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The Jury
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Filming at the Old Bailey
Russell Baker on...
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The Jury      TV PG
Sundays, April 6 through 27, 2003 on PBS
(Check local listings; dates and times may vary)

"...excellent entertainment beautifully done... "
    --The Guardian

In London's imposing Old Bailey courthouse, a gruesome crime is brilliantly prosecuted, ingeniously defended, and then painstakingly judged ...

A 15 year-old white boy has been killed in cold blood. His classmate, a quiet, reclusive Sikh boy, is on trial for murder. It is a trial that becomes a tinderbox for the justice system and race relations in the country. The decision hangs on a knife-edge and falls to the twelve jurors who find themselves the focus of national attention. They have to cope with intense pressure, threats and intimidation as they embark on the biggest soul searching experience of their lives. Probing the personal stories of the ordinary citizens who are given the ultimate authority over truth, The Jury weaves a fascinating tale of troubled lives in a racially charged case.

Sir Derek Jacobi (I,Claudius; Cadfael) stars as defense counsel George Cording, who represents a Sikh teenager charged with killing a fellow pupil with 28 blows from a ceremonial sword. Also starring is Sir Antony Sher (Her Majesty, Mrs. Brown) as crown prosecutor Gerald Lewis, known to hapless defendants as "the bastard of the Bailey." And then there is the jury: "a real mixed bag," says Cording approvingly. "Women, men, young, old, black, white. A real jury. A real London jury."

Among the twelve are Rose Davies (Helen McCrory: Lucky Jim, Anna Karenina), a beautician desperate to escape her dead-end marriage; Johnnie Donne (Gerard Butler: Mrs. Brown), a recovering alcoholic who becomes Rose's soul mate; Marcia Thomas (Nina Sosanya: Prime Suspect), a single mother who is the first target of jury intimidation mounted by the family of the victim; and Peter Segal (Michael Maloney: Me & Mrs. Jones), a disheveled businessman.

Also on the panel are Charles Gore (Stuart Bunce: All the King's Men), a Catholic seminarian having doubts about his chosen vocation; Elsie Beamish (Sylvia Syms), an elderly widow drawn to Charles because of their shared faith; and Jeremy Crawford (Nicholas Farrell: Bramwell), a family man with a disastrous gambling streak.

Authenticity and gravitas were enhanced by shooting in the magnificent Great Hall of the Old Bailey -- the first time filming has been permitted inside the historic structure, which was built in the early 1900s on the site of the old Newgate Prison.

The Jury draws viewers deeply into the psychological stresses and shifting alliances that ultimately lead a jury to choose guilt or innocence.

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Preview: The Jury


Who's Who/Cast + Credits

Filming at the Old Bailey

Russell Baker on...

Episode Descriptions

Links + Bibliography

The Forum

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