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Garrow's Law: Series One

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Garrow's Law: Series One + GARROW'S LAW, SERIES 2 + GARROW'S LAW, SERIES 3
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Product Details

  • Actors: Andrew Buchan, Alun Armstrong, Lyndsey Marshal, Rupert Graves, Aidan McArdle
  • Directors: Ashley Pearce, Bryn Higgins, Peter Lydon
  • Writers: Damian Wayling, David Harsent, Kevin Hood, Stephen Russell, Tony Marchant
  • Format: Multiple Formats, Color, NTSC, Widescreen
  • Language: English (Dolby Digital 2.0 Stereo)
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.66:1
  • Number of discs: 2
  • Rated: NR (Not Rated)
  • Studio: Acorn Media
  • DVD Release Date: February 1, 2011
  • Run Time: 240 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (64 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B003AND1S2
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #155,398 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "Garrow's Law: Series One" on IMDb

Special Features

Behind-the-scenes featurette (19 min.)
photo gallery
biography of William Garrow
cast filmographies

Editorial Reviews

Product Description

Legal drama ripped from the pages of history

"Courtroom drama gold" --The Sunday Times (U.K.)
"Excellent" --The Observer (U.K.)

"A better class of entertainment" --The Times (U.K.)
"Excitement, tension, passion, humor, and drama" --The Guardian (U.K.)

A passionate young barrister leads a legal revolution in this superb new courtroom drama set in 18th-century England. Appalled by the corruption of London’s Old Bailey, William Garrow (Andrew Buchan, Cranford, The Fixer) advocates for the accused and pioneers the art of cross-examination, paving the way for our modern legal system. Aided by his mentor (Alun Armstrong, Little Dorrit, New Tricks) and the beautiful Lady Sarah Hill (Lyndsey Marshal, Being Human, The Hours), he faces down ruthless bounty hunters; callous judges; smug solicitors; and MP Sir Arthur Hill (Rupert Graves, The Forsyte Saga), who sees Garrow as a threat to the law—and his marriage.

Based on a true story and drawing on actual Old Bailey court records, this award-winning series follows Garrow as he argues his first cases, rails against outdated legal practices, and shows that one man can indeed change everything.


An ingenious fusion of courtroom procedural and historical drama, Garrow's Law will satisfy a craving for stories both intimate and political. William Garrow was a real British barrister who came to the law in the late 1700s, a time when the accused were at the mercy of the court--and the court was not very merciful. Garrow's Law portrays the beginning of Garrow's career with just the right touches of melodrama and romance to make this series wonderfully engrossing. Garrow (Andrew Buchan) defends a maid accused of infanticide, a degenerate accused of stabbing women in the street, and a political prisoner tried for high treason, and fights to bring down a corrupt bounty hunter--all the while building a reputation in the press and cultivating enemies in high places. He chafes at the conservative advice of his mentor Southouse (Alun Armstrong, whose rough face is familiar from dozens of BBC productions), jousts with a supercilious prosecutor (Aidan McArdle), and feels sparks fly with Lady Sarah Hall (Lyndsey Marshal, Being Human), whose sense of justice is more in line with Garrow's than with her aristocratic husband's (Rupert Graves, Mrs. Dalloway, Made in Dagenham). Buchan plays Garrow with wily eyes and a flaring temper; he makes Garrow's ambition and self-righteousness somehow charming and persuasive, leavening him with just enough humility and humor to be deeply engaging. All in all, a delightful and thought-provoking series. --Bret Fetzer

Customer Reviews

Very well cast, well acted and well written.
L. Arnold
This is a wonderful program, and the fact that the cases are based on actual court cases from the 18th century makes it that much more interesting.
J. Brewster
Both my husband and I loved this series and just wished there had been more episodes to watch.
Margaret Evans

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

75 of 78 people found the following review helpful By Harold Wolf TOP 50 REVIEWER on December 15, 2010
Format: DVD
Historical drama done to the excellence level of "Foyle's War." British courtroom drama from 1792. The date given away by dialogue about Pres. Washington's new 2nd term. This series has already won a "Best History" award. It should win more award in the future. It is absolute perfection in late-18th century historical reproduction in sets, costumes, dialogue, and the plots, cases, and people are from real British history of criminal court--"The Old Bailey." Rumpole of the Bailey made this court popular on TV, but this series now documents the true historical beginning of criminal justice for the accused. It was Sir William Garrow (1760-1840) who lead the way and coined: "Innocent until proven guilty." He was accepted to the bar in 1783. In real life, and the TV series, he is idealistic, a Robin Hood for the poor and unfairly arrested. He is young, eager, wayward, belligerent, rash, arrogant, inexperienced, loud, but often a winner. This set resembles the poor depicted in Catherine Cookson TV adaptations--a must own series as well.

