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  • Kavanagh Q.C. is a British Series about a barrister with the designation of Queen's Counsel (hence the title) which stars John Thaw, Thaw is likely best known to most for the "Inspector Morse" series or "The Sweeney". In both of these other two series Thaw played police officers although decidedly different ones. With Kavanagh we again have another character very different than either Morse or Jack Regan.

    I found it somewhat refreshing to see a series both for Thaw and of this type where the lead character has a home life and a family. I find it unfortunate that later in the series they decided to curtail this approach which I thought brought a nice balance to the series.

    Overall the series has a few flaws including some supporting characters that are thinly developed or caricatured (although the performances are by and large good) and the writing fails to give us many memorable courtroom moments. But I found that it was counterbalanced by a well developed lead character (with a strong performance from Thaw) as well as some interesting subject manner and social commentary. Another reason I found this intriguing is because the courtroom drama on TV still hasn't as overdone as other genres, and this was the only example I have seen from Britain.

    This is also another British series with some very good guest stars including a young Ewan McGregor in the first episode.

    Unfortunately not all the episodes of the series have been released on DVD for Region 1. Hopefully this will be rectified at some point in the future.
  • Warning: Spoilers
    I agree with Chris from Australia re this series -- it is outstanding, intelligent TV (the kind no longer produced in the USA.)

    John Thaw is absolutely magnificent in the title role; his quiet, but incisive courtroom style is the kind I'd want from a lawyer representing me.

    This series was certainly a counterpoint to that other great British TV series "Rumpole of the Bailey" in the way it portrays their legal system; Rumpole plays it for laughs, with the judges as incompetent boobs; Kavanagh plays it straight. Both top-notch series, but polar opposites.

    As with Chris, the only one of the shows I didn't enjoy was the final one in which Kavanagh flies to my home state of Florida and meets up with a prejudiced Governor and court system.

    Besides, was it really necessary for the producers to end the series (in that same show) on such a downbeat note by having Kavanagh's wife Lizzie reveal to him that she has inoperable cancer?

    Otherwise...first rate series TV.
  • The only reason why I didn't give this a 10, is because I still think that Morse is John Thaw's best role. But I just want to say, he is absolutely magnificent here. Like Morse, Thaw put a bit of himself into the character, which is always very appealing. The episodes aren't complicated, not like Judge John Deed, and there have been a great flow of British actors like Larry Lamb, Ewen McGregor, Tom Courtenay, Stuart Laing and Richard Pasco. ( who was also in the saddest Inspector Morse, dead On time)The music is beautiful, and it also boosted the careers of Shakespearean actress Lisa Harrow, Eastenders'Cliff Parissi and Anna Chancellor, who all brought a brief but pleasing shine to the drama. And a vast majority of the courtroom scenes are just mesmorising, thanks to Thaw and the scripts, which are of exceptional quality. If anything, I wish it lasted longer, but Thaw died before they could do another series. 9/10. Bethany Cox
  • This series is adult British drama at its best. Kavanagh is a lawyer magnificently portrayed by John Thaw and surrounded by a multitude of interesting characters. It never ceases to amaze me that this type of program is able to attract perfect believable actors for even the smallest roles. Many of the cases are thought provoking and the only one I didn't like was the American set "In God We Trust" which came across as well as US programs do when they portray UK situations! The only negative is that some of the video work when light is poor looks rather grainy. This might look good in some situations, but not in the court-rooms. This is a minor criticism. I thoroughly commend the series.
  • Kavanagh Q C gives us a glimpse of Inspector Morse, if he had become a barrister rather than a Chief Inspector,found love rather than solitude,and had hailed from Sargent Lewis's neck of the woods rather than Cambridge. This sort of television should be the norm, not a rare exception.
  • Warning: Spoilers
    Bertie Wooster wrote: "How about some nice codas where the star sees a newspaper headline about the guy he freed killing someone?"

    In fact, the very first episode has almost exactly that, only regarding rape not murder.

    I watched this series when it was first shown on TV and thought it excellent, with some episodes truly memorable (including the aforesaid first one). There are also some deft comic touches, especially from Nicholas Jones's portrayal of the endearingly awful Jeremy Aldermarten. I recently bought the box set and am thoroughly enjoying watching the series again.
  • cindytiemann10 September 2019
    I absolutely love the show I did not want it to end
  • I had not seen this series before today.The first episode whilst not outstanding was well worth watching, decently acted and entertaining. However I couldn't help but note that no less than six of the actors had previously appeared with John Thaw as central characters in separate episodes of Inspector Morse:- George Costigan - The infernal serpent, Phyllis Logan - The daughters of Cain, Holly Aired - Last bus to Woodstock, John Shrapnal - Death is now my neighbour, Lisa Harrow - Sins of the father and Oliver Ford Davies - Second time around. There may have been others I had not spotted. I wonder if Thaw was instrumental in selecting the cast based upon their performances in the crime series.
  • The writing and the acting are sublime. We must also credit the editing, which keeps things moving smartly along.

    The courtroom scenes are meticulously wrought. As a longtime trial lawyer I can say they are not only realistic, but made riveting by their very realism, rather than by contrived histrionics. There is often a surprising twist.

    Each episode has multiple subplots surrounding the central courtroom drama, involving Kavanagh's once-unfaithful but now apparently loving wife, his naive and often disrespectful children, and his flavorful rivals and chamber colleagues.

    High literature, this is. Just excellent.
  • Warning: Spoilers
    Very mild spoiler alert: No specific shows are discussed, but the review does discuss tendencies in the show that might help you guess some endings.

    How about a defense drama where most of the clients are guilty, most of the rest may or may not be guilty (so the defense's efforts may well set a dangerous person free) and only a tiny, tiny minority are truly exonerated by crafty court work?

    How about one where the defense is not motivated by passion for justice but by the money one can make by skillfully defending the guilty while either lying to themselves about their motivations or simply embracing their own sociopathy? (How about some nice codas where the star sees a newspaper headline about the guy he freed killing someone?)

    How about a show where habitual criminals found holding the murder weapon are more likely to have committed the crime than upper-class people with no apparent motive, where police sometimes arrest people based on evidence rather than the need to clear a case by railroading the innocent and where basically everyone on earth aside from our hero (and you, dear enlightened viewer) isn't a racist, sexist jerk?

    If you answered a resounding "No" to all of those questions, then you might enjoy Kavanagh QC, though it's still just a poor man's Rumpole. If, on the other hand, you'd like a show about the law that plays something like life rather than every other law show in history, then pass.
  • I know that this was a highly rated series and I've always loved British TV. Since this was on britbox I thought I would give it a try. However, although the story of the first episode was interesting, the court scenes were so horrendously boring I could hardly bear it. If the following episodes continue to be Court scenes that are merely people repeating after each other I know that I won't get very far into this. :(
  • This was is not a bad crime drama on its own. However, it really just is a British version of Perry Mason. Added to that is the main character is John Thaw's Inspector Morse but in a courtroom.