Law and Order UK – the Dick van Dyke version

I just watched the new Law and Order UK, recorded from last night.

I am fan of the original US show, and Law & Order: Special Victims Unit. I was less enamored with some of the later spin-offs, but was curious how the UK show would be.

Unfortunately, I was distracted throughout by the actor’s accents – cheerful London chappies, almost verging on fake cockney, for the police, while the chief lawyer is as plummy as they come. Pure stereotypes, and clearly aimed at a possible American market.

Bradley Walsh’s accent is natural Watford, and I actually found him good in a serious role. However, Jamie Bamber’s accent was a little too "matey", and I don’t know why he couldn’t have played the part in his natural British accent. The dialects (and slangy dialog) did nothing for the story, and it would have been much better to play it natural.

My other criticism is that elements of the the plot itself didn’t seem quite right – until I discovered that the scripts are actually from the original US series, rewritten and adapted for British law. This explained a few things – while it seemed strange that the caretaker of a block of flats in Central London could only speak French (and even stranger that Bradley Walsh was fluent in the language), put this in New York, and substitute Spanish for French, and it is more believable.

I’ll probably watch this a couple more times to see if it improves, but I’m not holding out much hope.


  1. February 25, 2009

    Sounds like I was lucky to miss it.

  2. February 28, 2009

    Cheer up – it can’t be worse than the Americanized version of The Fall and Rise of Reginald Perrin they tried back in the 80’s…

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