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The Brief Complete Collection (2012)

 NR |  DVD
4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (31 customer reviews)

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Product Details

  • Format: Multiple Formats, Box set, Color, NTSC, Widescreen
  • Language: English
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.66:1
  • Number of discs: 4
  • Rated: NR (Not Rated)
  • Studio: Acorn Media
  • DVD Release Date: February 28, 2012
  • Run Time: 559 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (31 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B00662CH02
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #34,195 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)

Special Features

SDH subtitles

Editorial Reviews

From the creators of Inspector Morse

"Engaging" —The Observer (U.K.)

"Davies is excellent" —Glasgow Evening Times (U.K.)

Alan Davies (Jonathan Creek) stars in the seriocomic misadventures of clever criminal law barrister Henry Farmer, whose every day is a juggling act between surviving his messy personal life and pleading cases only he can win.

Whether he’s trying to keep an innocent person from going to jail or save himself from financial ruin, Henry’s life is a symphony of chaos, both inside and outside the courtroom. His long list of problems includes a mountain of gambling debts, an affair with an important politician’s wife (Zara Turner, Sliding Doors), a distant son, and a sharp-tongued father—who’s also a judge.

Working with tough colleague Cleo Steyn (Cherie Lunghi, Excalibur) and alongside a cast of colorful characters (including Christopher Fulford, Millions, and Linda Bassett, Calendar Girls), Henry will need all his wit and charm to secure justice for his clients and a reprieve for himself.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
33 of 35 people found the following review helpful
This series, which only ran for eight episodes, is another fine British crime series being distributed in the US by Acorn Media. (These are the same folks who distribute the "New Tricks" series, which is still my favorite.). Produced by Carlton Television, one of the largest producers of TV shows in the UK (and now part of the larger ITV commercial network) in 2004, the series follows criminal attorney Henry Farmer as he both defends and, sometimes prosecutes, cases in the London court system.

My fellow reviewer, "Doc" Wolf, has outlined the eight episodes for you, so I won't rehash that. What made this series most interesting for me - and I hope others - that, line many of fine British crime shows, the actual crime cases take a back seat to the series character's own lives. Farmer is separated from his wife (who is raising their 12 year old son) and is having an "affair" with a woman whose husband is terminally ill (and is fully aware of the affair because he wants her to be happy). I'm not giving you a "spoiler alert" because this relationship is revealed early in first episode and forms just one of the "back stories" in the series. Another is Farmer's gambling habit. But there's some humor in this series as well, which makes it well rounded.

Each episode runs about 70 minutes and the "Complete Season" set is packaged as "Series One" and "Series Two".

Like me, some of the British court system language and the various "management levels" in Farmer's law firm may confuse you, but you can gather most of it easily. The accents can sometime - not often, but sometimes - be hard to decipher but the DVD has an English subtitle option to overcome that issue.

It's series like "the Brief" that never make it to US television and so I'm thankful to Acorn for giving us the opportunity to experience them.

I hope you found this review both informative and helpful.

Steve Ramm
"Anything Phonographic"
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37 of 40 people found the following review helpful
A barrister's life and cases in a contemporary London setting. It's as good as and very like the period legal-drama of Rumpole of the Bailey: Complete Series Megaset and Garrow's Law: Series One but showing modern crime & modern times. Each episode has a primary plot/case but also multiple cases added, chamber relationships, and plots in barrister Farmer's personal life. Plus humor. It's all there.

