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Category:    Home > Reviews > Mystery > British Telefilm > TV > Kavanagh Q.C. - True Commitment/A Sense of Loss

Kavanagh Q.C. - True Commitment/A Sense of Loss


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



Here we take a look at two more interesting but dry DVD sets of the Kavanagh Q.C. television series.  John Thaw reprises his role as a top member of the Queen’s Counsel, barrister James Kavanagh.  The show for lack of better words is very “British.”  The shows are very compelling and hold an audiences interest for only so long.  John Thaw is a classic and seemingly well versed actor, or least if not he portrays one very well on television.  Quite a few of these Kavanagh Sets exist and are fairly popular.


The interesting part of the show above all else is that the characters are well developed and balanced among the courtliness of the show.  Kavanagh is portrayed as seemingly having deep emotion, personal troubles, and loves while maintaining a very professional demeanor. The problem this reviewer has with this particular series is the follow through of the episodes.  The episodes always start strong and John Thaw’s character (which he has personally developed and perfected) is compelling, but by the end of the episode the strong nature that each episode has begun with diminishes.


Skilled writing does exist in the series, which was impressive.  The dialogue is quite flowing and well placed. In the end, the full scale of the episodes failed to hold this reviewers overall interest.  Each set consists of three episodes:


Set 1:

-          A Sense of Loss - (title set)

“Kavanagh struggles to defend a troubled youth who refuses to co-operate on his own behalf after he is accused of killing a policewoman.

-          A Stranger in the Family

“In tackling a work related personal injury case, Kavanagh uncovers a web of lies, deceit and blackmail concocted to avoid the truth becoming known.”

-          Job Satisfaction

Tragedy, harassment and grief hound Kavanagh as he defends a young woman, who along with her brother, is accused of murdering their father and stepmother.”

Set 2:

-          True Commitment -

“Kavanagh is frustrated with the case of a young man who changes his story when he is charged with the stabbing death of a Patriotic Front protester.”

-          Men of Substance-

“Forced to replace an ailing prosecutor, Kavanagh finds more than meets the eye in an international drug smuggling case.”

-          The Burning Deck

“Kavanagh is up against his friend and sometime adversary Eleanor Harker, each defending clients on an arson charge in a naval court martial.”


Where this reviewer loves John Thaw’s acting in this show, the picture and sound could be greatly improved.  Often times this the 1.33 X 1 full frame picture is cloudy and quite light looking.  The sound is presented in an unimpressive Dolby Digital stereo and leaves much to be desired, though it seems to hold enough of what the show needs.  Extras are also boring featuring such specials as:

  • Cast profiles
  • Kavanagh Q.C.: The Birth of a Series
  • John Thaw: A Tribute
  • Quotations on Law and Justice


As much as I like John Thaw as an actor I did not find the tribute too exhilarating.  Overall, Kavanagh Q.C. shows great heart in a plethora of complex storylines.  In the end, however, it has failed to capture this reviewer’s interest and though there is great writing other crime shows are much more interesting.



-   Michael P. Dougherty II


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