Crown Prosecutor (UK TV series)

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Crown Prosecutor
Created by Nick Collins
Tracy Hoffman
Caroline Oulton
Country of origin United Kingdom
Original language(s) English
No. of series 1
No. of episodes 10
Producer(s) Esta Charkham
Running time 30 minutes
Production company(s) BBC
Original network BBC1
Picture format 576i
Audio format Stereo
Original release 23 February (1995-02-23) – 27 April 1995 (1995-04-27)

Crown Prosecutor is a legal drama whose sole series in 1995 ran for ten episodes on BBC1. It was also produced by the BBC, rather than being independently produced. It featured an ensemble cast of various Crown Prosecutors who brought cases before local magistrates in the United Kingdom.


Each episode generally featured a primary plot centred on an unfolding court case, along with two subplots that advanced the development of the show's cast of characters.

Sometimes the subplots involved other, typically less serious, court cases—such as the vandalism charges brought against people who ate a chocolate sculpture in episode seven. But these subplots often were entirely outside the courtroom and served to reveal different facets of the prosecutor's lives. Sticky living arrangements, new romance, old flames, and professional temptation were all featured in the series. Though these plots allowed viewers a glimpse into the prosecutors' lives to a much greater degree than would be possible on the somewhat comparable Law & Order, the character development never expanded to the level of a soap opera.

This was in part because Crown Prosecutor had a notably unusual run-time, compared with other legal dramas of its era. Episodes were 30 minutes long, shorter by 12 to 15 minutes than many courtroom dramas which ran on commercial television in 1995. Despite this shorter format, a resolution to all of the primary plots, and most of the secondary ones were given by the end of each episode.

Historical context[edit]

The show was at the time novel in being the first series to regularly examine the lives of modern British Crown prosecutors. While lawyers "for the prosecution" had been seen on British television, these were depictions of a different era in British jurisprudence. Throughout the bulk of 20th century, in most parts of England and Wales, prosecution of criminal cases was handled by the police or, in some cases, an entity directly attached to the Home Office. Crown Prosecutor was thus the first serious examination of what it was like to work in the Crown Prosecution Service, a completely police-independent body, which itself had only been established in 1985.

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