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Kavanagh Q.C. - The Complete Series 4 (DVD) 
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The entire fourth series of the television drama starring John Thaw as Kavanagh QC, one of the country's leading criminal advocates in London, who has worked his way up from a northern working class background. In 'Memento Mori', Kavanagh, now back at work following his wife's death, agrees to defend family GP Dr Felix Crawley (Tom Courtenay) when he is accused of murdering his wife. In 'Care in the Community', Kavanagh travels to his home town of Bolton to defend a young couple charged with murdering their baby daughter. In 'Briefs Trooping Gaily', Kavanagh faces a challenge when one of his clients openly confesses in court to killing her husband. In 'Bearing Witness', Kavanagh representsa Jehovah's Witness who refuses to give her son a life-saving blood transfusion. In 'Innocency of Life', Kavanagh defends a vicar when one of his female parishioners accuses him of sexual harrassment. But he encounters the woman again, only to find that this time she is the accused, and the crime is of a far more serious nature. In 'Dead Reckoning', Kavanagh prosecutes the entrepreneurial owner of a trawler lost at sea with all its men missing. But the local community are convinced that the boat was sunk by a submarine.
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With the departure of Lisa Harrow as Kavanagh's wife the show was left with a dour widower as its central figure. Perhaps to compensate they drafted in Valerie Edmonds (replacing Anna Chancellor) as Kavanagh's assistant. She creates a lively and enjoyable partnership with John Thaw that makes the courtroom sequences very enjoyable to watch.
This series contained some of the strongest episodes of the entire run. The opening and closing episodes are particulary good. The support cast is of an amazingly high standard, with Oliver Ford Davies a particular stand out as the all knowing head of chambers.
The guest actors are also excellent. Tom Courtney features as a GP in the first episode, and other actors such as Caroline Harker, Kenneth Cranham and Geraldine James also put in appearences.
It is solid British TV at it's best. Nothing ground breaking but every story is well executed and full of twists. John Thaw proves again that he was the finest TV actor of his generation with a great performance over six episodes. Taking the character from the raw loss of his wife to the hopeful acceptence of a future without her.
In court he is a masterful advocate and fans of courtroom dramas will enjoy all the verbal sparring and questioning of witnesses that goes on.
Containing all six episodes from the fourth series this DVD represents excellent value for money even though there's a distinct lack of extras.
In Momento Mori, James defends a doctor who is accused of poisoning his wife. In a chilling climax, we learn of the darker secrets that emerge about the accused's past.
James returns to the poverty-stricken background of his native Bolton in Care In The Community. As he defends a father who was jointly accused of murdering a baby, Peter is having some difficulty in representing the unresponsive mother whilst he has other things on his mind.
The subject of provocation in a domestic murder trial is explored in Briefs Trooping Gaily, though this episode lacks the intricate plots that typify the rest of the series. Jeremy does however provide copious entertainment value, as he pursues his amateur operatic interests and is in trouble after being caught red-handed absent-mindedly reading another counsel's brief.
Bearing Witness by contrast is the strongest episode in the series. Here, James puts aside his personal views when he represents the mother of a young Jehovah Witness boy who refuses a blood transfusion. After the boy dies, James becomes a witness at her trial for manslaughter. The contempt that James initially feels for the mother is transformed into real empathy. Meanwhile, Jeremy's attempt to gain a reputation as a champion for eco-warriors backfires adds mirth to the episode.
The bleak surroundings of a coastal parish in Norfolk provide the setting of Innocency of Life (sic). After James cross-examines a widowed parishioner who accuses the vicar of misconduct in a church disciplinary hearing, the plot turns and he ends up defending her when she is accused of murdering her husband.
The coastal theme continues in Dead Reckoning, where James prosecutes the owner of a drowned trawler for manslaughter. This episode is reminiscent of some of the earliest series', as James's masterful cross-examining skills show no mercy to the accused.
I would rate Briefs Trooping Gaily as 3 stars, with the other episodes meriting 4 stars each apart, apart from Bearing Witness which deserves the full 5.
4-7 Ceremony Of Innocence
4-8 Seasons Of Mist
They are included in the complete box set 1 to 5 but the last ever episode 6-1 The End of Law is not
To get the Complete Kavanagh QC you have to buy the Box set 1 - 5 and also the complete series 5 as this includes The End Of Law
This seems to happen quite a lot I have bought other so called complete series only to find bits are missing
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