Nick Holt returns to Channel 4 with another crime docudrama
Channel 4 is to broadcast a docudrama in which a fictional crime is tried during the programmes ‘as a real trial’ – featuring practicing lawyers, a genuine judge and an authentic jury of 12 members of the public.
“A trial brings together an extraordinary cast of characters – from judges and QCs, to accused and witnesses. This provides a unique opportunity to experience a case from all perspectives.” – Director Nick Holt
Over five hours, combining documentary and drama, The Trial will explore the process of trial by jury in the UK, the most fundamental cornerstone of British justice for more than 800 years, to reveal the inner workings of our justice system as it’s never been seen before. A fictional crime is being written and filmed then taken to court. The accused will be tried before twelve members of the public brought together to form a jury to sit in judgement on the case. The series will also forensically break down the approaches taken by the real prosecution and defence lawyers exploring the strategic tactics of Britain’s top QC’s.
Triple-Bafta winner Nick Holt will direct. He scooped his second Bafta for the ground-breaking documentary The Murder Trial which aired on Channel 4 in 2013. For this critically-acclaimed documentary, remotely-operated cameras were placed inside a British criminal court to capture a murder trial in its entirety. After more than three years of negotiation, The Murder Trial gave the Channel 4 audience extraordinary access to the process of justice as viewers heard evidence from key witnesses and watched the verdict and sentencing in one of the notorious and high-profile trials of recent Scottish history.
“It is arguably the most important civic duty we might all one day perform, but one that remains shrouded in secrecy. In a real-life trial no-one, apart from the jurors themselves, ever knows how they determine someone’s innocence or guilt. We want to show not only the machinations of a criminal court and the central players in a trial, but also go inside the deliberation room as the jury aims to reach a decision, demystifying this most central tenet of our legal system. This series will be both a gripping crime drama and a fascinating insight into a world in which any of us could be called to, at any time.” – Channel 4 Documentaries Commissioning Editor David Brindley