Garrow's Law

Garrow’s Law returns to BBC One for a third series

Interview with Andrew Buchan

The cases are fascinating. They are written very honestly and accurately, and are, dramatically speaking, very challenging to perform."Andrew Buchan
Category: BBC One; Drama

Can you give a hint at what there is to look forward to in the new series?

The cases are fascinating. They are written very honestly and accurately, and are, dramatically speaking, very challenging to perform. They're also very powerful in the sense that each case resonates today. The first one looks at madness and how it was defined in legal terms in that day and age. The third case looks at the case of General Picton, Governor of Trinidad, who devised specific methods of torture, almost as a sport, for his own general amusement and entertainment. There was a sickening brutality to all of his methods, and he was eventually brought to trial for them. All of the cases have been shocking and captivating and we've been very spoilt with the guest actors we've had. They really bring the cases to life.

What challenges do you and Lady Sarah face as a couple?

Enormous challenges at work to get his reputation back, to put food on the table, to keep a home. And whilst he's in court, Sarah enters into a custody battle with Sir Arthur to win Samuel back, without Garrow's knowledge. Alongside the huge emotional tug of war, neither of them can afford the legal costs. Now that you are a couple, are there some intimate scenes in the new series? Yes! They are together now, and they do the things that couples do; be it laughing, crying, household chores, or a bit of how’s your Father!

What was it like filming those love scenes together?

Love scenes at the best of times can be pretty damn strange because there are about fifteen random people in the room watching you, so it’s usually the most un-sexual thing you can do. Lyndsey is a friend so it was slightly strange, but at the same time we trusted each other. And luckily the director handled the whole thing with a great deal of sensitivity.

Were you in the gym every night in preparation?

(Laughs!) Oh...you know... just working on my lats and my delts, redefining my quads. No, there was not much time for all of that, but I did go swimming whenever I could. 

What is it like filming with Alun Armstrong? Is he a lot of fun?

With Alun, there is a small joker of a boy running around inside a 66 year old’s body! He’s relentless with his wit and he’s just fantastic to be around, both on set and off. He’s a true revelation. He’s a superb actor, and is just brilliant at bringing perspective.

What is your costume like this year?

It’s the same costume – Garrow certainly can’t afford anything different because he’s hard up. But I think Silvester (Aidan McArdle) has stepped up his game - he’s enjoying a little promotion maybe. It is good actually because I've only just come to terms with how to fasten everything. Any new clothes and I'd have to consult the dressing manual all over again.

Do you get recognised as “someone from the telly”?

On and off, it depends what my hair's doing that day. If it's got post shampoo slump, then not a chance! I just look like someone from a grunge band. But when people do come up to me, they very rarely get the name of the programme right. It's usually Gallow's Law or Garrisons or 'that lawyer thing'. It's now become a bit of a cast joke. The best example happened quite recently when a lady came up to me at a wedding, and said “This one is an actor. This one is on a legal programme...Grey’s Anatomy!!”

Your co-stars in Party Animals have gone on to find amazing success. Are you still in touch?

Yes - sporadically. They're all class. A fantastic, talented bunch of people - you'd only ever wish them all a great deal of success. They’ve all gone into very different arenas; with Andrea (Riseborough) doing films and then Matt (Smith) in Doctor Who and Shelley (Conn) now doing Spielberg - all very different and very challenging pieces of work. Superb.