Henry Farmer (Alan Davies-Jonathan Creek) is a gambler, divorcee, bad dad, speech defective, debtor, biker, & obviously lawyer. All these characteristics adding up to believability of Davies portrayal. There is a number of chamber office people from barristers to clerk that appear in every episode, including Linda Bassett (Lark Rise to Candleford: The Complete Season One). Smaller parts by great stars like George Innes (Upstairs, Downstairs: Series One) & Camilla Power (The Grand). Add a number of prominent episode cast additions as guest stars and you get a great set of 8 episodes, over 70 minutes each and all coming

Series One:Episode 1 The Road to Hell -Farmer tackles multiple cases due to being short of funds to pay alimony & gamble. Barn, and he must face Judge `Dad'. Peter Perry-Jones (
... Read more ›
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31 of 36 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Loved This ! February 1, 2012
I just finished watching this series last evening and enjoyed every bit of it. Why oh why was The Brief ended so soon ??? Alan Davies is wonderful as the very kind, endearing and slightly flawed (gambles too much) lawyer. I really ended up wanting to see much more and wish it would have gone on a lot longer !!
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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Too Brief Brief February 10, 2013
By Pietro
This is an exceptionally fine courtroom drama series with strong domestic overtones. Not only does Davies shine through with a beautifully understated performance, but he is also surrounded by a wonderful cast of characters. To call them "supporting" actors would be wrong - they are far more than that.
Having just watched and admired John Deed from A-Z, I thought The Brief might seem a little lame in comparison. But no! Some of the storylines are hard-hitting and just as controversial, I would have thought, as those taken on by the Judge.
The two seasons are all too Brief. I wonder why a longer series didn't materialise? Surely, there's plenty of material for stories at the Old Bailey, and plenty of scope for character development?
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars The Brief carries the best. January 5, 2013
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
I am sitting here with a hot cup of coffee about to watch the last disc, with episodes "Forever on the Mind" and "The Architect's Wife". I have thoroughly enjoyed this series and my wife states: "Bring on some more, Mr. Davies!" This is what I wish was on American TV but apparently low-brow reality shows are about as far as the intellectual realm will allow producers to go. What a shame. Maybe we will have to move to the British Isles. I suspect I will see others of you there who have also been enjoying British TV. May they continue to produce intelligent, witty, fun, engaging programs!


Steve Ballou
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
2.0 out of 5 stars disappointed
Boring!!! This series is not the quality British legal drama that I expect from my friends across the pond. Read more
Published 2 days ago by VPL
5.0 out of 5 stars Want more!
This was great, wish there were more of them. Interesting characters and good story development.
Published 1 month ago by Moira
5.0 out of 5 stars Good series, good acting, great writing, very enjoyable.
The updated version of Rumpole of the Bailey. Very good television series, funny, entertaining, good stories, good actors.
Sadly there is only this one season.
Published 3 months ago by MB
4.0 out of 5 stars Refreshing Dramas
A very nice and well made production. I love the rare story lines setting in British court system. Great acting and storylines, very nice and enjoyable. Read more
Published 4 months ago by Dominic Hofer
4.0 out of 5 stars Good British drama
this is a good British drama, but not the very best - a little dull compared to others. But the casting, directing, etc. are very good. Enjoyable. Earthy. Read more
Published 6 months ago by The Lilac Poet
4.0 out of 5 stars Too Brief
It's unfortunate that this intriguing series set in a London law firm didn't last past two seasons and only eight episodes. Read more
Published 7 months ago by duke1029
4.0 out of 5 stars ENJOYED, glas we purchased.
We purchase what we know we would like to watch again - just wish there were more 'seasons' or 'series'. Worth the price.
Published 8 months ago by sher
I did like this series - in that there was an excellent consideration of the legal cases and they were dealt with very well.

However, Alan Davies cannot act - truth. Read more
Published 8 months ago by Rocke Harder
5.0 out of 5 stars Alan Davies Shines
We really like Alan Davies and had seen these some time ago. Fortunately, we had forgotten the plots but the artistry of Davies and his compatriots would have sufficed even if we... Read more
Published 9 months ago by David Webb
3.0 out of 5 stars Entertaining
Entertaining but not as good as other British lawyer series. It grows on you due to the characters' own conflicts which you want to follow for new developments.
Published 9 months ago by Tigsmd
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