The Brief (2004 TV series)

  (Redirected from The Brief (ITV))

The Brief is a British crime drama series first broadcast on ITV on 24 April 2004.[1] The series follows the work of defence barrister Henry Farmer (Alan Davies), whose complicated personal life manages to overlap into his work.[2] Other stars in the series include Linda Bassett, Christopher Fulford and Cherie Lunghi. After critical acclaim and strong viewing figures for the first series of four episodes, a second series was commissioned, which began transmission on 7 October 2005.

The Brief
Title card
GenreCrime drama
Created byDusty Hughes
Written byDusty Hughes
Directed byVarious
StarringAlan Davies
Linda Bassett
Christopher Fulford
Cherie Lunghi
Robert Whitelock
Composer(s)John E. Keane
Paul Leonard-Morgan
Country of originUnited Kingdom
Original language(s)English
No. of series2
No. of episodes8 (list of episodes)
Executive producer(s)Ted Childs
Michele Buck
Damien Timmer
Producer(s)Chris Burt
Graeme McArthur
Production location(s)London, England
Running time90 mins
Production company(s)Granada Television
Original networkITV
Original release24 April 2004 –

28 October 2005

However, the second series did not achieve the same viewing figures as the first; and following rumblings of the possible return of Jonathan Creek, Davies quit the role and a third series was not commissioned. However, both series were subsequently released in a double DVD box set on 27 April 2009,[3] and were digitally released via the ITV store on 14 February 2016.[4]


The Brief follows the work of defence barrister Henry Farmer (Alan Davies), whose complicated personal life manages to overlap into his work. With an overbearing workload, debt and alimony payments to meet, as well as being in love with the wife of a prominent politician who won't leave her husband for him, Henry is forced to set his own demons to one side to tackle cases that only he can win. The show was described by the Radio Times as an "engaging blend of courtroom drama, suspense, intrigue and humour".


Episode listEdit

Series 1 (2004)Edit

Episode Title Written by Directed by Viewers
Original airdate
1"The Road to Hell"Dusty HughesJack Gold6.64m25 April 2004 (2004-04-25)
Henry takes on three cases at once in order to close his financial shortfall, including an immigrant rug dealer accused of false advertising, an alleged fence dealing in stolen property, and a former mental patient accused of drowning her boyfriend's two children.
2"So Long, Samantha"Dusty HughesJack Gold5.42m2 May 2004 (2004-05-02)
Henry deals with accusations of misconduct in his latest case after offering help to an aggrieved father who believes his Anglo-Greek daughter was raped and murdered before falling to her death in Jakarta - but local police have declared that it was suicide or an accident.
3"Children"Dusty HughesStuart Orme6.74m9 May 2004 (2004-05-09)
Henry switches over to a prosecution role, but he's far from happy about it. The defendant is a 12-year-old girl accused of murdering a nine-year-old child, and the trial becomes a choice between one bad verdict and another that could be even worse.
4"A Sort of Love"Dusty HughesSandy Johnson6.58m16 May 2004 (2004-05-16)
Henry works on the appeal for a man convicted of killing his partner in a twisted sexual triangle, while his own love triangle takes on a few new twists of its own. A missing Ferrari, long-hidden secrets, and difficult clients all push Henry to his limits.

Series 2 (2005)Edit

Episode Title Written by Directed by Viewers
Original airdate
1"Blame"Dusty HughesMinkie Spiro4.60m7 October 2005 (2005-10-07)
Henry's love life has derailed, and his financial situation has crashed, leaving him temporarily homeless. But his problems are made even worse when he is forced to deal with his own father as a witness in the trial of a train driver.
2"Lack of Affect"Amanda CoeJohn Deery5.17m14 October 2005 (2005-10-14)
Henry's newest client, who is an Asperger's syndrome sufferer accused of murdering his own mother, may be the only habitually honest person involved in the case. Revelations of adultery and a suspicious bruise complicate matters almost as much as Henry's own life.
3"Forever on the Mind"Dusty HughesDavid Drury5.24m21 October 2005 (2005-10-21)
Henry defends a nurse accused of murdering an elderly patient who added her to his will two days before his death. Unfortunately, she's determined to speak out and clear her name no matter what Henry says.
4"The Architect's Wife"Dusty HughesIan Knox5.43m28 October 2005 (2005-10-28)
With almost no evidence in hand, Henry's case against an accused rapist falls to pieces, and the civil action he takes up on behalf of the victim tears his life apart. Couch surfing and fiscally reeling, he is unprepared to see his father is seriously ill.


  1. ^ Northove, Kylie. "Dawn of a new(ish) Davies," Sydney Morning Herald (Australia). 12 November 2011; retrieved 2012-11-3.
  2. ^ Leonard, Tom. "'Hamlet? Maybe not, but I'm not rubbish',"' The Telegraph (UK). 5 October 2005; retrieved 2012-11-3.
  3. ^
  4. ^
  5. ^ a b "Top 30 Programmes – BARB". Retrieved 11 February 2016.

External linksEdit