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GARROW'S LAW: THE COMPLETE COLLECTION

4.6 out of 5 stars 77 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Legal drama ripped from the pages of history

“[4stars]” —Scripps Howard News Service “Courtroom drama gold” —The Sunday Times(U.K.)

“Period drama at its very best” —British Heritage magazine As seen on PBS

Andrew Buchan (The Sinking of the Laconia, Cranford) stars as William Garrow, a revolutionary legal mind determined to defend the downtrodden in 18th-century England. Based on a true story, these three complete series follow Garrow as he advocates for prisoners’ rights and pioneers the idea of innocent until proven guilty, aided by his mentor (Alun Armstrong, New Tricks) and the lovely Lady Sarah Hill (Lyndsey Marshal, Being Human).

As he tackles divisive cases, Garrow runs afoul of some of England’s most powerful and notorious figures, including bounty hunters, judges, and a ruthless MP, Sir Arthur Hill (Rupert Graves, Sherlock, The Forsyte Saga). Drawn from actual Old Bailey court records, Garrow’s Law is a fascinating peek inside the evolution of the modern legal system, filled with “excitement, tension, passion, humor, and drama” (The Guardian, U.K.).

Special Features

BONUS FEATURES Behind-the-scenes featurette (19 min.), “William Garrow: Fact and Fiction” featurette (22 min.), “Garrow’s Law: From Dawn to Dusk” featurette (19 min.), photo galleries, biography of William Garrow, and cast filmographies

SDH subtitles

Product Details

  • Actors: Andrew Buchan, Lyndsay Marshal, Rupert Graves, Aidan McArdle, Michael Culkin
  • Directors: Peter Lydon, Ashley Pearce, Bryn Higgins
  • 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: 6
  • Rated:
    NR
    Not Rated
  • Studio: Acorn Media
  • DVD Release Date: February 26, 2013
  • Run Time: 716 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (77 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B00A8KJMP6
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #18,995 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By Brett H TOP 500 REVIEWER on January 26, 2013
It is so sad that we have only 12 episodes spread across the three series of Garrows Law. Whilst this box set is to be welcomed it is also a matter of regret that the perverse decision was made to axe this very successful programme. What is particularly fascinating is that Sir William Garrow was a real historical figure in the UK. The writers of these programmes have clearly made a real effort to ensure that the episodes accord with what is known of his personal life. Additionally every episode is based on a true case from the annals of the Old Bailey in London, although not necessarily one with which Garrow was involved. Hence they provide an insight into the workings of the law a little over two hundred years ago.

Garrow is not as widely known as he deserves. Whilst this series covers the earlier part of his career when he was a barrister, he was also a Kings Counsel prosecuting cases, although he appears here as the defending counsel. Latterly he became a politician, rising to the post of Solicitor General and confirmed his forward thinking by, amongst other credentials, supporting animal rights which was quite a departure in the first part of the 19th century. This was a time when human rights were fairly generally ignored! The cases which are included in this series are interesting and varied and if you google the details of any of them, you will be able to verify that they were actual cases at the Old Bailey. Here Garrow is the champion of the accused and it is an interesting fact that he originated the phrase 'innocent until proved guilty'. He is also credited with originating the adversarial system of justice, in use in most Western countries with forthright cross examination of witnesses.
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The 3-series TV spectacle is now complete in one set. If you've not purchased all or part individually, then this is the opportunity. Every episode is 5-star worthy, if not more. This is a set containing 12 great movie-length stories.

Historical drama is done to the excellence level of "Foyle's War." British courtroom drama from 1792. This series won a "Best History" award. It is absolute perfection in late-18th century historical reproduction in sets, costumes, & dialogue. 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 TRUE historical beginnings of criminal justice for the accused. Even some of the dialogue was taken from court records. 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.
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Telling the story of the early career of a man who became one of England's top jurists and changed the course of legal history, and doing this in a way that rivets the attention of viewers like me who have no legal or judicial background is challenging, but this series does that. Viewers can expect not only a recreation of the period costumes, manners, customs, architecture, politics, and language, but even more plausible portrayals of how the people at the turn of the eighteenth century felt and acted. British character acting in series like Poldark and Larkrise to Candleford is always superb, and none more so than in Garrow's Law. If you don't mind having to think while you are entertained, you will love this series.
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Thoroughly enjoying this series. Very well written, acted, staged, costumed, and directed. The stories are based on fact and trial transcripts, and are entirely believable. You needn't be a lawyer to enjoy Garrow, but this one sure does. Heartily recommended!
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"Garrow's Law" is so interesting. It boggles the mind when you watch the cases and think, wait a minute, they can't do that - when, of course, they can. The law was evolving (as it still does today), and Garrow was in the thick of it. Each episode stars a new case, and all of them are based on real cases tried in England during the time period.

Garrow (the real Garrow) was called to the Bar in 1783, and made his name as counsel for the defence (Brit for defense) - the period we see in the TV show. In 1793, though, he did rise to become a King's prosecutor, and was eventually knighted.

The characters in these three series are great, and knowing it's based on real-life makes it even better. Charlotte Edgar, an extra, speaks in bonus feature #3: "I've been looking at some of the cases in the Old Bailey archives. For the 1st series, it was interesting to see, thre was an exchange between a thief-taker and Garrow. And I noticed that in the actual shoot, the lines were pretty much the same."

She's talking about the website,
oldbaileyonline(dot)org
If you'd like do a little fun perusing of the kind of cases William Garrow handled, check it out. It's an online listing of cases heard in the Old Bailey between 1674 and 1913. It doesn't always give a lot of detail. Sometimes, though, an entry includes a full transcript, questions and answers, the older ones in "old English". These include transcripts of actual William Garrow court appearances.
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