Appeal Court Judges have landed a deal for a six-part series, to be broadcast live this autumn. The deal follows a successful pilot episode called ‘Cameron v The Queen’ which went out live last Thursday afternoon.
Harold’s own well-loved resident actor Digby Burns, who describes himself as ‘currently laid up with a bad back,’ had the privilege of being one of those watching the pilot and has kindly written a review for the Evening Harold for a few quid to tide him over. As a regular extra on Midsomer Murders, Mr Burns knows a thing or two about acting, especially falling flat on his face in the mud with a knife in his back. “I’ve played that part many times for the opening credits sequence,” he said, “and the director is an absolute perfectionist. I did 26 takes last time before she was satisfied.”
“Now, Does my brain look big in this wig? is a programme in the modern format,” writes Burns, “part sitcom, part period drama, part reality show, part quiz, part X-factor. The production techniques are certainly avant-garde with the camera angles fixed, transfixed you might say, on the faces of the main characters. All the action – and I use that word loosely – takes place in just one setting, in a heavy brown, wooden decor which certainly adds to the sense of weighty drama.
“Then the Judges enter and immediately it’s clear where the budget went. Just look at those fine clothes! It’s a scene full of richness in every sense, with an atmosphere that instantly transports you to a by-gone era of silky elegance, powdered wigs, fine denier stockings and scented balls. They sit way up high, behind a huge wooden desk. Everything about them sings out triumphantly ‘We Are The Judges (Of The World).’ One of them is even called Mr Lord Chief Justice Judge. I wouldn’t mind betting he’s the main man. From his high and mighty desk, he will peer down upon the contestants and pass harsh judgement indeed, often with a spell in prison for being so awful. That’ll teach ‘em!
“The producers obviously had to get at least one big name in the show to help with the ratings. I’m not entirely sure why they picked the Prime Minister’s brother, Alexander Cameron. For me, it could go either way. To be honest, I didn’t even know he was an actor. He played a smooth character. His smooth voice blended so perfectly with his smooth outfit, nobody had any idea what he was saying. He could’ve been begging for mercy and a new identity, for all I know.
“On the whole, it could be a good series,” Burns concludes, “especially if you’re stuck in on a Thursday afternoon. But they’ve really got to watch the language at that time of day. Twice they had to cut off Cameron’s microphone when he said something they didn’t dare broadcast. But, whatever it was, it didn’t justify calling him a QC. I thought that sort of language was far too strong for three in the afternoon.”