Angels disguised as barristers, Are you Serious?? My review of Eternal Law.

Posted: January 13, 2012 in Gossip/News/Reviews - TV
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Last night was the second episode in Eternal Law, a new ITV fantasy science fiction drama series.  I thought the opening episode last week was pretty dire but I thought I would wait till seeing the second episode before writing a review. Please don’t read if you have not seen the series yet, spoiler alert.

Before I start I will tell you what it is about (I think).

It is a tale of guardian angels amongst us, sent down from the  heavens by somebody called Mr. Mountjoy (God) to help the helpless. And they do this by, wait for it….. by becoming barristers (that’s lawyers for you American’s) and establishing a small legal practice in York.

Yep, that’s right, the angels are crusading defence counsel,  sporting wigs as well as wings :).  The day-to-day seems to involve them taking on unwinnable cases, and trying to win them.  The opening episode started with Tom Greening coming down to earth (Ukweli Roach) to join Zak Gist (Samuel West) who has been doing this for all a while. So Greening wanders around looking wide-eyed at the beauty of the earth, whilst Gist is all cynical. They are helped by Mrs. Sheringham (who we later find out happens to be a fallen angel but has been allowed to stay on and help the angels)

In Eternal Law the angels operate a  look-but-don’t-touch policy. So they can influence, but they must not intervene. Love, naturally, is out of the question (which is why Mrs Sheringham lost her wings).  We also have the evil Richard (Tobias Menzies) another fallen angel (who also happen to be legal counsel working for the prosecution). However, he has a very different policy and can love and influence as much as he likes.

In last nights episode we had the barristers battling, wait for it, in a custody battle over who should have custody of a little boy, the father or the mother. In addition Zak is besotted by richard’s lovely assistant Hannah and is in danger of falling for her and thus losing his wings.  But if it weren’t for the fact that the lawyers were angels/fallen angels it would be just like a normal legal drama.  This maybe a compelling story for something like  “law and order” but not what I would expect from a fantasy science fiction drama. And so, I hate to say this, but at the end I really did not care who had custody of the little boy.

ITV1 hasn’t had a lot of luck with this genre of TV, and it looks as though this is set to continue in my opinion.  The supernatural side of this series was an interesting idea and the acting was pretty good.  And Tobias Menzies was pretty good as the fallen angel. But I am really sorry but why? As a fantasy drama I just don’t like it.  I just don’t get it! With all that is going in the world I would have thought angels would be more interested in helping people overcome more important things like illness, bereavement, war etc….. And so unfortunately, it doesn’t really leave me with a compelling hook to come back for more.

What do you think? Do you agree or am I the only one that thinks this.

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  1. ZenDragon says:

    In the canon of the show there are also angels doing other things – the opening sequence shows them as soldiers or teachers or just other everyday ‘people’. There are also thousands, in fact Mr Mountjoy is running out of them and has had to send a chorister. We just see these two…though I think it allows for a spin off, maybe seeing what others do.

    Also, I don’t think Mrs Sheringham and Richard are meant to be quite the same. Mrs Sheringham is an ex-angel, now a mortal human, whereas Richard is a fallen angel in the proper sense.

    Though I do think ITV is a bit confused with what they are trying to do, it isn’t quite a legal drama nor is it quite supernatural (that they have wings for a couple of scenes doesn’t quite do it, and Mr Mountjoy could easily be a mysterious human agent pulling the strings).

    I am enjoying it though.

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