Although some of the collars and ties are a dead give away). If you want a programme that you can relax to and actually follow the story rather than be subjected to infantile, comic book 'drama' then this is for you.
It examines the 'justice' system from four different perspectives and shows how small injustices and minor corruption becomes significant. An excellent achievement - recommended viewing. If only there were more like this.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Mr. M. Sanders on 7 July 2012
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
Grim is a word which sums up the atmosphere this mini series generates.

Grim, gritty, 1970's Britain is a world that Law and Order lives in, a far removed world from today, a world I grew up in and where there was then a definate view of right and wrong. Having seen many quality BBC documentaries of the time about Policing, Crime and Prisons on Programs like Panorama and Man Alive, the BBC Series Law and Order differed only that it was not a documentary.

This BBC series created controversy I expect with it's portayal of the realities of the era, it is almost shot in a documentary style and the series profiles four aspects of the criminal sphere - The Criminal, the Lawyer, The Detective and the Judge.

The story revolves around the Criminal - played by a younger Eastenders Pete Beale, (Peter Dean) a part portrayed very well as the villain Jack Lynn. Lynn lives on the borders of respectablity in his own house mostly funded by the proceeds of robbery.

The Detective is Inspector Pyle played by another Eastenders stalwart Derek Martin. Pyle is portrayed as a Detective who is convinced that Lynne is planning a supermarket hold up for the safe contents, Pyle is not straight and resorts to what amounts to planting evidence to get Lynne imprisoned.

Ken Campbell plays Alex Gladwell a business like lawyer who is not as straight as he was supposed to be, which you will find out in viewing the series.

Indeed, the feeling you will get after viewing the series is which of these should be behind bars?

The series was controversial and thought provoking at the time and nearly 35 years on still is.
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14 of 15 people found the following review helpful By In Glorious Black And White on 25 Mar. 2009
Format: DVD
Law And Order (BBC, 1978) [DVD]

No permatan, luminous teeth, unbelievably beautiful people or CGI. This is a brilliant portrayal of the Metropolitan Police, the Prison Service, the judiciary and the criminal.

A fabulous adaptation of the book(s) by GF Newman of Judge Deed fame. The dialoge is brilliant, no foul language. Token sex scenes are not present and no actors people with tongues down the throats of whoever seems to be passing.

These tales are so close to the truth that it caused an unbelievable furore in Parliament and coincided with the notorious COUNTRYMAN enquiry.

The actors are outstanding and suspend disbelief from the first frame. I have been trying, with many others for years to get show back before the public and am ecstatic at being able to see it again.

The performances and story are as impactful as they ever were. It has travelled very well.

Today's film makers should watch this screenplay carefully. This is how it should be done. For me this makes just about every current British Police TV Police show irrelevant. Find the books, reset your standards, encourage others to learn from this stunning piece. I need more stars; five not enough.
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12 of 14 people found the following review helpful By I. Young on 8 Sept. 2008
Format: DVD
The controversy caused by this drama meant it was only shown once on British TV and this DVD release marks its 30th anniversary. The BBC was told by the government not to ever sell it abroad or show it again as it suggested that corruption was routine and endemic among the police and legal system.

While previous 'tough and realistic' police dramas, such as the Sweeney showed rule bending, they never showed police officers sharing in the proceeds of robberies, taking bribes and fitting villains up because they were "overdue."

Law and Order is about the wrongful arrest of a known villain Jack Lynn by Inspector Fred Pyle in the Metropolitan police's elite Flying Squad. The four parts show the story from the point of view of the villain, police officer, the lawyer and the story of Lynn's eventual incarceration.

Like HBO's the Wire this is not a goodies Vs baddies melodrama and gives a convincing dramatisation of the murky world of policing and justice in 70s London. The actors will be familiar to viewers of the popular British soap opera Eastenders with Derek Martin playing the slippery corrupt Inspector Pyle while Peter Dean plays Lynn giving a fantastic performance in the fourth chapter, the Prisoner's Tale, trying and failing to take on the system after wrongful (although some may say deserved) incarceration. The recently deceased and much missed Ken Campbell gives an untypically understated performance as Lynn's deal making lawyer Alex Galdwell.

This is a landmark series and should be seen by anyone with an interest in legal or police drama.
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