Caloo calay. The 15th is my birthday; I’ll be on the road again. Last night as I was dropping off, Miki prodded me awake and whipped out an old-fashioned hatbox, extravagantly beribboned. My hat! My birthday present is a hat? Not at all – buried inside were the DVDs for the first two seasons of the BBC’s drama Judge John Deed.
If you don’t know it, rush out and get it for yourself. The judge is a former radical civil-liberties barrister now draped in the scarlet robes of a High Court judge and out to deliver justice in the teeth of the police, the Home Office, the Lord Chancellor’s Department and even his brother judges. Aside from G.F. Newman’s compelling dramas, we’re riveted by how the character of Deed, played by Martin Shaw, exercises his considerable power.