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If your Lordship pleases . . .
on 10 December 2015
I bought this because the few reviews were good, and I am a great admirer of most of the cast. I quite enjoyed it - not as good as I'd hoped, but there you are. In effect it was pilot series - the only one made, and it's a shame that no further series were made because it had great potential.
Judge Wallace (Charles Kay) in particular had room for a lot of development as a character, and Phillipa Troy (Penelope Keith) would have been a lot better if she had been solely a barrister and not also a children's author. (This added nothing to the plot and appeared to be an ineffective contrivance.) Had I been the BBC commissioning another series I would have cut the kiddies' books aspect - it's a waste of Penelope Keith's acting ability and comic timing which could have been used much more effectively with a tighter script - increased the judge's role (especially more "off-the bench" moments - there were two, very brief. This brevity was superb - made them very punchy and effective, but it would have been nice to have one in each episode (Charles Kay can take such moments and make them outstanding); reduced the bible-bashing barrister's obsession with the good book (it got tedious) and done away with the young barrister who was Keith's occasional pupil altogether (she had no real role, and there wasn't room for another strong character. The hypochondriac solicitor was something of a caricature but I think would have become funnier and more interesting with a bit of thought and as scripts and characters developed (same with Keith's courtroom bible-quoting opponent ). The deaf/daft court usher also needed development. And she shouldn't win every case - loses effectiveness.
Never mind - I wasn't there to advise and the BBC missed its chance. The premise was a nice one though - based possibly on AP Herbert's "Misleading Cases in the Common Law" (Oh Alistair Sim - how we need you now). Actually it's a pity they didn't just re-make that with Charles Kay in Sim's role - would have been excellent. Now I shall be wondering who will play Albert Haddock . . . I'll have a cast list sorted buy the end of the week) :)