Books, news, & views from Karen Traviss

Best thing on the box

There’s still something worth watching on British TV, and it’s not Danish.
It takes a lot to make me blog these days, so listen up.

If you’re not watching Eternal Law on ITV (that’s UK television, although I know folks in the US who manage to see it) then you’re missing something special.

It’s by the guys who wrote Life On Mars (the real UK version, not the hideously stupid US remake) and Ashes To Ashes, and if anything it’s even better. Okay, the same team did Bonekickers, which was shockingly bad, but I get the feeling they weren’t actually responsible for what appeared on screen. Anyway, Eternal Law is Pharoah and Graham at their best. It’s beautifully written, brilliantly cast, and the very best kind of storytelling. The script just crackles. The moral dilemmas are exquisite. If I had to choose between watching Forbrydelsen and this series for some hypothetical reason, it would be a very tough call. And Eternal Law would win.

It’s about barristers (trial lawyers) who happen to be angels, but it isn’t the usual mawkishly preachy crud I associate with angel-based fiction. It abounds in grey areas. You have to have a soft spot for angels who go up and sit on the roof of York Minster to have a smoke and drink a few bottles of red.

There’s nothing better for a writer than seeing someone else’s stuff and feeling envious of their perfection. Just fabulous. Watch it.