Crime drama series Crown Court followed a case presented at Fulchester Crown Court over three half hours episodes shown over the course of a week.
Crown Court was part of ITV’s first afternoon schedule and was immediately popular with its often quite hard hitting stories which ranged across everything from Murder to theft to drug dealing as well as more esoteric fare such as breaching the official secrets act and malpractice. There was one three parter Heart to Heart that has never been broadcast but all episodes are still in existance.
Hundreds of famous actors appeared either as members of the court or among those accused. At the time of course many of these names were not well known at all, everyone from Pauline Quirke, Nigel Havers, Derek Griffiths, John Le Mesurier, Arthur English, Michael Elphick, Connie Booth, Bob Hoskins, Ben Kingsley, Jack Shepherd and Fulton Mackay. William Mervyn often appeared as a judge and Terrence Hardiman also made regular appearances as prosecuting council.
The jury was made up of members of the public (albeit the foreman who had a speaking role was an actor) and it was their decision whether the accused was found guilty or not guilty which meant different endings had to be filmed for each case.
Incidentally the memorable closing theme tune, Distant Hills, appeared as the B-Side to the single version of Van Der Valk by The Simon Park Orchestra. The opening theme was actually a different tune and was equally memorable and was an excerpt from the 4th Movement of the Sinfonietta by Janáček.
UK / ITV Network – Granada / 879×30 minute episodes / 1972-84