Justice TV series

Justice

1971 - United Kingdom

Julia Standford (Margaret Lockwood), a well-known English barrister, is called to defend a boy charged with rape and murder - and reveals an evil that shatters the town, the courtroom and the boy. 

No one has any doubt where the evil lies when the case begins; it rests revoltingly in the character of 18-year old Allan Harper (Cavan Kendall), discovered by the side of a lonely road with the body of 16-year old Ann Laird. He has no defence, admits that he had gone to meet the girl and "cannot remember" clearly enough to say whether he killed her or not. The local police already have on record Ann's accusation of rape against the boy, and examination of the body confirms that she is pregnant. 

From the moment Julia agrees to take the case, sensing intuitively that Allan is innocent, the question that confronts the viewer is not whether she will get him off, but how. This one-off play, Justice is a Woman, by Jack Roffey and Ronald Kinnoch was adapted for television by Stanley Miller and co-starred Iain Cuthbertson, Allan Cuthbertson and John Laurie. Made by Yorkshire Television it was broadcast on 4 September 1969. 

Two years later, Lockwood returned to the role, although her character's name was changed to Harriet Peterson, in the shorter titled series Justice. Forced to work as a barrister after her husband (William Franklyn) is sent to prison, Harriet is working on the northern court circuit. At the end of the first series she leaves for London, and this is where the story picks up in series two. In her private life Harriet has on-off relationship with Dr Ian Moody (John Stone, at the time Lockwood's real-life partner). The third and final series saw the introduction of the young, high-flying barrister James Eliot (Anthony Valentine). In the final episode, having already been made a QC and now head of chambers, Harriet accepts Moody's proposal of marriage (in real-life, Lockwood and Stone parted company shortly after the series ended). Scriptwriters on the series included Edmund Ward and James Mitchell.

Published on December 28th, 2018. Written by Laurence Marcus for Television Heaven.

Read Next...

Bless This House

Devised by Vince Powell and Harry Driver, Bless This House was a starring vehicle for Sid James that showed him in a new and unfamiliar light-as a family man.

Also released in 1971

Crime of Passion TV series

In France crime passionnel (or crime of passion) was a valid defence during murder cases; during the 19th century, some cases could result in a custodial sentence for two years for the murderer.

Also tagged Courtroom Drama

Behind the Fridge

A one-off special featuring a series of sketches portraying the eccentricities of the British courtesy of Peter Cook and Dudley Moore.

Also released in 1971

The Defenders

Courtroom Drama: One of the most ground-breaking and, at times, controversial American television shows of the 1960s

Also tagged Courtroom Drama

Budgie

Cheeky cockney and loveable rogue Ronald 'Budgie' Bird. Budgie was a small time crook, a petty thief, a chancer who always dreamed of getting rich but mainly had to content himself with the slimmest of pickings.

Also released in 1971

Ladykillers TV Series

A series of seven hour-long plays produced by Granada television based on real-life murder trials where the accused was female - proving that when it comes to foul play the gentler sex can be just as deadly as the male.

Also tagged Courtroom Drama

Columbo

Shabby looking homicide detective uses his criminal knowledge and eye for detail to pit his wits against criminals.

Also released in 1971

Crown Court TV series

Courtroom drama in which the jury, who were made up of members of the public, would decide the verdict.

Also tagged Courtroom Drama