Excellent cast:
Andrew Buchan (Cranford) is Garrow, in looks and attitude. He could be played no better.
Lyndsey Marshall (Being Human) plays Lady Sarah Hill, exquisite in acting as well as filling her delightful period aristocracy costumes.
Alun Armstrong (Little Dorrit, New Tricks) plays the true-to-history character, John Southouse, Garrow's mentor, a solicitor (attorney).
Michael Culkin (The Hours, Lolita) is Judge Buller, mostly ruthless.
Rupert Graves (Forsyte Sage, Death at a Funeral-see the UK version) plays MP Sir Arthur, Sarah's spouse.
Aidan McArdle (The Duchess, Ella Enchanted) is another REAL historical figure, John Silvester, a proud, rich, barrister who constantly opposes Garrow.
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31 of 31 people found the following review helpful By Russell Fanelli VINE VOICE on February 17, 2011
Format: DVD
Garrow's Law (Series One) introduces us to young William Garrow, an inexperienced barrister who gets his first chance to practice his profession at the Old Bailey Law Court in London. He makes many mistakes and as a result his first client is hanged for a crime he did not commit. Garrow quickly determines that justice and the English law as practiced at the Old Bailey often may not be on speaking terms. After the first disastrous case Garrow learns quickly and we watch with satisfaction as he defends clients who would probably have been convicted and hanged if it were not for his skilled defense. In the last case, and one of best in the four televised programs, Garrow defends a man falsely accused of treason; his punishment, if convicted, would be to be hanged, taken down from the gallows while still alive, and eviscerated before his very eyes - hanged, drawn, and quartered. We watch with rapt attention as Garrow makes his summation and appeal to the jury and then hold our breaths as we wait for the verdict.

Much time and effort has gone into the production of this series. The sets and constumes are meticulously created to take the viewer back to the late 18th Century in London. The stories are genuinely entertaining and the writing is crisp and realistic. Lastly, the acting of all the players, particularly Garrow, is first rate. It was only by fortunate accident that I learned of this series and then checked the two glowing reviews on Amazon. I add this short review to the list and highly recommend this series to any interested viewers who want to step back in time and watch as William Garrow brings a measure of fairness and justice into the English legal system.
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16 of 16 people found the following review helpful By Gerard D. Launay on March 5, 2011
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
I will disagree with a previous reviewer - Garrow is no Rumpole. I think what made the "Rumpole of the Bailey" series so interesting is the subtle humor and imperfections of the Barrister. Leo McKern took a literary personality and played it to such perfection that he made his characterization "definitive." Yes...I love the Rumpole series.

So for those interested in British law - this is my second choice for a mini-series. Don't get me wrong - it is very well done - although Garrow comes off a little too flawless. He is smart, young, roguishly attractive...and a bit too arrogant and superior at times. His desire for justice in a court of law - fundamental fairness, if you will - is palpable.

In terms of acting, I actually preferred his solicitor - John Southouse - played superbly by Alun Armstrung who tries to restrain his young charge from becoming a raving revolutionary. I also enjoyed Magistrate Buller played in a sinister tone by Michael Culkin.

The costumes, sets, and historical detail are outstanding...and the stories excellent. I understand these are real cases tried in the Old Bailey - the original Criminal Courts of London. I rather liked the first episode best when Garrow tries his first case, and makes the kind of mistake most lawyers do in the beginning - get so wrapped up in their own brilliance they forget that their single duty is to persuade the jury or judge of the rightness of their client.

What makes the series most compelling for me is that it shows the extremely difficult job of defending an accused in criminal court during the eighteenth century when the defense attorney was so handicapped. The defense lawyer was not allowed to call his own witnesses...he was not allowed to look directly at the jury...
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Topic From this Discussion
CC or subtitles?????
Is Garrows Law serie one, subtitled? Could anyone confirm this to me?
Feb 19, 2011 by Augusto C. Goncalves |  See all 6 posts
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