‘THE ROYAL COURTS OF JUSTICE WERE REFERRED TO AS THE OLD BAILEY’



Corporate lawyer Thomas Hurst didn’t rate ITV’s new drama ‘The Jury’ much

On an evening when Americans were watching, live on their television, a real life drama unfold in the case of Dr. Conrad Murray, we, the British public, were subjected to a legal drama of our own. The Jury was making its second debut on ITV.

With a cast boasting Julie Walters and Roger Allam, a script penned by the the Oscar nominated Peter Morgan (of the Queen and Frost/Nixon fame), one – especially a lawyer – could be forgiven for getting a little excited. The Radio Times listed it as their “Pick of the Week”, after all.

The first hour of The Jury contained a number of interwoven stories, starting with the ladies and gentlemen of the jury receiving their jury summons. Questions were posed; suspense was generated. The stories will, we hope, continue to unravel over the week.

As a lawyer, however, I was expecting more. I was expecting more realism. The story of the female juror who sends a proxy to masquerade as herself on the jury is ludicrous, as is the fact the Royal Courts of Justice were continually referred to as the Old Bailey.

Nevertheless, there is plenty to intrigue the viewer, and it is interesting to look at a court case from the jury’s perspective; a bunch of people who are often extras and not part of the main story at all (although, this is the second time it has been done by ITV).

Despite the factual inaccuracies and far fetched story line, my biggest gripe so far are the adverts. There is probably only about 30 minutes of actual drama in an hour’s episode. The adverts break up the story, but stop the viewer from getting into the drama of it. When one watches this one can only wish it was on the BBC.

The Jury has potential. But then so do many ITV dramas. Unfortunately, for every ‘Downton Abbey’ there is a ‘Wild at Heart’. I will watch the rest of the series (probably on some form of catch-up, so I can skip the adverts) because I do want to know what happens.

While this drama has potential, the jury remains, very much, out.

Thomas Hurst is a lawyer at a large corporate law firm

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