Two sailors, one a young officer with a family pedigree and a common seaman who is a childhood friend are accused of setting fire to their ship's barracks.





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Episode cast overview, first billed only:
Rick Bacon ...
Burrell (as Richard Bacon)
Rosalind Bailey ...
Cynthia Kavanagh
Keith Bartlett ...
Captain Ian Tredinnick
Tom Brodie ...
Julia Piper
Lieutenant Commander Hugh Mills
William Chubb ...
Commander Driscoll
Alan Gilchrist ...
MEM Patrick Jones
David Gillespie ...
Railway Guard
Frank Huseyin ...
Second Provost Marshal


Kavanagh defends Lt. Ralph Kinross RN accused of starting a fire in a barracks. His co-accused is Jones, a childhood friend who is a sailor in the same unit, who had loaned money to the sailor whose bed was set on fire. Kavanagh's colleague Eleanor Harker QC is defending Jones but is also having problems at home. The defense focuses on the role of Chief Evans, the senior rating in charge of the engineering department, who was also Jones' main tormentor. In Chambers, Julia receives a proposal of marriage but has only a very short time to make up her mind. Written by garykmcd

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Crime | Drama | Mystery





Release Date:

11 March 1996 (UK)  »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs



Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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Did You Know?


MEM O'Brian (played by Andy Serkis) arrives at the court martial with only three good conduct badges on is left arm. Although referred too as "MEM" O'Brian throughout the trial several scenes during his testimony, an Anchor "LMEM" appears and disappears half way through that scene. See more »


James Kavanagh QC: [to Kinross] In the eyes of some there are worse things than arson.
See more »


References Forrest Gump (1994) See more »

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User Reviews

They both did it, one of them did it or neither of them did it
16 April 2010 | by (United Kingdom) – See all my reviews

This episode is good, even if it never quite convinces. John Thaw is very good as Kavanagh and Geraldine James makes a welcome return as Eleanor Harker. The plot isn't as tightly structured or as compelling this time around and some of the courtroom scenes lack fire and feel underplayed on occasions. Out of the supporting performances, Lisa Harrow, Rupert Penry-Jones and Ray Winstone come off best. The script is decent, the camera work is of high quality and the music is beautiful.

Overall, not a complete disaster, elevated by some great acting and production values but one of the least convincing episodes of the series. 8/10 Bethany Cox

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