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The Brief: The Complete Collection

DVD
5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
List Price: CDN$ 74.99
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The Brief: The Complete Collection + Above Suspicion - Set 1 + Injustice
Price For All Three: CDN$ 118.05


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Product Description

Alan Davies (Jonathan Creek) stars in the seriocomic misadventures of clever criminal law barrister Henry Farmer, whose every day is a juggling act between surviving his messy personal life and pleading cases only he can win.

Whether he’s trying to keep an innocent person from going to jail or save himself from financial ruin, Henry’s life is a symphony of chaos, both inside and outside the courtroom. His long list of problems includes a mountain of gambling debts, an affair with an important politician’s wife (Zara Turner, Sliding Doors), a distant son, and a sharp-tongued father—who’s also a judge.

Working with tough colleague Cleo Steyn (Cherie Lunghi, Excalibur) and alongside a cast of colorful characters (including Christopher Fulford, Millions, and Linda Bassett, Calendar Girls), Henry will need all his wit and charm to secure justice for his clients and a reprieve for himself.


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Most helpful customer reviews
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
I highly recommend this series and think it a shame that only 8 shows were ever made. The acting is excellent and you will both love and hate (in a good way) the characters. The crimes are horrific, but the stories are told in such a way that there is a lightness and human touch that keep the series from becoming depressing. If you remember the old American series "L.A. Law" you will recognize "The Brief" as a much better, British take on the goings on within law firms and the legal system.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars July 7 2014
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
Love this series but I wish there was more ---it ended to soon .
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1 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Brief Feb. 4 2013
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
My wife and I enjoyed this very much. We didn't know what to expect and it turned out to be good.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
Amazon.com: 4.2 out of 5 stars  29 reviews
33 of 35 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Another reason that British TV crime dramas hold our attention - great personal lives of the main characters. April 2 2012
By Steven I. Ramm - Published on Amazon.com
Format:DVD
This series, which only ran for eight episodes, is another fine British crime series being distributed in the US by Acorn Media. (These are the same folks who distribute the "New Tricks" series, which is still my favorite.). Produced by Carlton Television, one of the largest producers of TV shows in the UK (and now part of the larger ITV commercial network) in 2004, the series follows criminal attorney Henry Farmer as he both defends and, sometimes prosecutes, cases in the London court system.

My fellow reviewer, "Doc" Wolf, has outlined the eight episodes for you, so I won't rehash that. What made this series most interesting for me - and I hope others - that, line many of fine British crime shows, the actual crime cases take a back seat to the series character's own lives. Farmer is separated from his wife (who is raising their 12 year old son) and is having an "affair" with a woman whose husband is terminally ill (and is fully aware of the affair because he wants her to be happy). I'm not giving you a "spoiler alert" because this relationship is revealed early in first episode and forms just one of the "back stories" in the series. Another is Farmer's gambling habit. But there's some humor in this series as well, which makes it well rounded.

Each episode runs about 70 minutes and the "Complete Season" set is packaged as "Series One" and "Series Two".

Like me, some of the British court system language and the various "management levels" in Farmer's law firm may confuse you, but you can gather most of it easily. The accents can sometime - not often, but sometimes - be hard to decipher but the DVD has an English subtitle option to overcome that issue.

It's series like "the Brief" that never make it to US television and so I'm thankful to Acorn for giving us the opportunity to experience them.

I hope you found this review both informative and helpful.

Steve Ramm
"Anything Phonographic"
37 of 40 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars LONDON COURTROOM AND PRIVATE LAW ACTION APLENTY Jan. 23 2012
By Harold Wolf - Published on Amazon.com
Format:DVD
A barrister's life and cases in a contemporary London setting. It's as good as and very like the period legal-drama of Rumpole of the Bailey: Complete Series Megaset and Garrow's Law: Series One but showing modern crime & modern times. Each episode has a primary plot/case but also multiple cases added, chamber relationships, and plots in barrister Farmer's personal life. Plus humor. It's all there.

