Monday, 15 November 2010
For those mourning the loss of Downton Abbey, Garrow's Law is a great replacement. Set in 18th century London, it tells the tale of William Garrow, a pioneering barrister at the Old Bailey, and his defence of various unsavoury cases. Before the opening up of the Old Bailey's archives Garrow was little known even among the legal community. This series uses these archives to explore his character and the developments that were made in the legal profession by him at the end of the 18th century. Last night's episode dealt with the case of the Zong slave ship: 'When 133 African prisoners are thrown overboard from a slave ship in suspicious circumstances, Garrow challenges the brutal trade that regards slaves as cargo'. Although a real case, Garrow did not actually take this particular case on but he was a campaigner against the slave trade. How do writers of historical dramas reconcile fact with fiction? Tony Marchant, who wrote Garrow's Law, explains how he did it.