Outlaws, BBC3

by | Oct 1, 2004 | All, Reviews

What to say if you liked it

Intriguing new drama set in the seemingly mundane environs of the minor criminal trials and the lawyers who handle the cases.

What to say if you didn’t like it

A dull urban drama that idly casts roles against type in a feeble effort to create conflict such as working class streetwise lawyer Bruce Dunbar (Phil Daniels) and his new recruit the black middle class Theodore Gulliver.

What was good about it?

• The acting was very good all round from the two lead characters to the stroppy desk policewoman and the lecherous lawyer Sarah.

• The adversarial nature of the relationship between Dunbar and Sarah – “You’re wearing a malpractice suit.”

• Plenty of information and biographical detail was packed in without interrupting the narrative flow.

• The relentless cynicism on display – eg Dunbar drumming up business by giving out cards to youths (“Don’t behave yourself”)

• The relentless lack of political correctness on display – eg the cop calling a boy with learning difficulties Domestos – “One thick squirt, right round the bend” and her colleague suggesting he be sent to a psychiatric hospital – “Let’s just nut him off.”

What was bad about it?

• Bruce Dunbar had too many contradictions and knew too much to be truly believable; such as when he advised three youths to wear glasses during their trial and the only one to take his advice, as if by magic, was the only one to escape a custodial sentence.

• Dunbar is also a little too contrived and comes across as what the Artful Dodger would have turned out like if he had gone to Law School.

• Too much legal jargon.

• The occasional incongruent rants against the British Justice System that are clumsily inserted into the script.

Luke Knowles

Luke Knowles


Editor of the website and host of the podcast. A general TV obsessive. I've been running the site since 2008 and you can usually find me in front of the TV. My Favourite show of all time is Breaking Bad with Cracker coming a close second. I feel so passionately that television can change the world and I'm doing my little bit by running this site. You're Welcome!


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