In a cutthroat legal world where truth and justice fight a constant battle, Jack Roper (John Hannah) is used to relying on his wits to win cases. But when he turns down a lucrative job offer from his mentor to strike out on his own, he not only risks their friendship but also his career.
Set in two rival barristers' chambers in the heart of Manchester, New Street Law follows Jack and his newly established firm as they pull out all the stops to prove their clients' innocence.
Outtakes and Bloopers
New Street Law
, a crisp legal procedural series from the BBC, stars John Hannah (Four Weddings and a Funeral
, The Mummy
) as Jack Roper, a driven--perhaps even obsessive--defense lawyer with a small, struggling firm. The dense accents, particularly Hannah's Scots brogue, may take a brief getting used to, but the substance of the show will be familiar to fans of American lawyer series: A combination of compressed law cases, usually introduced and resolved within the hour, and the series-long arcs of the lawyers' messy personal lives. New Street Law
starts on a fairly generic note, featuring a rivalry between defense lawyers and prosecutors, a standard motley crew within the firm (including a hotshot newbie, a slightly sleazy but charming guy, a staunch female lawyer who feels she has more to prove), and romantic tensions galore. But over the course of this eight-episode season the cast and writers of New Street Law
find their stride, giving the characters more texture and increasingly complex relationships--and the prosecutors, including a senior lawyer played by Paul Freeman (Raiders of the Lost Ark
), get just as much exploration as the defense team. After wrestling with cases of arson, shoplifting, mental instability, corporate malfeasance, and medical malpractice, the series culminates with a grisly child murder case that may lead Roper to compromise his ethics. Don't look for onsite investigations or courtroom histrionics--the show realistically keeps its cast in legal chambers and, though there are certainly dramatic moments, doesn't let the cross-examinations get absurdly flashy. Egos and juicy personal vendettas abound, but the show's greatest strength is a clear-eyed picture of the deals made in the halls and conference rooms. All in all, a solid if standard legal program, with the added appeal of giving American viewers a glimpse into the similarities and differences of the British legal system. --Bret Fetzer