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Judge John Deed: Season 1 & Pilot Episode
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Judge John Deed: Season One (DVD)
Judge John Deed is an idealist at heart. Deed is proof that power does not have to corrupt. Armed with a sharp intellect, rakish charm, keen wit and a passionate belief in justice, he has made it to the top on hisown terms. Fearless and independent, he is sworn to serve State and Sovereign and will not allow himself to be influenced by Government lackeys. Even if it means making powerful enemies.]]>
Judge John Deed is a cracking-good British dramatic series set against the backdrop of the complex English judicial system. Fans of British TV dramas and any American crime procedurals will enjoy watching star Martin Shaw as the title character preside over all manner of twisted, intense, and fascinating criminal cases. Judge John Deed shows a man of honor and weary humor--and a judge who tries to honor his original decision to get into "the law" to help protect the rights of the innocent. Sometimes, Judge Deed realizes, that may mean bending the letter, if not the spirit, of the law. In the Series One collection, which includes the pilot episode, Shaw makes his complex character known right away, as his Judge Deed maneuvers to be assigned to a case he has intimate knowledge of--and so the drama begins. But Shaw's Judge Deed is also a man of compassion and humor, and, though creeping through middle age, he manages to be very appealing and sexy in a brainy kind of way. Shaw's Judge Deed cannot be bought, influenced, or bribed, inside the courtroom or out. Judge John Deed does a splendid job of following the intricacies of the British legal system without overexplaining it, keeping the viewer engaged at every turn. The letter of the law may not always be followed, but Judge John Deed tries to make sure that justice is served. Those who enjoy any kind of criminal or legal procedural series will become devoted fans of Judge John Deed. --A.T. Hurley
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Top Customer Reviews
Fascinating interplay between characters whose depth develops throughout.
John Deed is the Judge you would want on your side IF YOU WERE INNOCENT and he doesn't care whose toes he steps on to arrive at the truth. The higher the better.
The 'Establishment' wants to get rid of him at any cost and many times John Deed lays out their opportunities on a plate.
We have watched most episodes previously via Satellite TV from the UK but they are so addictive that we are now embarking on acquiring the complete series.
Bill & Jenny Wynn
Oh yes, and he's got an overcharged libido which, very curiously and quite implausibly is seldom matched (despite his love of the law) with a superego. He occasionally hits on his ex (`ice maiden') wife, continually attempts to seduce one of the QC's who appears before him in court but snuggles with him in chambers, and leaves room in his life for other female targets of opportunity, including the wife of the chief weasel in the Lord Chancellor's office.
This is all sustained and held together by the remarkable performances of Martin Shaw, known to many as the `George Gently' character, but also the very best performer in the Adam Dalgleish role. Shaw is the show, the whole show, and he is superb.
The ins, outs and contortions of British law will be of great interest to American audiences. The plots are never dull, but they are often wildly implausible. The subplots with Judge Deed's daughter, `adopted' dog Rosie as well as adult, human females are engaging. The episodes stand alone, but given the rhythms of the subplots it is best to see them in order.
As you watch you are likely to be frustrated with the direction (nudge-nudge winking in the courtroom, inappropriate sexual interactions at precisely the wrong moments and especially the machinations of the Lord Chancellor's office's ferrets and dweebs). At the same time you will be mesmerized by Shaw's performances and come running back for more.
Judge John Deed is a High Court justice. He wears scarlet robes trimmed in ermine. His elevation to the bench following a successful career as a crusading barrister was controversial. It is his lot to draw cases which are of some interest to the Lord Chancellor, who appoints judges to the bench but is simply another party politician. Thus arises the central theme of this series-are English judges a part of the government or do they stand apart from the government.
John Deed allows much personal interference in his courtroom in a manner no real judge on either side of the pond would. He intervenes for his college-aged daughter, he presides over cases in which his long time love interest represents a party, he presides over cases in which his ex-wife is the barrister before him, he has ex parte meetings in chambers with barristers and witnesses appearing before him.
The only interest this kind of conduct has to the Lord Chancllors office is it whether it can use it to either influence a decision or remove him from the bench. Complicating things is Deed's affair with the wife of his principal tormentor in the government, and this infidelity shakes his relationship with Mrs Mills, his long time girlfriend.
But Deed will not compromise ever on the issue of the neutrality and independence of the judiciary. In each episode he risks personal disgrace to preserve the unwritten constitution my fellow countrymen so admired. It's fiction. It's preachy. It's quite good.