The Brief

Watch The Brief

  • 2004
  • 2 Seasons
  • 7.4  (478)

The Brief was a British legal drama series that aired on the ITV network from 2004 to 2005. The show starred Alan Davies in the lead role as Henry Farmer, a barrister who works for a prestigious London law firm. The series followed Henry as he navigated the complex and often murky world of British law. Each episode focused on a different case, which ranged from corporate fraud to murder trials. Although Henry was always the lead barrister in his cases, he was never the sole focus of the show. The Brief often delved into the personal lives of the lawyers and judges involved in the cases, which added an extra layer of drama to the proceedings.

One of the standout features of The Brief was its writing. The show was created by Billy Ivory and produced by Granada Television, and both brought their extensive experience to bear on the series. The writing was smart, nuanced, and often thought-provoking. The show tackled complex ethical and moral questions without ever feeling preachy or heavy-handed. Each episode was well-constructed and tightly-paced, ensuring that viewers were always engaged and invested in the outcome of the case.

The cast of The Brief was another one of its strengths. Alan Davies was perfectly cast as Henry Farmer, bringing his trademark wit and intelligence to the role. However, the show was also supported by a great ensemble of actors who played the other lawyers, judges, and clients in each episode. Some of the standout performers included Cherie Lunghi as Henry's colleague and friend, Gloria; Naomi Bentley as his dedicated and hard-working clerk, Betsy; and Alex Jennings as a smarmy barrister who often found himself at odds with Henry.

Despite only running for two seasons, The Brief managed to pack a lot of punch into its twenty-four episodes. The show tackled a wide range of legal issues, including human rights violations, political corruption, and immigration law. However, it never lost sight of the fact that these were ultimately stories about people, and the show always made sure to explore the human side of each case. One of the most poignant episodes of the series dealt with the aftermath of a young girl's suicide, and Henry's efforts to help her grieving mother understand what had happened. The show managed to explore complex moral questions without ever losing sight of the importance of empathy and understanding.

Overall, The Brief was a smart, engaging legal drama that deserves to be better known. The show was well-written, well-acted, and always thought-provoking. It was also refreshingly diverse, with characters of different races, genders, and sexual orientations all given significant roles. Although the show is no longer on the air, it remains a compelling example of how intelligent writing and nuanced performances can elevate even the most well-worn genre.

The Brief is a series that is currently running and has 2 seasons (8 episodes). The series first aired on April 25, 2004.

The Brief
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The Architect's Wife
4. The Architect's Wife
October 28, 2005
With almost no evidence in hand, Henry's case against an accused rapist falls to pieces, and the civil action he takes up on behalf of the victim tears his life apart. Couch surfing and fiscally reeling, he is unprepared to see his father is seriously ill.
Forever on the Mind
3. Forever on the Mind
October 21, 2005
Henry defends a nurse accused of murdering an elderly patient who added her to his will two day before his death. Unfortunately, she's determined to speak out and clear her name no matter what Henry says.
Lack of Affect
2. Lack of Affect
October 13, 2005
Henry's newest client, a sufferer Asperger's syndrome accused of murdering his mother, may be the only habitually honest person involved in the case. Revelations of adultery and a suspicious bruise complicate matters almost as much as Henry's own life.
1. Blame
October 6, 2005
Defense attorney Henry Farmer knows all about train wrecks: his love life has derailed, and his financial situation has crashed, leaving him temporarily homeless. Now he must deal with his own father as a witness in the trial of a train driver.
Where to Watch The Brief
The Brief is available for streaming on the ITV website, both individual episodes and full seasons. You can also watch The Brief on demand at Amazon Prime.
  • Premiere Date
    April 25, 2004
  • IMDB Rating
    7.4  (478)