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A trial of realism?

New series to reveal the inner workings of the criminal justice system

12 May 2017

Whether it is Silk, Judge John Deed, or Rumpole of the Bailey, legal dramas are loved and loathed in equal measure by lawyers. The most oft-heard complaints: a lack of realism and too much style over substance.

Channel 4 thinks it has solved the problem with the launch of a brand new, ‘ground-breaking’ five-part series to be aired across one week in May.

The Trial: A Murder in the Family is a fictional crime docudrama about a case which will be tried by a team real QCs, a genuine judge, and a jury of 12 members of the public. The only actors include the accused – a man who is pleading not guilty to the murder of his wife – the deceased, and some of the witnesses.

The trial centres on the murder of 38-year-old Carla Davis, who was strangled to death in her own home. The accused is her est...

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