TV Review: The Jury

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STV, 9pm last night

JULIE Walters may be best known for playing bumbling, mumsy roles, like Mrs Overall in Victoria Wood’s comic creations, and Ron Weasley’s mum in the Harry Potter films.

But after making her name in Educating Rita back in 1983, and fun-packed Mamma Mia! in 2008, she has also taken on more serious roles, like Mo Mowlam last year and a terminally ill patient seeking assisted death in 2009’s A Short Stay in Switzerland.

So she is an inspired choice to play a hard-nosed barrister for a new series of The Jury - the second episode of a five-part series this week screened last night.

Walters is spellbinding as a defence QC in Peter Morgan’s courtroom drama. This series of The Jury (there was another run with an entirely different cast back in 2002) sees Walters’ character Emma Watts locked in a fierce courtroom battle to free a man Alan Lane (John Lynch) convicted for the violent murders of women he met on the internet.

Watts is cool and combative, though sometimes if you close your eyes you can still hear Mrs Overall.