Based on actual Old Bailey court records from the 18th Century, Garrow’s law tells the true story of William Garrow, a young barrister you revolutionized the legal system. This first series may only be 4 episodes long, but with each clocking it an an hour long a piece, this series offers plenty of drama to invest in.
The first episode kicks off with Garrow’s earliest attempt to be a proper defense attorney, with the mindset to stop “blood money” from influencing convictions, and to cease the casual executions and/or barbaric treatments of innocent people. The proceeding episodes each contain a highly tense adventure, as Garrow has to not only prove his clients’ innocence, but must also fend off bounty hunters, judges and other callous opponents of what he views as true justice.
The actors do well to convey the many strong emotions and demeanors of their characters without chewing the scenery, as many a period piece can fall victim to. Speaking of scenery, the set pieces are convincingly dusty and aged. Great efforts were clearly made by all levels of production, from writers to costumers, to make this as historically accurate as possible.
The director of the first two episodes, Peter Lydon, has an interesting sense of framing as his shot choices have a hip flare to them at times. Not to say that it is distractingly stylized, just another testament to the level of attention this show received to make it engaging without betraying its historical accuracy.
16:9 Widescreen. Aside from the haze that filters the visual presentation of so many BBC productions, the picture quality is very nice. The colour levels are fine and the many dark tones are suitably clear.
English 2.0 Dolby Digital Stereo. The soundtrack is quite booming. The classical score is particularly boisterous. There are points where the strong sounds of crowds make the dialogue get a little lost in the obstreperous rabble, but for the most part things are amplified nicely. A stereo track that has the muscle of surround.
Subtitles available in English.
Behind the Scenes: Just under 20 minutes long, this is a rather in-depth look into the show’s production. All levels are thoroughly examined, be it set designing, acting or costumes, to show how much care and concern went into making this show appear genuinely historical.
Biography of William Garrow: A written piece that explains the significance of this revolutionary law person, from his first cases to reaching the status of judge. Certainly a fascinating subject, worthy of such a grand show to tell his story.
Filmography: Selections from the leading cast’s working history.
Photo Gallery: Stills from the show and behind the scenes pics. For those that simply did not get enough from watching all the episodes and pouring over the other special features. Presented as a slide show to classical music.
Fun fact: It was William Garrows who coined the phrase: “Innocent until proven guilty.” Such a mentality was the thesis for Garrow’s portrayal in this show. This is a very fine series that should not be exclusively interesting to history buffs.