If you were wondering what to do on Sunday nights now that Emma has finished its run, the good news for UK viewers is that BBC1 is immediately following it with another historical drama. (Not sure when you will get this series in other countries.) Starting this weekend is Garrow’s Law, a four-part series based on the life and work of William Garrow, a pioneering 18th-century barrister at the Old Bailey who, from what I’ve read about this series, introduced the concept of cross-examination and was the first lawyer really to fight cases for the defence.
Andrew Buchan, who played Jem Hearne in Cranford and St John Rivers in the most recent Jane Eyre, takes the title role as William Garrow, with Alun Armstrong and Rupert Graves also starring. The writer is Tony Marchant, who has mainly scripted contemporary dramas but has done adaptations of Dickens’ Great Expectations and Dostoyevsky’s Crime and Punishment in the past.
I thought I’d pass on links to a few sites for people interested in knowing more. The BBC has a site with a lot of information, and there is also an independent fansite, similar to those set up for some other recent costume dramas. The legal and historical consultant on the show, Mark Pallis, has set up a blog at WordPress giving background on the cases featured in the show, and Clive Anderson wrote an article in the Daily Telegraph about Garrow’s place in legal history.
I’m going to watch the show, but am hoping I find it easier to follow than Channel 4’s 18th-century legal drama City of Vice, where I found myself getting hopelessly lost every week…