Garrow's Law

Sunday 9:00 PM on BBC Premiered Nov 01, 2009 In Season


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Garrow's Law

Show Summary

A British period legal drama set in 18th century London and inspired by the court cases and life of pioneering 18th century barrister William Garrow.
Garrow is a talented, young barrister determined to install justice into a corrupt legal system of Georgian England. His confrontational and sometimes arrogant stance in the courtroom does not earn him any favours with the political elite and creates enemies within the criminal underground. His associate John Southouse, a solicitor, is often disapproving of Garrow's rebellious attitude, but nevertheless offers him advice and help.
Each episode features a case inspired by true legal proceedings as recorded at Old Bailey Archives: from rape and murder to high treason and corruption. The real William Garrow coined the phrase: innocent until proven guilty, in an age when defence counsel was for the minority. He was known for his forceful cross-examinations and more than once he offered to defend the accused for free.
A major subplot is a love story between Garrow and Lady Sarah Hill. Their love affair gradually develops. It begins as an unspoken attraction. Then, Garrow's courtroom rival, Silvester, questions the appropriateness of Garrow's friendship with Lady Sarah. Garrow challenges him to a duel. This starts a chain of events, resulting in Lady Sarah Hill leaving her husband and Sir Arthur Hill accusing Garrow of Crmininal Coversation (legal jargon for adultery).
The series is created by Tony Merchant, a British playwright and television dramatist: "I always wanted Garrow's Law to be a show that educated and entertained, using Garrow as someone whose work at the Old Bailey could tell us something new or too easily forgotten about our past and the rights he fought to gain."


Previously Aired Episode

AIRED ON 12/4/2011

Season 3 : Episode 4


    BBC announces autumn line-up

    Doctor Who, Gavin and Stacey and Spooks return to our screens alongside new shows starring Eve Myles (Torchwood), Johnny Lee Miller (Eli Stone) and Amanda Holden (Britain's Got Talent), the BBC revealed today.

  • Andrew Buchan

    Andrew Buchan

    William Garrow

    Lyndsey Marshal

    Lyndsey Marshal

    Lady Sarah Hill

    Alun Armstrong

    Alun Armstrong

    John Southouse, Seasons 1 - 3

    Rupert Graves

    Rupert Graves

    Sir Arthur Hill

    Aidan McArdle

    Aidan McArdle


    Michael Culkin

    Michael Culkin

    Judge Buller

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    • Garrow's Law combines fiction and fact, history and law, to create a smart, entertaining show

      This legal show is based on fact: there was William Garrow (1760 - 1840), a British barrister and a pioneer of law who coined the phrase innocent until proven guilty. He challenged the laws of Georgian England and helped create the modern adversarial court system: when two advocates represent their parties before an impartial judge. So, for the fans of legal drama - this is the show about a man who revolutionized cross-examination! Expect verbal fireworks in courtroom, delivered in Shakespearian English. The language has the feel of the 18th century, without being pretentious. Garrow continuously encounters resistance from the establishment. All the stories are inspired by his true cases, which makes the show even more intriguing and fun to watch.

      And Garrow's love life was controversial - for the 18th century England. He was in a relationship with Sarah Hill, after she had left Sir Arthur Hill. Garrow and Sarah eventually married in 1793, after having two children together. The show takes some dramatic liberties, of course, in recreating their romance. The final result is a wonderfully told love story in a true costume-drama-style - portrayed by actors who share great on-screen chemistry. I should mention here that the show looks beautiful, especially the lighting: natural light and candlelight. If you like Jane Austen's works and costume-drama in general, I highly recommend Garrow's Law.

      Since I like both legal and costume dramas, I have nothing to criticize and a lot to like about this show. Sharp and rich dialogue, good stories, good actors, great sets and costumes. So far, I liked every episode!moreless

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