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The Trial: A Murder in the Family 

The Trial is a brand new, ground-breaking five-part series to be stripped across one week on Channel 4. In it, a fictional crime will be authentically tried by a team including eminent ... See full summary »




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Series cast summary:
Michael Gould Michael Gould ...  Simon Davis 5 episodes, 2017
Emma Lowndes Emma Lowndes ...  Carla Davis 5 episodes, 2017
Kevin Harvey Kevin Harvey ...  Lewis Skinner 5 episodes, 2017
Fern Deacon ...  Catherine Davis 5 episodes, 2017
Liam Sargeant Liam Sargeant ...  Oscar Davis 5 episodes, 2017
Valerie Jerwood Valerie Jerwood ...  Court Staff / ... 5 episodes, 2017
Corinne Bowler Corinne Bowler ...  Detective Constable 5 episodes, 2017
Nina Tanner Nina Tanner ...  Detective Constable 5 episodes, 2017
Janet Thomas Janet Thomas ...  Court Staff / ... 5 episodes, 2017
Brian Barker Brian Barker ...  Himself - Crown Court Judge, 2000-2015 5 episodes, 2017
Max Hill Max Hill ...  Himself - Lead Prosecution Barrister 5 episodes, 2017
Michelle Nelson Michelle Nelson ...  Herself - Junior Prosecution Barrister 5 episodes, 2017
John Ryder John Ryder ...  Himself - Lead Defence Barrister 5 episodes, 2017
Lucy Organ Lucy Organ ...  Herself - Junior Defence Barrister 4 episodes, 2017
Susan Tracy Susan Tracy ...  Moira 4 episodes, 2017
Farshid Rokey Farshid Rokey ...  Danny Mullen 3 episodes, 2017


The Trial is a brand new, ground-breaking five-part series to be stripped across one week on Channel 4. In it, a fictional crime will be authentically tried by a team including eminent practicing 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 for the murder of his wife - the deceased, and some of the witnesses. A thrilling hybrid of drama and documentary, The Trial aims to both hook viewers with the real twists and turns of a criminal murder trial and reveal the inner workings of the justice system as never seen before. Secrets of what being a juror entails will be revealed when cameras follow them into the deliberation room as they try to reach their verdict. The trial centres around the murder of 38-year-old Carla Davis, who was strangled to death in her own home. The accused is her estranged husband, Simon. The prosecution is led by Max Hill QC with junior barrister Michelle Nelson. Defendant Davis... Written by Channel 4

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Release Date:

21 May 2017 (UK) See more »

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Aspect Ratio:

16:9 HD
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User Reviews

Hokum obscures the real drama
2 January 2019 | by markel-87497See all my reviews

This was a disappointing series because it used the contrivances of bad drama to obscure an important subject: the human nature of the justice system. I have been on two juries ( none a murder case) and deciding evidence is 'beyond a reasonable doubt' is dramatic enough without all the histrionics employed by this team of filmmakers. The inveterate use of close-ups is usually a good indication of bad directing; in a real trial trial there are no close-ups, just the tense space of uncomfortable people in a room together because of distressing circumstances.

Then there was the constant use of dramatic recreations. In a real trial you would have barren recreations of time and space sketched out in a video or on a whiteboard instead of these filmed dramas which could have never been used as evidence in a courtroom. Also, the timing was excruciatingly slow; there was about two episodes of material there stretched out to five overly long hours.

The drama in a real trial is the studied absence of drama and even the occasional flamboyance of a famous lawyer is looked up with distaste. Speaking of that, the defense lawyer with his organ-tone drawl was very irritating. he might as well have been selling snake oil. If he had been my lawyer, QC or not, the moment he opened his mouth he'd be out the door.

The way to due a series like this would have been to make it as realistic a trial as possible, not by hyping the drama but by revealing the boredom, the slowness of time, and the moments of real drama involving human beings and their lives. I have seen similar programs do this very effectively; one, done a few years ago, featured John Turturro as a shambolic detective. "The Night of...". That series made prison life come alive for me. "A Murder in the Family" just reminded me of a lot of bad movies.

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