Friday, April 17, 2015

Crown Court Volume Three DVD Review

Network DVD / Region 2 / 4 disc set / Released April 2008

Featuring Denis Lill, Windsor Davies, Nigel Havers, Peter Bowles

One of the ITV Network's first daytime drama series (along with Harriet's Back in Town and Emmerdale Farm) Crown Court, with its highly atmospheric (and evocative) theme tune, was an instant hit with the elderly, the unemployed, the sick and kids who managed to wangle a day off school.

Network are releasing this brilliantly nostalgic series (yes I did wangle more than my fair share of days off school) and this April saw the arrival of volume three with with 13 stories spread over four discs. Each case runs for three episodes and although the action never strays from the courtroom (only recaps for each episode make use of black and white photographs) you are very quickly pulled in to the goings on.

The show was a real breeding ground for soon to be well known actors and these episodes feature the likes of Warren Clarke and Tony Doyle in Love Thy Neighbour: Regina V Thornton and Thornton; Nigel Havers (with an outrageous pair of Elton John style specs), Derek Griffiths, Helen Cherry and Terrence Hardiman in Wise Child to name just a few but one of the things that really made it stand out at the time was the use of members of the public for the jury who actually got to make the decision as to whether the defendent was guilty or not according to the evidence they had heard over the course of three episodes, of course this meant that different endings had to be filmed depending on which way the jury went.

Definitely a classic series then, one defies its relatively low budget setting to still entertain some 30 odd years later.