Alan Waldman: ‘New Street Law’ is a Dramatic English Legal Series


Waldman’s film and TV
treasures you may have missed:

Scottish actor John Hannah heads a strong cast as two competing law firms seek justice.

By Alan Waldman | The Rag Blog | September 9, 2013

[In his weekly column, Alan Waldman reviews some of his favorite films and TV series that readers may have missed, including TV dramas, mysteries, and comedies from Canada, England, Ireland, and Scotland. Most are available on DVD and/or Netflix, and some episodes are on YouTube.]

New Street Law was a compelling, well-made Manchester, England, legal series that aired 14 episodes in 2006-2007. All 14 are on DVD and Netflix.

Handsome Scottish thespian John Hannah (Rebus and BAFTA nom for Four Weddings and a Funeral) stars as defense attorney Jack Roper, whose firm regularly contends against the crafty prosecutorial law firm headed by his former mentor, QC Laurence Scannel (Paul Freeman, who played the villain in Raiders of the Lost Ark).The series well combines humor, courtroom drama, romance, and suspense.

It was created, produced, and frequently written by former trial lawyer Matthew Hall, along with co-creator/producer G.F. Newman (who also created 2001-2007’s Judge John Deed).

Cases deal with murder, heroin possession, medical malpractice, arson, rape, child sexual molestation, and hate crimes. There are also various personal fireworks among the lawyers.

New Street Law features a very fine cast. John Thomson (BAFTA nom for Cold Feet) is very engaging as lawyer Charlie Darling. He has a clandestine relationship with a married female colleague (played by Laura Cazelet, who was harrowing as a prison denizen in Bad Girls). A droll judge is played by an actor I have long loved: Don Warrington (who received Britain’s MBE award and played in 63 Brit series). He was brilliantly hilarious in
Rising Damp, which I have previously reviewed on this blog.

Other strong performers include Lisa Faulkner (Murder in Suburbia, Murdoch Mysteries), Chris Gascoyne (four noms for Coronation Street), Penny Downie (57 Brit TV serie), Jayne Ashbourne (40 series), Lee Williams (Hotel Babylon and 35 other series) and Ace Bhatti (nominated as “Villain of the Year” for Eastenders).

I recommend this excellent series. Partial episodes can be sampled for free on YouTube.

[Oregon writer and Houston native Alan Waldman holds a B.A. in theater arts from Brandeis University and has worked as an editor at The Hollywood Reporter and Honolulu magazine. Read more of Alan Waldman’s articles on The Rag Blog.]

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