Kavanagh QC (1995–2001)
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The Burning Deck 

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.


Charles Beeson


Russell Lewis (teleplay)

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Episode cast overview, first billed only:
John Thaw ... James Kavanagh QC
Rick Bacon Rick Bacon ... Burrell (as Richard Bacon)
Rosalind Bailey Rosalind Bailey ... Cynthia Kavanagh
Keith Bartlett Keith Bartlett ... Captain Ian Tredinnick
Daisy Bates ... Kate Kavanagh
Tom Brodie Tom Brodie ... Matt Kavanagh
Anna Chancellor ... Julia Piper
Sean Chapman ... Lieutenant Commander Hugh Mills
William Chubb William Chubb ... Commander Driscoll
Oliver Ford Davies ... Peter Foxcott QC
Alan Gilchrist Alan Gilchrist ... MEM Patrick Jones
David Gillespie David Gillespie ... Railway Guard
Lisa Harrow ... Lizzie Kavanagh
Frank Huseyin Frank Huseyin ... Second Provost Marshal
Geraldine James ... Eleanor Harker QC


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) See more »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs




Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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Did You Know?


Although the medals of most of the naval characters were correct, those of CPO Evans were the wrong way around. The South Atlantic Medal (for the Falklands War) outranks the Royal Naval Long Service and Good Conduct Medal; and that's a matter of statute, not preference. See more »


James Kavanagh QC: [to Eleanor] When you were a girl, I'll bet that the boys that you liked could be told by the bruises on their arms.
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 TheLittleSongbirdSee 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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