We Recommend: The Jury
Nine years is a long time to wait for a second series but Peter Morgan’s The Jury has, so far, been worth the wait. What is there not to love? A script by Peter Morgan, writer of The Queen, Frost/Nixon, Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy. It stars the lovable Julie Walters and the excellent Roger Allam.
The wonderful thing about the first episode is that it did not patronise the audience. It would be very easy to go: “This is a triple murder court case. This is a murderer. Isn’t it exciting? Oh look, a man in a wig!” It was very typical of Morgan’s writing. If you did not understand then it is tough. This is what happens in a court case and we are not going to jazz it up.
The Jury seems…real. This may not appear exciting but it is a rare thing for television. I am at the tender age of 17 therefore I am not eligible for jury service. However, I am dreading it after watching this. There was a great sequence when the jurors entered and it was awkward and harrowing. Their reaction to the case shows something very human: disgust, worry and uncertainty.
My favourite part of episode one is a conversation between two of the jurors. One is a middle class, elderly gentleman wearing tweed whilst the other is a Sudanese immigrant. The elderly gentleman was defending Britain and he said, Peter Morgan got the dialogue perfect for this, “It may be a bit rainy but we have a free health service.” There was a class conflict, there was a culture conflict but it did not involve arguments or fights; it was merely a polite conversation showing their differences.
This was how an ‘episode one’ should be played. It should set up the equilibrium (the world as it is) and reveal to the audience who the characters. It scattered enigmas throughout it and I am looking forward to their resolution (if there is one).
The Jury is being shown from Monday to Friday on ITV1 at 9pm. The first episode is here