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Rumpole of the Bailey

Where to Watch Rumpole of the Bailey

Rumpole on Trial
Hilda persuades Ballard to defend Rumpole when he faces a disciplinary hearing. Rumpole seems to have gone a good deal too far in what he said in Mr.

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Rumpole and the Family Pride
Rumpole and Hilda are invited for the weekend at a cousin's castle, but when they get there they find their relative faces the charge of murdering a traveling woman and is looking for Rumpole to rally round to help him.

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Rumpole and the Reform of Joby Jonson
Rumpole defends a teenager charged with stealing from old people. Curiously, Rumpole's own apartment is promptly broken into and documents are stolen.

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Rumpole and the Eternal Triangle
Rumpole flirts with a beautiful violinist and finds himself reluctantly defending her husband, who is charged with murdering the violinist's musical partner. Meanwhile, Claude Erskine-Brown accuses Henry, the clerk at 3 Equity Court, of sexually harassing a secretary.

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Rumpole and the Miscarriage of Justice
Rumpole defends a policeman, Superintendent Gannon, who is accused of changing a teenager's murder confession.

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Rumpole and the Children of the Devil
Rumpole again defends the Timsons, when they are accused of Satanism and their daughter Tracy has been put into local authority care. Hilda is angling for Rumpole to take her to this year's Scales of Justice Ball.

Watch Rumpole of the Bailey Season 7 Episode 1 Now

At first glance, Horace Rumpole may seem like a disheveled old barrister wiling away his last days in an obscurity at London's Old Bailey courthouse. Yet, viewers who delve into the long-running Acorn TV series "Rumpole of the Bailey" will soon realize that under the surface, Rumpole is a sharp, cunning, and highly principled advocate with an irrepressible sense of humor.

The British television drama, which ran from 1978 to 1992, is based on characters created by John Mortimer, a former barrister himself. Acclaimed actor Leo McKern graces the series with his memorable and endearing portrayal of Rumpole, making him one of the most beloved characters in British television history.

The series revolves around the day-to-day events in the life of Rumpole, a junior barrister with a keen sense of justice and an unwavering commitment to defending his clients to the best of his abilities. The Old Bailey becomes his stage, where he wages a constant struggle against the British criminal justice system, sticking up for the underdog, and routinely clashing with judges, his colleagues, and occasionally his own clients.

A drama at its core, "Rumpole of the Bailey" is never hamstrung by its genre, often interweaving moments of comedy and satire that poke fun at the stuffy, pompous nature of British bureaucracy and legal system. Rumpole's humorous epigrams - 'Rumpole-isms' - and his acerbic wit imbue the series with a unique sense of light-heartedness, keeping viewers engaged while tackling serious legal issues.

Rumpole’s personal life also receives generous attention in the series, especially his relationship with his wife, Hilda, affectionately called 'She Who Must Be Obeyed'. This domestic aspect adds depth and charm to Rumpole's character, as his razor-sharp barrister brain often stumbles over the more mundane challenges of marital life.

Each episode presents a new case for Rumpole to take on, drawn from the spectrum of London's criminal underworld, encompassing everything from petty thievery to murder. Rumpole’s investigations present an authentic view of London's diverse urban landscape, stretching across its aristocratic mansions to its grassroots pubs. Notably, Rumpole's favorite haunt, the Pommeroy’s Wine Bar - 'Pomms' - and its infamous 'Chateau Thames Embankment' plonk, become endearing constants in the series.

"Rumpole of the Bailey" primarily works on two levels - fleshing out Rumpole's legal and domestic life. The show adroitly walks the line between these two, presenting a charming picture of Rumpole's love for 'Wordsworth', cheap cigars, and his unyielding commitment to 'the defense never rests', where his dedication to his clients never succumbs to the pressure of the prosecution.

The series creates a panoramic canvas of the British judiciary and society of its time, as several subplots introduce unforgettable characters. Rumpole's fellow barristers, the pompous "Soapy Sam" Ballard and head clerk of chambers, "Old Godbotherer" Bernard, among others, enrich the series with their diverse and often conflicting personalities, adding to Rumpole's trials and tribulations.

Despite its humorous undertones, "Rumpole of the Bailey" does not shy away from portraying the serious implications of flawed legal systems. Rumpole's commitment to innocence until proven guilty often conflicts with a system more interested in appeasing societal norms and maintaining status quo, rather than upholding justice.

Rumpole, the eccentric and cantankerous yet principled barrister, wit, poet, and philosopher, dismisses society's superficial measures of success. His faith in his clients renders him immune to pressure from judges, police, or even his colleagues. His small victories, performed with a wonderful combination of humor, intelligence, and tenacity, make "Rumpole of the Bailey" an enduring classic on Acorn TV, providing an engaging, enjoyable, and occasionally profound meditation on the legal profession and human nature itself.

Rumpole of the Bailey is a series categorized as a . Spanning 7 seasons with a total of 43 episodes, the show debuted on 2014. The series has earned a mostly positive reviews from both critics and viewers. The IMDb score stands at 8.4.

Acorn TV
Leo McKern, Jonathan Coy, Julian Curry
Rumpole of the Bailey is available on .