DVD: Boston Legal Season 5 (TBC)

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The Independent Culture

The eagerly awaited final series of David E Kelley's story of the lives of attorneys at law firm Crane, Poole & Schmidt – played by, among others, William Shatner and James Spader – does not disappoint.

In the end – in a twist appropriate to the times – the firm finds itself in dire financial straits and is forced to find a buyer. Meanwhile, Denny Crane (Shatner) continues to battle with Alzheimer's, and Shirley Schmidt (Candice Bergen) plans her wedding. Part sitcom, part talk show, in which the main protagonists rant about issues of the day (the Iraq war, Roman Catholicism), it shares the postmodernism of Ally McBeal but shifts its tone from series to series. While some say it could do with more wit and less heat, some strong performances carry it through.