The premise and structure of “Newton’s” are based on the British legal system, in which solicitors prepare cases which are then presented in court by bewigged (and higher-paid) barristers. Josephine, who is of course the smartest lawyer around, has remained a solicitor in order to help needy clients, but her own economic straits force her to finally take a position as a barrister.
Unwilling to abandon her idealism completely, however, she leads a double life, maintaining a not-so-secret solicitor’s practice in the parking garage of the high-rise where she now works. It’s a good setup for physical comedy and high jinks, which are abetted by a pair of former clients, a car thief and an embezzler, who serve as her investigator and junior partner.
It’s good escapist fun, with better-than-usual writing and performances. It also has a connection to Australian entertainment history much older than “Miss Fisher’s Murder Mysteries”: Thirty years ago, as a 14-year-old, Ms. Karvan starred opposite Judy Davis in Gillian Armstrong’s “High Tide,” one of the great lost movies of the streaming age. Look for it on DVD while you check out “Newton’s Law.”