Rumpole defends a scrap dealer accused of selling arms to terrorists while Phyllida presides at the trial in her newly appointed job as recorder.



, (excerpts from "TONIGHT AT 8.30" and "We Were Dancing" by) (as Noel Coward)

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Episode cast overview, first billed only:
Marion Mathie ...
Julian Curry ...
Peter Blythe ...
Abigail McKern ...
Richard Murdoch ...
Denis Lill ...
Mr. Bernard
Maureen Darbyshire ...
Denys Graham ...
Bob Sessions ...
Cy Stratton
'Boxey' Horne
Jim Dunk ...
Stanley Culp
Ian Chuck Berry ...
Matthew Culp


A scrap dealer unknowingly participates in a Special Branch sting operation designed to trap a known terrorist, who is killed resisting arrest. The dealer claims he didn't know the goods he was trafficking in included arms and asks Rumpole to defend him. As there is no one able to look after his only son, to whom he is devoted, Rumpole feels an emotional attachment to the case. Phyllida is also suffering from separation anxiety too as Erskine-Brown wants to send their son Tristan off to a boarding school. Ironically, she is assigned to preside at the trial in her newly appointed position of recorder, a type of criminal judge. When Ballard threatens to evict Uncle Tom from chambers because of his golfing in the clerks' office, Rumpole becomes indignant and threatens to resign in support of his colleague when this current case concludes. Written by Gabe Taverney (

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Crime | Drama | Mystery


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Release Date:

21 December 1988 (UK)  »

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Technical Specs

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Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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Did You Know?


The Noel Coward dialogue being practiced by Henry is from "Tonight at 8:30". See more »


Horace Rumpole: [In an impassioned defense of Uncle Tom] It's like great poetry that's uinnecessary. You can't eat it. It doesn't make you money. I suppose, there are some people, Ballard, who can get through life like you - without Wordsworth's sonnet "On Westminster Bridge." What we're discussing here is the quality of life. Uncle Tom adds an imaginative tone to what would otherwise be a dusty, dreary little clerks' office full of barristers, biscuits, and briefs.
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