The plot of a recent episode of a UK TV series bears striking parallels to a drama played out recently in an American courtroom, but this time at least, the jury appears to have reached the correct verdict.
A lot of TV series have crossed the Atlantic in both directions over the years; while we may wince at some of the lousy cops ‘n’ hookers dramas that have been thrust upon us, we can take comfort from our inflicting Ricky Gervais on the Americans. Not all American police shows are rubbish though; Law & Order is a cut above most of the others, but rather than simply import the programme, someone decided to produce a British version, thus Law & Order: UK was born.
Set in London – where else? – every episode begins with the narrative:
"In the criminal justice system, the people are represented by two separate yet equally important groups: the police who investigate crime, and the Crown Prosecutors who prosecute the offenders. These are their stories."
Er, shouldn’t that be alleged offenders? Little details like that are often glossed over by the authorities, and sometimes by the media – occasionally to their cost. The latest episode relates a story that for worldwide followers of real life crime dramas, one in particular, may sound strangely familiar. A woman reports her child missing, and points the finger at the father – who is not her husband. When the police investigate, the father is quickly ruled out, and they find the circumstances of the vanishing were not quite what they at first appeared.
Although this woman did not wait 31 days to report the child missing, the parallels with the recent and in some sense ongoing Casey Anthony case, are a bit too obvious, but at least this time the jury reaches the right verdict. Coincidence? Maybe. Judge for yourself if you can pick it up.
Although Law & Order: UK has its faults, its scripts are not as wooden as those of some of its trans-Atlantic cousins.
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