Subject: I have found a DVD that I think you would enjoy
|Kavanagh QC - Mute of Malice|
Actors: John Thaw, Nicholas Jones, Oliver Ford Davies, Lisa Harrow
Director: Jack Gold;Tristram Powell
Genres: Indie & Art House, Drama, Television, Mystery & Suspense
John Thaw (Inspector Morse) is masterful and feisty British barrister, James Kavanagh, a top member of Queen?s Counsel, in this powerful courtroom drama series. Fundamental to his success in court is Kavanagh?s fierce desi... more »
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Junglies | Morrisville, NC United States | 04/27/2005
(5 out of 5 stars)
"In this collection of Kavanagh Q.C. stories, three disparate stories are tackled.
In each case it appears from the outset that the cases are hopeless but the outcome is very different. For me this is the season of shows where the family life of Kavanagh takes more of a back seat to the courtroom and, to a certain extent the office politics occupy more of a background position. This suggests that the class conflicts which were highlighted in the earlier shows have a much more subordinate role here. It may be my ears too but Thaw's northern regional accent is a lot less noticeable here.
"Mute of Malice" is the first of the three episodes in this collection. It is concerned with an Army Chaplin, accused of the murder of his brother, who appears reluctant to speak in his own defence at the trial. This tense drama shows the frustrations felt on all sides by this situation with battlelines drawn within the family. It interweaves a harrowing tale of British troops involvement in Bosnia and the horrors discovered whilst there and which ultimately is involved with the resolution of the issue. There are some wonderful performances in this show, not least of all Thaw who reflects all of our horror of war.
In "Blood Money", Kavanagh takes on a case of negligence against a medical doctor over the death of a woman's husband. This particular episode takes on a much greater significance in view of the recent death of John Thaw as the widow is played by Thaw's real life wife, Shiela Hancock. This adds a great poignancy to the show and highlights the great loss Thaw will be to British acting. In this show what should be a relatively straightforward operation goes wrong and a man dies. His widow, convinced of the negligence of the doctor in charge of the operation, sues. What follows is a case of intrigue and social pressure as the case draws in people who would prefer the action to be dropped as it threatens to expose a huge can of worms. Kavanagh is ultimately successful, despite beaurocratic obduracy and obrstruction, in finding the truth and bringing the widow peace of mind.
In the final of the three programs, "Ancient History", Kavanagh revisits an issue previously addressed in an Inspector Morse episode, that of War Crimes. In this disturbing account of man's inhumanity of man, Kavanagh is placed in the almost impossible position of prosecuting a case where the principal witnesses last saw the accused some fifty years before. Adding to the difficulty is the fact that one of the witnesses dies during the pre-trial hearing and another complication occurs when another witness refuses to return from Poland. Almost at the end of the trial when the defendent appears to be aquitted, a defense witness brings her testimony before the court which seems to finalise the result but Kavanagh, not losing hope, rescues the situation. This episode typifies more than many others, the concern with social issues and their treatment before the law. This concern, manifested in the show, has a way of helping us, the viewers, identify with the concerns and clarify our own views on those subjects.
All in all an excellent mini-series which will be revisited again and again. First class production. Alas the DVD set contains little of refinement or extras compared with the VHS set but the availability of the shows for the first time on DVD more than compensates for these minor inadequacies. I hope that it will not be too long before the rest of the shows folow.