The Jury is a British Series aired on ITV in 2002, and a second season aired in 2011. A courtroom drama series, both seasons dealt with an ongoing murder trial at the Old Bailey in London, focusing on the twelve jurors summoned to try the defendants, the defendants themselves, and the attorneys defending or prosecuting them.
The first season focuses around the trial of Duvinder Singh (Sonnell Dadral), a Sikh, accused of murdering his classmate John Maher for bullying him. Defending Duvinder is George Cording (Derek Jacobi), while Gerald Lewis (Antony Sher) represents the crown.
Members of the jury include recovering alcoholic Johnnie Donne (Gerard Butler); former vicar Charles Gore (Stuart Bunce), who is having a Crisis of Faith; lonely pensioner Elsie Beamish (Sylvia Sims) who faces a terminal illness; Rose Davies (Helen McCrory), who is in an abusive marriage Len (Mark Strong); Marcia Thomas (Nina Sosanya), who has to leave her young daughter with her estranged mother; Jeremy Crawford (Nicholas Farrell), whose family is recovering from major fraud; and instinctive foreman Peter Segal (Michael Maloney), whose neutral opinion is threatened by the influential words of his father-in-law. The series focused on racial prejudice and bullying in various forms.
The second season, released in 2011. The season focused on the re-trial of Alan Lane (John Lynch), previously convicted of murdering three women he had relationships with. Due to questionable evidence, Lane undergoes prosecution again with a new jury to decide his fate. However, it appears someone connected to the victims plots to rig the trial to get justice. Representing Alan Lane is Emma Watts (Julie Walters), while prosecuting him is John Mallory (Roger Allam). The season also has an ongoing subplot about the abolition of trial-by-jury.
Amongst the jurors include Paul Brierly (Steven Mackintosh), who cares for his ill mother; Rashid Jarwar (Aqib Khan), who has Aspergers syndrome, becoming obsessed with the previous trial; Sudanese refugee Tahir Takana (Ivanno Jeremiah) who wants to become an American citizen to reunite with his brother, and is aided by fellow juror, retiree Jeffrey Livingstone (Ronald Pickup); Derek Hatch (Rory McCann), a fireman who enjoys jury service; Lucy Cartwright (Natalie Press), who is posing as her employer Theresa Vestry (Sarah Alexander); and Katherine Bulmore (Johdi May), a high school teacher who slept with a student and becomes pregnant.
This series provides examples of:
- Alas, Poor Villain: John Maher's father, who believed in the court system and disliked his surviving sons trying to intimidate the jurors. When Duvinder is found innocent, he plots to assassinate him at the airport, but can't go through with it, shooting himself.
- The Alcoholic: Johnnie is a recovering one, but has a severe relapse after learnng Rose is married.
- Amoral Attorney: Councillor Lewis seems openly racist towards Duvinder and Sikhism in general, describing their culture with theatrical dissonance.
- Bitch in Sheep's Clothing: Subverted. Tasha Williams tries to rig Alan Lane's two trials to get him jailed. She lies to Paul that she was the foreman of the first trial and just wants true justice to prevail. She is the sister of one of Lane's apparent victims, and she amongst other family members were plotting to use Lane as a scapegoat to to heal their grief, regardless if he is innocent or guilty.
- Bittersweet Ending: Season one only. Elsie dies from a tumour, and Peter is left wondering if Duvinder was guilty all along.
- Bully Brutality: A major theme in the first season, examining various types of bullying. Duvinder was bullied by John Maher and apparently murdered him in retaliation. Rose is unintentionally bullied by her husband, John's family intimidate the jurors, Peter is harassed by his father-in-law to condemn Duvinder, etc.
- Bully Hunter: Duvinder's implied motive for murdering John Maher.
- Chekhov's Gunman: Rashid watches an interview with the foreman of Alan Lane's original trial, alerting him to the fact that Paul has been lied to by Tasha.
- Cool Old Guy: Jeffrey, a laidback retiree, who decides to help Tahir get to America.
- Cool Sword: An enormous six-foot long ceremonial blade Duvinder apparently used to kill John Maher.
- Corrupt Cop: Duvinder's prison guard beats him. George Cording accuses the police officers who arrested Duvinder of being racist.
