Oline Cogdill

altI miss Law & Order.

That must seem strange since Law & Order, both the original and its spinoffs, seem to be aired at least 23 1/2 hours a day, seven days a week.

But I miss the new stories that sometimes against my will would pull me in week after week.

OK, truth be told, I am easily riveted even by episodes I have seen 4,322 times.

altMy latest Law & Order fascination is Law & Order: UK, which just launched its third season at 9 p.m. Wednesdays on BBC America. It's also available On Demand. And, of course, the first season of Law & Order: UK is now on DVD.

The set up is the same with the U.K. version: detectives and prosecutors work to solve crimes and bring the criminals to justice in London. Not that much different from the American versions; even Dick Wolf is the creator and executive producer.

But British detectives operate under different rules than their American counterparts as do the prosecutors. This brings Law & Order: UK a different texture that goes beyond the wigs worn in court.

Two friends who also are avid Law & Order: UK fans have told me the episodes are ripped not from the headlines as much as from the original Law & Order. I have no doubt that may be true but to me the British setting makes the episodes seem fresh and new.

altThe new season of Law & Order: UK features Ronnie Brooks (Bradley Walsh), a cop from the East End whose partner is the younger Matt Devlin (Jamie Bamber). They report to Natalie Chandler (Harriet Walter).

Courtside is crown prosecutor Alesha Phillips (Freema Agyeman, left), whose new partner is Jacob Thorne (Dominic Rowan), a gifted and uncompromising criminal prosecutor. Peter Davison (Doctor Who, Unforgiven) plays their new boss Henry Sharpe.

And just like the American version, that two-note music is part of Law & Order: UK.

Photos: Top, Bradley Walsh, center front, Jamie Bamber, left, and Harriet Walter. Bottom: Freema Agyeman BBC America photos