JUDGE JOHN DEED. BBC, Series Three; 4 90 minute episodes: 27 November through 18 December 2003. Martin Shaw (Judge John Deed), Jenny Seagrove (Jo Mills), Barbara Thorn (Rita ‘Coop’ Cooper).


   You may remember (but if you live in the US, probably don’t) that Deed is a pompous and arrogant judge who is a thorn in the side of the establishment because he refuses to bow to pressure from anyone, especially the government advisers who attempt to get him to toe the line on government policy. (The writer, G. F. Newman, is known for his antiestablishment views.)

   I endured rather than enjoyed the previous series, but I have to confess that I quite enjoyed this one. Typically Deed gets to the bottom of the case in front of him by asking more questions than either of the two competing barristers, to their extreme annoyance.

   One of the barristers in his cases always seems to be Jo Mills, his long time lover to whom he is always proposing. Sge sets the condition that he consults a therapist to confront his womanizing ways. He agrees and then rather predictably sleeps with the therapist.

   This is another of those series not to be taken seriously for a moment but at times is quite fun, although I suspect the writer would want us to take it rather more seriously.