crisis_control: Could be like every other day (DW - 10 - I wish today)
On this thing to talk about The Escape Artist, aka the BBC's new original drama, aka the new thing that David Tennant is in (that doesn't involve hair extensions), aka THE THING THAT ATE MY SOUL.

I watched it because it has Tennant, it has lawyers, and it has courtroom drama, and I was so going to sit there with a cup of tea and laugh my head off at how they got it all wrong.

Instead, as usual, the show stabs me through the heart, rips it out, stomps on it, and, of all things, makes me fall in love with the legal profession all over again, like we weren't two hair-widths away from getting divorced in a big way this year.

I really should know better than to think that I can watch shows with Tennant in them with impunity. I thought Seasons 2 - 4 of Doctor Who would be a frolic. I thought Casanova would be mindless fun. You would think I'd know better by now.

So where do I even start. The Escape Artist ("TEA", Tea! Tea! ok nevermind) is supposed to be scary. I admit that I was far too distracted to be even remotely scared, not least because you could see the plot twist coming from a mile away, and also it launches straight into that horrible question that every lawyer asks himself and every one asks every lawyer - how do defend someone you know is guilty?

(An older practitioner once told a bunch of us youngsters that you really shouldn't be practising criminal law if you don't know the answer to that question.)

I firmly believe that every lawyer who believes in justice and due process will raise their hand and say that everyone deserves a defence. Everyone deserves the chance to enter a plea of not guilty and put the legal system through its paces. Because at the end of the day, it is better to let ten guilty men walk free than to condemn an innocent.

We say this. When during my bar exams I came up with an ingenious argument to get the hypothetical client (charged with, amongst other things, rape) off the hook, I banned myself from criminal law.

(Mind you, corporate lawyers don't get away that easy either. Every time I find myself coming up with a brilliant solution that allows my clients to exploit a legal loophole, I have to stop and stare at myself in the mirror really hard.)

(This also comes hard on the heels of a discourse in the profession lately about whether lawyers should be obliged to be whistle blowers.)

Anyway, point is, this hits really close to home. Because if you believe that it's better to let a guilty man walk free, and that man then goes out and murders an innocent, are you then responsible for letting someone die?

(If that bulletproof indemnity clause that I draft allows a bank to walk away scott-free after misselling financial products to a bunch of mom and pop investors and destroying entire households after the product collapses...)

(It really isn't all that simple, except that sometimes it is.)

ANYWAY, David Tennant's acting is utterly amazing in this one. I think it blows Broadchurch way out of the water. The range of emotion he goes through and the subtlety with which he portrays it is amazing. And not just cos he's not scruffy in this one.

Also legal arguments in that Scottish accent - but I digress.

Anyway, totally worth watching (even if you're not a lawyer). The courtroom drama requires a bit of suspended disbelief, but is slick and rather fun (and doesn't depend on drawn out protracted arguments, even if I did have to watch that part twice to catch what the technicality was). The directing is nothing short of amazing. Tennant is adorable. The suspense obviously made enough of an impact on my subconscious that I had a nightmare about it, and while I get nightmares at the drop of a hat, I don't usually get one that's a sequel to whatever I've been watching that day.

Also, ugh. I need to face up to the fact that I'm really only kidding myself when I tell the law that it and I are so through.
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crisis_control: ... It feels like it will never end. Cardio. (Default)

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