TV Review: Garrow’s Law, BBC One

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AS far as programme-makers are concerned, the law is a rich seam to be mined for dramatic gold, and they have done so brilliantly with this period drama, which makes a very welcome return.

In this opener, Garrow returned to the Bailey risking his reputation to defend James Hadfield, on trial for high treason for attempting to assassinate King George III. Garrow agreed to meet Hadfield at Newgate, but found his defence perplexing.

Hadfield was convinced that God has spoken to him. He insisted that he did not want to kill the King, but rather wanted himself to be killed by an outraged patriotic crowd. Is he a madman or an assassin?

Convinced of Hadfield’s insanity, Garrow risked a defence which sought to change the law. But in a country where the King himself seems completely lunatic sometimes, was it a defence which threatened the Establishment, or an assault on George III himself?

Andrew Buchan, Alun Armstrong and Lyndsey Marshal star in the new series of the Georgian costume drama that replaces Downton Abbey in the affections of period drama lovers.