Henry Farmer (Alan Davies-Jonathan Creek) is a gambler, divorcee, bad dad, speech defective, debtor, biker, & obviously lawyer. All these characteristics adding up to believability of Davies portrayal. There is a number of chamber office people from barristers to clerk that appear in every episode, including Linda Bassett (Lark Rise to Candleford: The Complete Season One). Smaller parts by great stars like George Innes (Upstairs, Downstairs: Series One) & Camilla Power (The Grand). Add a number of prominent episode cast additions as guest stars and you get a great set of 8 episodes, over 70 minutes each and all coming
with SUBTITLES.

Series One:Episode 1 The Road to Hell -Farmer tackles multiple cases due to being short of funds to pay alimony & gamble. Barn, and he must face Judge `Dad'. Peter Perry-Jones (Colditz: The Complete 2-Part Miniseries) is Barrister Richards
2 So Long, Samantha -Farmer has new debt woes, a messy affair, and case accusations--but aren't all 3 misconduct of a sort? The case is a party/rape/murder coroner inquest. Coroner played by Malcolm Sinclair (Pie in the Sky Complete Collection)
3 Children -Farmer as prosecutor? And he's trying to convict a girl age 12? Of murder? Farmer's ex-wife appears played by Anna Wilson-Jones (Monarch of the Glen) who's name is Glen. Her companion played by Dominic Jephcott (The Beiderbecke Affair). The judge played by Selina Cadell (Doc Martin: Collection - Series 1-4).
4 A Sort of Love -A legal appeal for a sex triangle killer parallels a different personal love triangle of Farmer's.

Series Two: Episode1 Blame -A homeless, loveless, moneyless barrister now also finds he must call his dad (Edward Petherbridge) as a witness to a deadly train accident trial.
2 Lack of Affect -Farmer's personal life continues to complicate his clients needs, this time a suspected mother-murdering son.
3 Forever on the Mind -If Nurse Alice (Jennifer Ellison) becomes a will's beneficiary, can she kill the patient within 2 days? She's little help as Farmer defends. Solicitor played by Peter Sullivan (New Tricks) and Brighton by Julian Wadham (Middlemarch).
4 The Architect's Wife -Accused rapist (Alistair Mackenzie) goes free followed by a rare civil action for the victim Rachel (Kirsty Mitchell). Both the rapist and victim were well known for roles in "Monarch of the Glen". Will was played by Kevin Doyle ( Masterpiece Classic: Downton Abbey ).

Unrated UK TV but due to some case content & images it could be considered not child-friendly.
31 of 36 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Loved This ! Feb. 1 2012
By B. Bennyhoff - Published on Amazon.com
Format:DVD
I just finished watching this series last evening and enjoyed every bit of it. Why oh why was The Brief ended so soon ??? Alan Davies is wonderful as the very kind, endearing and slightly flawed (gambles too much) lawyer. I really ended up wanting to see much more and wish it would have gone on a lot longer !!
8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Too Brief Brief Feb. 10 2013
By Pietro - Published on Amazon.com
Format:DVD
This is an exceptionally fine courtroom drama series with strong domestic overtones. Not only does Davies shine through with a beautifully understated performance, but he is also surrounded by a wonderful cast of characters. To call them "supporting" actors would be wrong - they are far more than that.
Having just watched and admired John Deed from A-Z, I thought The Brief might seem a little lame in comparison. But no! Some of the storylines are hard-hitting and just as controversial, I would have thought, as those taken on by the Judge.
The two seasons are all too Brief. I wonder why a longer series didn't materialise? Surely, there's plenty of material for stories at the Old Bailey, and plenty of scope for character development?
7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars The Brief carries the best. Jan. 5 2013
By Steven Ballou - Published on Amazon.com
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
I am sitting here with a hot cup of coffee about to watch the last disc, with episodes "Forever on the Mind" and "The Architect's Wife". I have thoroughly enjoyed this series and my wife states: "Bring on some more, Mr. Davies!" This is what I wish was on American TV but apparently low-brow reality shows are about as far as the intellectual realm will allow producers to go. What a shame. Maybe we will have to move to the British Isles. I suspect I will see others of you there who have also been enjoying British TV. May they continue to produce intelligent, witty, fun, engaging programs!

Cheers-

Steve Ballou
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