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Publisher's Summary

The first six series of the popular radio drama set in a Manchester legal practice, starring David Schofield.

Frank Twist and Sarah Gold lead a maverick team of freelance paralegals operating in the mean(ish) streets of Manchester. Their agency operates 24 hours a day, seven days a week, dispatching legal representatives to set free burglars, muggers and even some innocent people who find themselves on the wrong side of a cell door.

Frank and Sarah have a history, and a child, but now their relationship is purely business, and in these 30 episodes, they and their colleagues deal with cases ranging from shoplifting to attempted murder. Among their clientele are a suspected rapist, a young teacher accused of having an affair with a sixth-former, a girl arrested for assaulting a police officer and a local councillor who’s been caught selling drugs. In addition, Sarah and Frank themselves become the subjects of police interest when they’re called into Manchester Central for questioning - and that’s just the start of their Kafkaesque journey....

Created by Tom Fry and Sharon Kelly, these gripping dramas combine complex crime stories with witty humour. David Schofield stars as Frank Twist, with Gina Bellman, Tracy-Ann Oberman, Kathryn Hunt and Caroline Burns Cooke as Sarah Gold.

Written by Tom Fry and Sharon Kelly, Elizabeth Heery (Series 4 Episode 3, Series 5 Episode 4), Eve Steele and Ed Jones (Series 4 Episode 4), Eve Steele (Series 5 Episode 2), Lizi Patch (Series 6 Episode 2), Nuala O’Sullivan (Series 6 Episode 4).

Produced and directed by Susan Roberts (Series 1), Gary Brown (Series 2-6)

Music by Carl Harms.

©2019 BBC Studios Distribution Ltd (P)2019 BBC Studios Distribution Ltd

What listeners say about Brief Lives: Series 1-6

Average Customer Ratings

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Amynadine
  • 01-08-20

Judging Justice for All

This wonderful BBC audio drama production will take you into the lives of Frank Twist and his defenders of those who have been charged with a crime. You will be presented the 'facts' as given by the charged and the law. You will find yourself understanding better what a complex and nuanced world we live in when it comes to JUSTICE FOR ALL and our brief lives.

3 people found this helpful

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  • Anat Hoffman
  • 04-07-20

the performance is out-of-this-world world

the narration of this series is wonderful the actors are terrific their voices are outstanding this is a wonderful series to listen to. the content of some of the episodes was not very realistic

3 people found this helpful

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  • Graham W
  • 27-09-20

Tedious. Repetitive. Office soap

Not a crime series. Not funny. Intrusive sound effects and music. I'm rather amazed that it went to two series... two episodes was more than enough for me.

1 person found this helpful

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  • Miss J E Watters
  • 19-07-20

All about the office gossip

I thought this was going to be a series of puzzles, but the cases are incidental and it is all about the interplay between the people who work in the office, which isn’t that interesting. I gave it at least four episodes, but didn’t get into it.

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  • archeradddict
  • 27-06-20

Very good but some distractions.

I really enjoyed, but actor playing Sarah Gold kept changing. Side characters also just disappeared.

1 person found this helpful

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  • Helen
  • 18-06-20

Great stories and acting.

The early recordings are clearly a work in progress, but as time goes by the episodes get better and better. My only problem is that I listen to audible books at night, as a relaxation before sleep, the episodic music breaks become really annoying.

1 person found this helpful

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  • Jk
  • 14-06-20

Worth persevering

As mentioned in some earlier reviews, I was put off the earlier episodes by the sound effects- particularly the use of random seventies music tracks to mark scene changes. However this stopped after the first view episodes, which was a relief.

The characters are mildly interesting, but what I enjoyed was the breadth of scenarios of the cases touched on.

Great for listening to while driving.

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  • Dr Roger Carter
  • 13-05-20

Great stories, well performed by super cast

Radio drama at its most engaging. I'm always looking forward to the next episode. The whole cast is excellent, not least Doug MacGregor, a constant source of amusement.

1 person found this helpful

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  • entrandoaleapacio
  • 24-04-20

Sound anoying

the sound effects make 4 a difficult listen! sent it back. it is simply awful. Hence the low score

1 person found this helpful

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  • Simon N
  • 07-03-21

Enjoyable Legal Drama

Something a bit different and follows defence legal team in North West. Easy listen and good characters!

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  • Brommers
  • 01-08-20

Totally Engaging

I’ve been transfixed by the stories in this series. Great performances by all. Truly a series worthy of many repeats.

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  • Kevin
  • 14-07-20

An enjoyable listen.

Great scripts and brilliant acting. Each storyline is credible and engaging capturing life in a small northern legal practice