1 9 7 1 – 1 9 7 4 (UK)
39 x 60 minute episodes
Anthony Valentine – not yet the Colditz baddie in 1972 – was a hero in Yorkshire Television’s Justice series, playing barrister James Eliot.
He was upstaged by Margaret Lockwood, beauty spot and all, in her barrister’s wig as Harriet Peterson, legal eagle.
Harriet was intuitive, tenacious and highly principled – qualities that helped her succeed spectacularly in a world still largely dominated by men. But while Harriet’s commitment to her profession remained undiminished through a range of challenging cases, her personal life grew ever more complicated.
Forced to work as a barrister after her husband (William Franklyn) is sent to prison, Harriet is working on the northern court circuit. At the end of the first series she leaves for London, and this is where the story picks up in series two.
In her private life, Harriet has an on-off relationship with Dr Ian Moody (John Stone, at the time Lockwood’s real-life partner).
The third and final series saw the introduction of the young, high-flying barrister James Eliot (Anthony Valentine). In the final episode, having already been made a QC and now head of chambers, Harriet accepts Moody’s proposal of marriage (in real-life, Lockwood and Stone parted company shortly after the series ended).
Executive producer Peter Willes marshalled key members of the Main Chance team, including legal consultant John Batt and writers Edmund Ward and James Mitchell, to create a rigorously researched and compelling courtroom drama.
Dr Ian Moody
Sir John Gallagher