This is a difficult series to write about as so much that is happening all leads to the conclusion of the series and I would be horrified if I ruined it for anyone. I have been wracking my brain to figure out a way to convey the series without ruining it for anyone who wants to see it. The series centers around a Barrister by the name of Will Travers. He used to take the defense on murder cases but something happened to Will that changed him. He was a very promising lawyer in London but Will got ill, if you will, and stopped defending murderers. At the beginning of the series, Will is defending a young black man who is accused of stealing a man’s war metals. The young man was innocent and it looked like a sloppy case by the police. In fact the partner of Police DS Wenborn ends up being put on suspension because of how poorly he handled the case. Wenborn has an immediate dislike towards Will because of the case he put together against Wenborn’s partner but Wenborn himself is a nasty piece of work.
Soon Wenborn is put on a murder case with a new partner. He doesn’t care how he obtains results as long as he obtains them. His commanding officer doesn’t care either; he knows that Wenborn will get what he wants. Even if it means cruelly threatening teenagers, insulting old women, or tampering with evidence or where evidence comes from. Oh, he also beats his wife, ridicules her and cheats on her. He really knows how to hold a good marriage together. Of course he doesn’t! He is a horrible husband. His wife tries real hard to be supportive but she is fighting a losing battle. On the other hand, Will Travers is much luckier with his wife Jane.
Jane is a very well-educated woman who used to work in the publication business when they lived in London. After Will had his breakdown and they moved to Suffolk, she gave up that life. One thing she does do is go to the local youth prison and have a reading group with a few of the inmates. One young boy is very smart. His name is Alan and he actually can write. He wrote a few chapters of a book and handed them off to Jane who took them to a publisher that is trying to woo her back to work in London. He loves the chapters! They seriously want to publish Alan’s book. Jane is a very loyal and supportive wife to Will. They have been together for a long time. Layers of the story reveal themselves to us over the course of the episodes. One thing is clear is that while in college, Will stole Jane away from their friend Martin Newall. Martin has just been arrested for murder in London and there is only one man he wants to represent him.
Martin works for Qestral, an oil company, in which he was having an affair with a very young secretary named Lucy. They went to a hotel in London one night. Martin went to get some food for Lucy and when he got back she was murdered….strangled. Martin knows that Will would be perfect for this case as he would be able to prove Martin’s innocence. One thing that is made clear during the investigation is that a Qestral computer belonging to Martin was stolen from the hotel room that night. What is the significance of this computer?
Jane does not want Will to take on this case even though Will, Martin, and Jane all went to school together. Will decides he is well enough to take on the case and starts the investigation that takes him to many different places where he finds out more about Qestral. Meanwhile, DS Wenborn is investigating the death of Philip Spaull who was an activist who would resort to violence if it was necessary. Spaull was shot execution style point blank in the face. Wenborn does a lot of investigating until he realizes that there is a connection between Spaull and Will Travers. What is the connection and how could Travers who is an upstanding Barrister have anything to do with this character Spaull? Everything I mention above is all connected in some way. The fun is to see how they are connected and how they get resolved. Oh, did I mention that Travers is often visited by the spirit of an 8 year old boy?
This series is about multiple stories that cross-over each other multiple times over the course of the episodes. I am sure much I have written about this series sounds clichéd but it is anything but that. I watched trying to figure it out and there were some truly shocking and unexpected twists and turns to this series. After I got to the end of Episode Two, I knew needed to see the rest. Even though the story is disjointed (to heighten the mystery), it plays out very well. I just want other people to watch so I can talk with them about it!
James Purefoy plays Will Travers. Purefoy played Mark Antony in Rome and was in A Knight’s Tale. He was also a contender for James Bond when the film series returned in 1995. Purefoy plays Will in a very calm and underrated way. He is gentle and fair. Yet, why is he the focus of an investigation? Dervla Kirwan plays Jane. Kirwan is known for her role as Phoebe Bamford in the BBC comedy Goodnight Sweetheart and also Miss Hartigan in the Doctor Who Christmas special, The Next Doctor.
|UK DVD Cover|
Disc 2: Episode Four, Episode Five, Photo Gallery TRT: 90 min
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