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Kavanagh Q.C. - Bearing Witness
Kavanagh QC - Bearing Witness
Actors: John Thaw, Oliver Ford Davies, Geraldine James, Nicholas Jones, Valerie Edmond
Director: Peter Smith;Ferdinand Fairfax;Charles Beeson
Genres: Drama, Television, Mystery & Suspense
NR     2009     3hr 48min

John Thaw (Inspector Morse) stars as masterful British barrister James Kavanagh, a top member of Queen's Counsel, in this compelling courtroom drama series. His skilful approach to cross-examination makes him a nightmare t...  more »


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Actors: John Thaw, Oliver Ford Davies, Geraldine James, Nicholas Jones, Valerie Edmond
Director: Peter Smith;Ferdinand Fairfax;Charles Beeson
Genres: Drama, Television, Mystery & Suspense
Sub-Genres: Drama, Drama, Mystery & Suspense
Studio: Bfs Entertainment
Format: DVD - Color
DVD Release Date: 04/28/2009
Release Year: 2009
Run Time: 3hr 48min
Screens: Color
Number of Discs: 2
SwapaDVD Credits: 2
Total Copies: 0
Members Wishing: 3
MPAA Rating: NR (Not Rated)
Languages: English

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Movie Reviews

"Wouldn't it be wonderful to have pure unadulterated 'innoce
Mary Whipple | New England | 05/16/2009
(5 out of 5 stars)

"James Kavanagh QC, still reeling from shocks in his personal life and just beginning to pick up the pieces, faces three more challenging cases here during the second part of the fourth season (1998). Played by John Thaw (who also played Inspector Morse), Kavanagh reveals himself more fully to the audience than Morse did, wearing his heart on his sleeve more often and creating immense viewer sympathy. Assisted by Emma Taylor (Valerie Edmond), a tall, sometimes jeans-clad young rock star who is also a barrister, Kavanagh acts as a balance to her more volatile emotions. Her strong Scottish burr and her local slang are sometimes challenging to an American viewer, though her acting ability makes many of her references clear through context and body language.

In this set, Kavanagh faces three unusual cases--two in which he is defending and one in which he is prosecuting. "Bearing Witness" (one of Kavanagh's best episodes) is a powerful and thought-provoking case which Kavanagh accepts as a favor to Tom, his law clerk, who was once engaged to the defendant. A Jehovah's Witness, she is refusing to allow transfusions for her fourteen-year-old son, who is dying with a liver ailment which could be treatable. Though Kavanagh is not religious and does not sympathize with her point of view, he offers a vigorous defense of her rights and those of her son. In "Innocency of Life," he must defend a young woman on trial for murder, a woman who inspires no sympathy in the community where her popular, much older husband, the local pub owner, has been found murdered. Her relationship with a popular local priest further alienates her from the community.

"Dead Reckoning" takes place in a small fishing village where the owner of a trawler which sank is being tried for the murder of five young fishermen, including his own son, who were aboard. The possibility that the trawler was sunk in a collision with a submarine brings in the government "suits," who refuse to share any information, claiming it is an issue of national security. As Kavanagh prosecutes this case, he must deal with the government and with the local community which supports the powerful and well respected trawler owner.

As always, the peripheral characters add to the pleasure of these episodes. Jeremy Aldermartin (Nicholas Jones), the stuffiest and most pretentious of the barristers, gets his well-deserved come-uppance yet again, providing comic relief in the process, and Tom Buckley (Cliff Parisi), their indispensible law clerk, threatens to leave chambers. Kavanagh continues to grow as a character and his courtroom maneuvering is fascinating to watch. A fine series which deserves a much wider audience, Kavanagh QC raises challenging moral and legal issues while offering broad entertainment on many levels. n Mary Whipple

Kavanagh QC, Set 1.
Kavanagh Q.C. - True Commitment, 1996, first half of season.
Kavanagh Q.C. - A Sense of Loss, 1996, second half of season.
Kavanagh Q.C. - Diplomatic Baggage, second half of season, 1997.
Kavanagh Q.C. - Memento Mori, first half of season, 1998.