GF Newman’s Law and Order at the BFI

Just been looking through my BFI catalogue for April. There’s the usual dearth of decent TV stuff, but on April 12th, they’re showing four episodes of GF Newman’s classic Law and Order from 1978.

Not to be confused with the long-running US show from Dick Wolf, Law and Order was the first British drama series to take a serious look at our legal system, police brutality and corruption. Newman, of course, was the guy who turned up at the Z-Cars writers’ meeting, suggested that one of the detectives should take a bribe and was told that “maybe he was on the wrong show”.

The BFI is screening all four episodes of the show, each of which looked at a different aspect of the legal system (The Detective’s Tale, The Villain’s Tale, The Brief’s Tale, The Prisoner’s Tale), starting at 2pm, with an introduction by GF Newman himself.

But there’s also good news: the show’s about to be released on DVD, and there’s a follow-up series on the way. I hasten you all to watch it if you can. Good luck finding the DVD on Amazon when it’s released – it’s going to be somewhat swamped by the US shows, by the looks of it….


  • Rob Buckley

    I’m Rob Buckley, a journalist who writes for UK media magazines that most people have never heard of although you might have heard me on the podcast Lockdown Land or Radio 5 Live’s Saturday Edition or Afternoon Edition. I’ve edited Dreamwatch, Sprocket and Cambridge Film Festival Daily; been technical editor for TV producers magazine Televisual; reviewed films for the short-lived newspaper Cambridge Insider; written features for the even shorter-lived newspaper Soho Independent; and was regularly sarcastic about television on the blink-and-you-missed-it “web site for urban hedonists” The Tribe. Since going freelance, I've contributed to the likes of Broadcast, Total Content + Media, Action TV, Off The Telly, Action Network, TV Scoop and The Custard TV.