Garrow’ Law is a wonderful British legal series. It is based on real-life barrister William Garrow (1760 – 1840). Actual Old Bailey cases from the 18th century are used in the series, as well as Garrow’s own controversial love life. He was involved in a relationship with Lady Sarah Hill, wife of British Peer Sir Arthur Hill. They eventually married in 1793, after having two children together.
In Garrow's Law, Series 2, Garrow (Andrew Buchan) and friend and solictor John Southouse (Alun Armstrong) take underdog cases, frequently going up against rival lawyer Silvester (Aidan McArdle). A recurring theme through Series 2 is Garrow’s relationship with Lady Sarah and the scandal it creates. Garrow must defend himself and his reputation - his career may be on the line, as Sir Arthur Hill (Rupert Graves) has accused his wife Lady Sarah of adultery, and Garrow is accused of “criminal conversation” with the lady.
The cast is first-rate. Buchan (Cranford) may have a baby face, but he is very convincing as the sharp-minded and allergic-to-corruption young legal maverick. His relationship with Lady Sarah (Lyndsey Marshal, Rome, Being Human) is also convincing. They may not have acted on their feelings (yet), but passion is always simmering below the surface in their exchanges. Marshal spends much of Series 2 on edge, as her husband slanders her reputation and tries to separate her from their infant son. She believably portrays a woman who is beside herself at the thought of losing her child. Armstrong and McArdle also lend solid support, as does Michael Culkin as Judge Buller.
Garrow, a true pioneer of law, is credited with originating the phrase "innocent until proven guilty." The series tries to bring to life not only the practice of law of the period, but issues such as adultery, slavery and homosexuality. The series' production values are impeccable, from the sets and locations (some filming is done at Edinburgh University’s Old College) to the costumes and dialogue, which has the flavor of the speech of the time while still being completely intelligible to a modern audience.
Especially wonderful is the lighting of the series. Candlelight and natural light filter in through windows, adding not just authenticity, but beauty.