Rumpole of the Bailey (1978–1992)
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Rumpole and the Miscarriage of Justice 

Rumpole finds himself in the unusual position of defending a police officer on a charge of falsifying a confession.




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Episode cast overview, first billed only:
Marion Mathie ...
Joanna Van Gyseghem ...
Julian Curry ...
Denis Lill ...
Mr. Bernard
Dot Clapton
Rt. Hon. Lord Justice Parsloe
Peter Carlisle ...
Rosalind March ...
Betty Yeomans
Det. Supt. Gannon
Harvey Ashby ...
Ch. Supt. Belmont
Sean Gascoine ...
Det. Sgt. Chesney Lane
David Beames ...
Det. Insp. Peplow


When a decorated and respected police officer is stabbed to death in a street riot, Detective Supt. Gannon promises his widow that justice will be done. When the self-confessed, mentally-challenged perpetrator confesses, his vow would seem to fulfilled, especially when Judge Guthrie Featherstone voices his certitude about the defendant's guilt in open court. The conviction is overturned on appeal when evidence surfaces that part of the confession seems to have been altered and the judge's conduct is called into question. Featherstone is pressured into presiding at Gannon's trial and has to contend with Rumpole for the defense. With his wife out of town, A depressed Featherstone indiscreetly goes to a club with attractive legal clerk Dot Clapton. Written by Gabe Taverney (

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Crime | Drama | Mystery





Release Date:

5 November 1992 (UK)  »

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Technical Specs

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Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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Did You Know?


Horace Rumpole: Even judges are human. Not many people know that.
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User Reviews

Story with a Subtext
21 March 2014 | by (United Kingdom) – See all my reviews

This story concerning the extraction of an apparent false confession must have taken place before police interviews were recorded. This became mandatory following the Police and Criminal Evidence Act 1984.(In 1983 Chief Constable James Anderton said "No machine should be allowed to get in between the suspect and his interrogator. It would break that essential rapport which a detective needs to elicit an admission of guilt legitimately.") The "rotten apple" theory was common at the time - ie, that the police are not corrupt, there are just a few rotten apples. Lord Justice Denning thought that the police should not be attacked even if they were guilty, because it was better for society if people respected them. Guthrie Featherstone manages to get in a few digs at "copper-hating lefties - like the Howard League for Prison Reform". John Mortimer was its President for many years. Rumpole sometimes acted as his mouthpiece, complaining that prisons were more crowded and insanitary than they had been in Victorian times. In this story, Rumpole also sideswipes the idea of human rights, claiming that some people think they should only be applied to a few selected minorities. Rumpole and Mortimer should have known that human rights apply to, well, humans. By this point in the series, Guthrie's flirtations were a tired plot device, but it's fun to see the inner workings of Hilda's bridge club.

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