First on this tape, an advert for the Radio Times featuring Mel Smith in Colin’s Sandwich.
Then the first episode in the series Blind Justice, created by Peter Flannery and Helena Kennedy, and written by Flannery. Episode One is Crime and Punishment. It opens at the airport, with customs officers going about their normal duties, although I could have done without the sight of a drug mule sitting on a toilet, with the line “Vince, get your rubber gloves on, he’s about to drop one.”
They appear to be tracking a nun as she moves through immigration and into the terminal, but then Pete Postlethwaite and an accomplice grab her, telling her they’re policemen, and bundle her into a car. They want something she’s got – but she says she doesn’t know what they want. For a serious drama, it’s steering very close to Carry-On territory. “You’ve got three seconds to get yer drawers off, starting now” shouts Postlethwaite.
Things get worse when a coachload of American tourists see what’s happening in the car, and something which should be shocking is rendered risible.
Charles Gray does a sterling turn as an uninterested Judge.
Jack Shepherd is setting up his own chambers, and wants Jane Lapotaire to join it. Meanwhile, Postlethwaite turns out to actually be a policeman, but clearly a crooked one. And when Lapotaire is assigned to represent the smuggling nun, and discovers that most of the heroin she said she was smuggling has gone missing.
This really does seem to be two different programmes jammed together. Postlethwaite often appears to be in a knockabout comedy, while everyone else are in a gritty courtroom drama. And the story is structured such that the audience knows what’s going on long before the protagonists, leading to a feeling of ‘why don’t they see what’s going on?’
BBC Genome: BBC Two – 12th October 1988 – 21:00
Following this, recording continues with a trailer for Protecting The Children. Then recording switches to the end of Antenna.
There’s a trailer for 40 Minutes: Dolebusters.
Then, the second episode of Blind Justice, White Man Listen. A racist knifes a black youth during a fracas on a train, and Jane Lapotaire has to defend him, but doesn’t want to.
Celia Imrie makes an appearance as a plaintiff in a rape case.
There’s some heavy handed portrayal of the right wing press covering the racist knifeman case which may or may not be accurate, but which plays as a bit of a caricature. And there’s a scene of someone writing hate mail to Lapotaire which definitely is.
The very end of the episode is cut off, as these are 90 minute episodes, and they don’t have quite enough spare tape to cope with the episodes and a few minutes of programme before them.
BBC Genome: BBC Two – 19th October 1988 – 21:00