Rumpole of the Bailey: Set 2 - The Complete Seasons Three and Four [4 Discs] [DVD]

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Special Features

  • Episode introductions with John Mortimer
  • Mortimer's Musings - An interview with John Mortimer
  • John Mortimer biography
  • John Mortimer bibliography and selected credits
  • About the Old Bailey
  • Official executioners of Newgate Prison
  • Interactive menus
  • Scene selection


A dry spell of nearly four years separated the third and fourth seasons of the internationally popular British legal series Rumpole of the Bailey. Not surprisingly, fans rejoiced when the series finally returned on January 19, 1987, with six new hour-long episodes in the docket. Leo McKern, as ever, heads the cast as the disheveled but brilliant British barrister Horace Rumple, while Marion Mathie takes over from Peggy Bates-Thorpe in the role of Rumple's formidable wife Hilda, better known as "She-Who-Must-Be-Obeyed." The first case on the Season Four manifest is "Rumpole and the Old, Old Story", in which Rumpole's defense of a businessman charged with attempted murder is muddled up by his domestic problems with Hilda. Episode #2, "Rumpole and the Blind Tasting", finds our hero once more called upon to defend a member of the scurrilous Timson family, even as he endeavors to "break in" his new law pupil Liz Probert (played by Leo McKern's daughter Abigail Kern). In "Rumpole and the Official Secret", his client is a sweet little old lady accused of leaking top-secret government information. In "Rumpole and the Judge's Elbow", a case involving a massage-parlor owner accused of procuring is compromised when Rumpole is (in so many words) offered a judgeship. "Rumpole and the Bright Seraphim" finds the feisty barrister in West Germany, defending a British soldier charged with killing a non-com. The season ends appropriately with "Rumpole's Last Case", wherein the strain of his job may have finally forced Rumpole to hang up his wig for good--but not before one final duel of wits with an old enemy. ~ Hal Erickson
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