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Advocates, The (ITV 1991-1992, Rachel Weisz, Michael Kitchen)

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Edinburgh set crime drama series The Advocates follows law firm Dunbar & Partners as they deal with some of the cities less salubrious characters. Two three part serial were produced and in the first new boy to the firm Greg McDowell is asked by local doctor Joe Sangster who is convinced that the death of a young prostitute was in fact murder not a drug overdose. Greg’s investigations lead him to a health clinic which has been targeted by a drug dealers.

In the second three part series which was subtitled Above The Law, McDowell finds himself investigating when a Crown Prosecutor is arrested for the murder of his wife. Meanwhile the rest of the team are caught up in a case involving the murder of a busker. Katharine Dunbar, who is head of the firm, discovers that the two murders may be linked…

Kind of like a distaff side to Taggart The Advocates first three parter was popular enough to allow for a second three part story the following year, that was that though and a series wasn’t forthcoming. Isla Blair and Stella Gonet headlined but Ewan Stewart took the bulk of the plaudits as McDowell. There were strong guest roles too for a young Rachel Weisz as well as the likes of Robert Carlyle, Shirley Henderson, Siobhan Redmond and the fabulous Michael Kitchen.

production details
UK / ITV Network – ScottishTV / 6×60 minute episodes / Broadcast 2 April 1991 – 23 March 1992

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BROADCAST DATES: Serial One: 2 – 16 April 1991 / Serial Two: 9 – 23 March 1992

Writer: Alma Cullen (episodes 1-3), John Cooper (episodes 4-6) / Producer: Murray Ferguson / Director: Peter Barbar-Fleming

main cast
ISLA BLAIR as Katherine Dunbar
STELLA GONET as Alex Abercorn
EWAN STEWART as Greg McDowell
MICHAEL BYRNE as Campbell Reid
JONATHAN HACKETT as Dr Joe Sangster
HUGH ROSS as Archie Hoseason
JONATHAN BATTERSBY as Riley
JOE DUNLOP as Walsh
ALISON PEEBLES as Vivien Liddell
ELSPETH MACNAUGHTON as Libby
CLIVE RUSSELL as Chief Inspector Ross
SEAN MURRAY as Det Sgt Coutts

serial one cast
SHIRLEY HENDERSON as Andrea
CAL MacANINCH as Milligan
ANGUS McLENNAN as Joss Reid
PETER ARMITAGE as Len Veitch
ANNE KRISTEN as Nancy McDowell
SANDY WELCH as David Strachan
DAVID McKAIL as Roderick Lennox
JENNIFER PIERCEY as Heather Lennox
ROY SAMPSON as Dougie Allen
TAM DEAN BURN as Paul Ackroyd
KATHERINE STARK as Mrs Tate
MELANIE McCREADY as Julie Tate
MARK NIVEN as Dominic Tate

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serial two cast
MICHAEL KITCHEN as James McCandlish
HUGH FRASER as John Naismith
SIOBHAN REDMOND as Janie Naismith
RACHEL WEISZ as Sarah Thompson
JAMES FLEET as Philip Jackson
ANDREW MELVILLE as Andrew Hanson
JACK FORTUNE as Dominic Lawson
BERNARD HORSFALL as Lord Thornhill
FINLAY WELSH as Malcolm Davies
STUART HEPBURN as DCI Michael Smith
ROBERT CARLYLE as DC Murray
MICKY MacPHERSON as Paul Lucas


Alastair James is the editor in chief for Memorable TV. He has been involved in media since his university days. Alastair is passionate about television, and some of his favourite shows include Line of Duty, Luther and Traitors. He is always on the lookout for hot new shows, and is always keen to share his knowledge with others.

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