In The Most Important Thing of All, the first episode of Justice, barrister Harriet Peterson is asked by her ex-husband James “Jimmy” Kirby to defend a friend of his, Eddy Plater, who has been accused of a bank robbery. Harriet agrees but it seems there is more to Jimmy’s request than meets the eye. Plater has agreed to pay Jimmy £100 if Harriet agrees to defend him and another £500 if she gets him acquitted.
Immediately with the opening scene we are given some background into Harriet’s life, her ex-husband turns up with a present for her birthday so we learn she is divorced. We also learn that her husband has been in prison and is a disbarred solicitor now working as a sales rep. He’s played by the suave William Franklyn who does well playing against type – Jimmy is not at all likeable.
Margaret Lockwood’s Harriet doesn’t actually get much screentime in this opening episode, her best scenes are the opening and closing ones at home being visited by Jimmy.
“Hard working barristers living alone don’t much go in for parties.”
UK / ITV – Yorkshire / 1×50 minute episode / Broadcast Friday 8 October 1971 at 9.00pm
Writer: James Mitchell / Production Design: Jane Martin / Director: James Ormerod
Series: Justice Season 1 Episode 1
Margaret Lockwood as Harriet Peterson
William Franklyn as James Kirby
Victor Maddern as Eddy Plater
Philip Latham as Jardine
Sebastian Breaks as Linder
Pamela Merrick as Mrs Plater
Carleton Hobbs as Mr Justice Bosanquet
Anthony Woodruff as Clerk of Assize
Michael Nightingale as Chief Detective Inspector Frick
Patrick Godfrey as Analyst
Paul Humpoletz as Lorry Driver
David Boothler as Page
Adrian Cole as Waiter
Fred Crossley as Foreman of jury