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It seems that I’m on a bit of a British mystery show binge lately. But after watching Agatha Raisin and Rosemary & Thyme, I was ready for something a bit different.

I happened upon a limited series called The Brief, which caught my eye because it stars Alan Davies. I know Alan Davies mostly as the permanent panelist on the long-running British panel-show/trivia series QI (which was initially hosted by Stephen Fry, and is now hosted by Sandi Toksvig). I also knew that Davies had starred in the popular mystery series Jonathan Creek, which first aired in 1997 and continued on-and-off with multiple seasons and specials until 2016.

The Brief seems to have been produced during the off-time for Jonathan Creek, and ran for two seasons in 2004 and 2005 (only 8 episodes, all of them feature-length, have been produced in total). It follows the life of a QC (Queen’s Counsel) named Henry Farmer who, in most cases, works as a defense lawyer. Each episode tends to focus on a single complex case that are solved thanks to Henry Farmer’s powers of observation in the court-room.

The subplots in each episode tend to focus on Henry Farmer’s personal life–whether these have to do with politics in the legal profession, or complications in his home and family life. At the series’ start, Henry is divorced, trying to be a long-distance father, and trying to navigate a complicated romance with the wife of a politician.

I’ve so far watched the first three episodes of the first series/season. The mood of this particular series is a bit more serious than what I usually watch, although there are some brief interjections of humour here and there. The producers and writers responsible for this show were also involved in series such as Morse, Lewis, and Kavanagh QC, so if you’re a fan of those series you’d probably enjoy this one.

The Brief is available on DVD and is available to stream on Amazon Prime Video in the US and Canada. Click here to stream The Brief on Amazon Prime Video. Click here to purchase the complete collection of The Brief on DVD.

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