Law and dis­or­der – and a hot bath to chill to the bone

The Press - The Box - - TELEVISION - Pat­tie Pe­gler

Kate go­ing to the cot­tage for the sec­ond time was one of them. I don’t know about you, but if I’d been at a re­mote cot­tage and some strange man had been peer­ing through the win­dow when I had a bath, I’m not so sure I’d be keen to go up there again. On my own. In the dark.

It was clear noth­ing good would come of that weekend away.

So, at times it’s a teeny bit pre­dictable and I’m sure any le­gal ex­pert would take is­sue with some of the court­room stuff. Is it re­ally that easy to get mur­der­ers off on small tech­ni­cal points, for ex­am­ple? But these flaws are rel­a­tively mi­nor in an over­all stylish, fast-paced drama. And I con­fess I was on the edge of my seat.

Pe­riod le­gal drama Gar­row’s Law (Mon­days, 9.30pm, Vibe) pre­sents a very dif­fer­ent le­gal world. Set in the late 1800s, it tells the true story of ide­al­is­tic young bar­ris­ter Wil­liam Gar­row (Andrew Buchan) who pi­o­neered the idea of de­fend­ing people in court.

And boy, did people need de­fend­ing. Courts were full of bray­ing mobs and tri­als were of­ten fore­gone con­clu­sions. ‘‘That will be two hang­ings be­fore lunch,’’ said one cyn­i­cal bar­ris­ter in last night’s episode as he pe­rused the up­com­ing tri­als of the day.

The cases are ap­par­ently drawn from Old Bai­ley files of the time. The first episode saw high­way rob­beries and in­fan­ti­cide, as well as a case of a woman who’d fallen asleep in some­one else’s house and tried to steal some linen. For which she was sen­tenced to brand­ing.

This was clearly not a world where com­mu­nity ser­vice would cut it.

This is as much about the grimy, seething in­jus­tice of 19th century so­ci­ety as it is about Gar­row. And you prob­a­bly won’t be on the edge of your seat, but there’s some­thing rather ab­sorb­ing about it.

Gar­row’s Law: Not a world where com­mu­nity ser­vice would cut it.

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