1 9 7 2 – 1 9 7 5 (UK)
24 x 50 minute episodes
For many, an appearance in the magistrates’ court is their first encounter with the Law. Bemused, perhaps frightened and often arrogant, their offence may range from a simple motoring case to murder. But whatever the degree of involvement, the experience is one that will remain indelibly etched on the memory.
In each of its four series’, Six Days of Justice examined six fictitious court cases, exact in detail, with procedural advice supplied by real magistrates. The action was confined exclusively to the courtroom or the adjacent corridor.
A few episodes were set in the juvenile court, one of the busiest sections of the British magistracy.
The first series employed an austere, minimalist look, with everything in the courtroom except the floor painted in shades of white. Peter Duguid subsequently took over as producer and principal director and had the set completely re-designed, making it warmer, more colourful and less remote.
He also actively encouraged the actors to improvise around the script, making their performances much more credible in the process.
Although similar in style and content to Crown Court, its evening scheduling allowed the series to tackle cases with a greater degree of authenticity than its daytime counterpart.
This first series featured strong performances from George Sewell, Earl Cameron and Bernard Hepton, among others, and was scripted by some of the era’s most highly acclaimed scriptwriters, including Trevor Preston and P.J. Hammond.