Friday, 19 May 2017

The Trial: A Murder in the Family

Go behind the scenes in this gripping legal drama

Written by Ben Felsenburg

Nice chap, Simon Davis, a tall, beaky university professor who’s devoted to his family: Carla, his younger and very beautiful wife and their two children. At least, that how itBen-Felsenburg-colour-176 was until Simon and Carla broke up when she found a new man. Then she turned up rather dead and the police put their cuffs on the estranged husband who’d been kicked out of his old home.

The Trial: A Murder in the Family (Sunday, Channel 4, 9pm) follows every lick and spit in the courtroom as Simon protests his innocence while facing a very likely life sentence. The case is fictitious and Simon and his family are played by actors: pretty much everything else is real, but freed of the edict against cameras in the real legal system, meaning that we can soak up all the drama and mystery of the trial and the deliberations of the jury.

The last, I guess, is intended to be the most revealing part of the show, and the deliberations of the 12 men and women good and true reflect the ethical and intellectual variety of humanity, but still the jurors are quietly reassuring in the good sense they talk.

No surprise that the legal eagles are the stars of the show, most of all Simon’s sublimely smooth defence brief John Ryder QC: his voice the very essence of velvety plum juice, he possesses a nice line in cerebrally high-powered utter amorality. If I’m ever headed for the clink I know who to call.


He’s about to retire, but the ever-doughty detective returns to reopen the case of a woman jailed for killing her husband.

PRINCE PHILLIP: 70 years of Service (Monday, ITV, 9pm)
Alan Titchmarsh celebrates a life dedicated to serving the nation at HM The Queen’s side.

PAULA (Thursday, BBc2, 9pm)
A one-night stand goes very wrong when a woman falls for a handsome rogue, in a riveting new thriller starring Denise Gough and Tom Hughes.

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