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Category:    Home > Reviews > Mystery > British Telefilm > TV > Kavanagh Q.C. - BFS 2nd Wave sets (BFS DVDs)

Kavanagh Q.C. (Two 2-Disc Sets/BFS Second Wave)


Picture: C     Sound: B-     Extras: C     Episodes: B-



When BFS issued a double set of Kavanagh Q.C. recently, it was a pleasant surprise, with John Thaw surfacing in a show that might be the equal of Inspector Morse.  That went so well for them, that they have decided to issue a couple more sets at the same time, each offering three more telefilm shows each.


To repeat, James Kavanagh (Thaw) is a top public defender in the Queen’s Counsel, an extremely well versed and well-spoken man whose performance in the court is great, even if that of father and husband is not always as successful.  The hitch with any such show is if the writers should give the character a home life or a romantic interest, but the series handled that aspect very well, and without it interfering in the main stories.  The subplot was kept a subplot and yet, developed in a way that makes the title character more three-dimensional.  These new shows continued that course without problem and with progress.


Each film is from 1992.  Each set is named after one of the telefilms, in bold, as follows:


1)     Diplomatic Baggage – A case pull sin federal influence that may interfere with the case Kavanagh is pursuing.

2)     The Ties That Bind – The brutal murder of a young man bring Kavanagh together with an old friend to get the bottom of who done it.

3)     In God We Trust – Kavanagh comes to The United States to help an old friend stop an execution of someone he is certain is innocent.

4)     Mute Of Malice – Has a priest really lost his voice, or is he covering up something sinister on purpose?

5)     Blood Money – A woman (Thaw’s real-life wife Sheila Hancock) is going after a hospital full throttle to avenge the death of her husband, who may have died by medical professional error.

6)     Ancient History – Ugly secrets of Nazi past and death camp survivors clash in a case where a Polish war criminal stands trial in British court, all with Kavanagh at the helm.



Unlike last time, when I was just surprised the show was good, it is even more impressive to see that writers Douglas Watkinson, Edward Cantor-Dumas, Russell Lewis, Charles Wood, Matthew Hall and Nigel Kneale come up with stories that cohere with each other and add to the very believable world Kavanagh inhabits.  This is all good storytelling with good mysteries to boot.  You can pick up any of these sets and enjoy them, though starting with Set One (reviewed elsewhere on this site) is still the place to start.


The full frame 1.33 X 1 image is still surprisingly hazy, and whether shot on PAL tape of even 16mm film, someone doing the digital remastering got carried away.  These should be at least a bit clearer here than they are, but I like the way the shows are shot just the same.  The Dolby Digital 2.0 Stereo has Pro Logic surrounds this time, which is a nice upgrade.  Extras, all text, again include cast profiles, famous law quotations, how the series got off the ground (two more times), a look at Thaw’s career and some trivia.  They all read well and all are informative.  The show gets better as it goes along, but unfortunately, not without the previous shows.  If you like this kind of TV, start catching them now.  Thaw is reason enough to start.



-   Nicholas Sheffo


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