1 9 5 8 – 1 9 5 9 (UK)
1 9 6 2 – 1 9 6 3 (UK)
This series of mock trials from Granada had plots but no scripts. Actors playing witnesses and legal counsel improvised their lines.
The players were briefed on their character – their age, where they lived, their family background – and “witnesses” were told whether they were appearing for the defence or the prosecution and what they were supposed to have seen.
They then answered questions impromptu when they took the witness box (with no rehearsal).
David Ensor (a real-life solicitor) appeared as the Judge, and Simon Kester was in many episodes as the counsel for the prosecution. Rex Boyd regularly played the court usher.
John McGregor appeared as a television Court Reporter, a function that enabled him to narrate the trial for the viewers at home.
Each “trial” was initially spread across three half-hour programmes. This was reduced to two for the 1959 series. The series returned in 1962.
An American series of the same name was produced at the same time.