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The killing of a 15-year-old-boy rocks the nation, as a Sikh classmate of the boy is charged with the murder. The trial, which is engulfed in protests and media speculation, brings together 12 jurors who find themselves having to make a decision that the entire country is waiting for. Written by
In episode one, a computer screen list showing the names of potential jury members contains the names of fourteen characters from The Bill (1984). They are Reg Hollis, Nick Klein, Duncan Lennox, Debbie McAllister, Jack Meadows, Andrew Monroe, Dave Quinnan, Kass (sic) Rickman, Paul Riley, Vic Singh, Kate Spears, Roz Clarke, Tony Stamp and Des Taviner. Some of the potential jurors' addresses also correspond to street names used on the show. See more »
I set out to watch this 6 hour British mini series for one reason: I'm a huge fan of Gerard Butler's. I came away amazed at how really good I thought it was. The mini-series deals with the trial of a Sikh student accused of brutally killing a fellow student (and compelling evidence both for and against). And while it does indeed explore the trial itself, the beauty of this series is the exploration of the jurors and their lives (something rarely done). It takes 7 of the 12 jurors and shows what is going on in their lives (and by proxy, what their lives the last several years must have been like). You have the alcoholic just out of rehab the first morning of the trial (Butler), the single mother with her own "mom" issues, the seminary student torn between his love of God and his love of a woman, the old Catholic woman who is clearly lonely, the man who had lost his fortune a while back and is no longer financially well-off, the woman who is controlled by her ex-military and semi-crippled husband and last the responsible citizen who is pleased and overwhelmed at the duty placed on him (and who has the most clueless in-laws). You have the not-so-nice prosecutor (played admirably by Antony Sher) and the decent defense barrister (played well as always by Derek Jacobi). Almost all the characters are to some degree stereotypes, but it is how the actors portray them and the way they are written--the way these stories unfold--that is so special. These performances are just truly wonderful (notably Butler and the actors portraying the abused wife, the single mom and the duty bound juror) The ultimate outcome of the trial, while important, takes second place to the jurors' outcome and the central question: how difficult is it to reach a decision on guilt or innocence when you can NEVER really know?
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