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DVD Review: Garrow’s Law, Series 3

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Acorn Media has released in the U.S. the latest and final series of the British period law drama, Garrow’s Law: Series 3. As with the previous two series, interesting cases based on the laws and mores of 18th century England combine with some gripping personal drama for some great television.

Based on real-life of pioneering barrister William Garrow (Andrew Buchan), Garrow’s Law follows its protagonist as he tries to battle injustice and corruption at the Old Bailey. The crimes that are featured in each episode are based on actual cases from the Old Bailey’s files. Garrow is frequently a champion of the underdog, as well as an innovative thinker, and this DVD set features cases dealing with an insanity plea after an assassination attempt on King George III, industrial sabotage, and a riot during London elections.

[L-R: Andrew Buchan, Lyndsey Marshal, and Alun Armstrong]

Garrow’s Law is always interesting in the parallels and contrasts it draws between the past and present, including issues found in more contemporary legal dramas. The great divisions between the classes and the tendency of the ruling class to always dominate any proceeding are also highlighted. But the heart of the show is in the relationships between its characters. By Series 3, Garrow is living (in sin) with Lady Sarah Hill (Lyndsey Marshal) and trying to support her in her fight to regain custody of her son from husband, Sir Arthur Hill (Rupert Graves). As if his home life didn’t present enough complications, Garrow’s dear friend and mentor, John Southouse (Alun Armstrong) is ill with gaol fever (typhus), and his prognosis does not look good.

The four episodes are available on two discs, for a total running time of approximately 236 minutes. The image is widescreen with an aspect ratio of 1:66:1, with SDH subtitles available. Bonus features include a photo gallery, cast bios, and a 19-minute featurette which takes viewers behind-the-scenes, Garrow’s Law: From Dawn to Dusk.

It is a shame that this is the last series of Garrow’s Law, but viewers can still enjoy the great attention to period detail and history in this excellent show, as well as the top-notch acting of its stars. If one is interested in what became of the real William Garrow and Lady Sarah, they will be pleased to know that the pair eventually married and had two children of their own.

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