- Courtroom Antics: Nothing too absurd or extreme, beyond angry threats from John Maher's brothers in the first season. Emma Watts' acidic remarks towards the police in the second season leads to the judge reprimanding her.
- Courtroom Episode: The basis of the series.
- Crusading Lawyer: George Cording is very committed to proving Duvinder is innocent, and his conviction is based entirely on a racist, incompetent policy force.
- Deadpan Snarker: Emma Watts and John Mallory exchange quips in a friendly manner.
- Driven to Suicide: John Maher's father shoots himself at the end of the 2002 series after Duvinder is found innocent.
- Eagleland: Tahir at first sees America as this, but mostly because his brother lives there. Changes his mind when he realises his brother is not thrilled to hear from him, and he becomes a British citizen instead.
- Fantastic Racism: A key theme in the first season, examining whether or not Sikhism is a violent, barbaric religion or if this is just the view of racist individuals who do not understand the culture of the faith. Duvinder is often abused by John Maher's family and the police, and not just because he may or may not have murdered Maher.
- Genius Cripple / Handicapped Badass: 18-year old Rashid suffers from Asperger's Syndrome, but his illness proves to help him focus on every detail of Alan Lane's re-trial.
- Hot Teacher: Katherine sleeps with a 17-year old student and falls pregnant.
- Immigrant Patriotism: Averted, Tahir hated Sudan and with good reason, having fled with his brother as his village was massacred by militants.
- Jury and Witness Tampering: Happens in both seasons, both by relatives of the victims.
- John Maher's older brothers try to intimidate the jury through threats and dead rats in the post.
- Tasha Williams lies to Paul that she was the foreman of Alan Lane's first trial, mentioning evidence from the first investigation. Lane's entire conviction was manipulated by the victims' families, including the planting of evidence, willing to turn Lane into a scapegoat to provide themselves a face to blame. Tasha is implied to have rigged the first trial as well. Paul nearly convicts Lane all over again until Rashid proves he has been deceived.
- Lucy Cartwright technically does it by impersonating another juror, Theresa Vestry, who once exempted herself from jury duty. She uses a loophole to act as a mouthpiece for Theresa, sharing the trial's evidence with her, so Theresa can make up her own decision on Lane's innocence or guilt.
- Jury Duty: Exactly What It Says on the Tin. Twelve jurors, over two seasons, are summoned to the Old Bailey in London to decide on the fate of two accused murderers.
- Kangaroo Court: Both trials proceed without little interruptions. Lane's re-trial is manipulated by Tasha to convict him for good, though he is found innocent.
- Love Hurts: A variety of characters suffer this. Rose is in an abusive marriage, Katherine is impregnated by a teenager, and Alan Lane has a string of bad relationships where the three women were all murdered, and he was charged for it. All get happy endings by the end of their stories.
- Manipulative Bitch: Tasha, willing to condemn an innocent man to prison, so she and her family could have a face to hate.
- Meddling Parents: Peter's father-in-law becomes involved in solving the trial of Duvinder, leading to Peter questioning his final decision to set Duvinder free.
- Noble Bigot with a Badge: The first season's prosecutor Gerald Lewis shows traits of this against Sikhism.
- Psychopathic Manchild: The homicidal maniac who may have been the true killer of John Maher.
- The Quiet One: Duvinder is very quiet throughout his trial, and never once protested his innocence when interrogated by the police.
- Roaring Rampage of Revenge: John Maher's family want Duvinder imprisoned or dead, intimidating several jurors to try and force their hand.
- Tasha's vengeance in the second series is subtle and long. But it turns out to have been aimed at an innocent man, orchestrated by the victims' families.
- Sassy Black Woman: Marcia and her mother.
- Surprise Pregnancy: Katherine's arc in the second season. A secondary school teacher, Katherine was having sex wtih a seventeen year old but fell pregnant, which really shouldn't come as a surprise.
- Teacher/Student Romance: Katherine and a 17-year old boy have one, resulting in Katherine getting pregnant.
- Unwitting Pawn: Both Alan Dale and Paul are manipulated by Tasha to ease the pain of the loved ones of the second season's victims. Alan was merely framed due to being connected to the victims, whilst Paul was given false information to convict him.
- The Vicar: Charles, disillusioned with his faith after splitting from his ex, leaves him uncertain whether or not he will become a priest. His time spent with Elsie inspires him to rejoin the church.