Can C4’s ‘The Trial: Murder In The Family’ refresh the crime drama format?

The Trial: Murder In The Family Channel 4

The Trial: Murder In The Family is a brand new five-part series that will be shown across one week on Channel 4 beginning on May 21st.

In some ways a follow up to the groundbreaking 2013 documentary, The Murder Trial (which was the first TV programme in the UK to show a real life murder trial in progress), this series will look to shake up the crime drama genre by featuring a fictional crime that will be “authentically tried by a team including eminent practicing QCs, a genuine judge, and a jury of 12 members of the public.”

Indeed, the only actors appearing The Trial: Murder In The Family will be the accused – a man who is pleading not guilty to the murder of his wife – the deceased, and some of the witnesses.

The hybrid of drama and documentary will seek to reveal the inner workings of the justice system as never seen before as well as hook viewers with the twists and turns of murder plot. It will also show ‘behind the scenes’ footage of what being a juror entails as it follows them into deliberation room as they try to reach their verdict.

The series has been directed by BAFTA winners Nick Holt (who won for his directing work on The Murder Trial) and Kath Mattock, who created the three-part drama series Murder for the BBC2 last year after the BAFTA-winning success of the show’s single-episode debut in 2013.

A taste of the unique style they are looking to create can be seen in these preview videos of the show…

It certainly seems like an interesting proposition, but whether the format can hold up over the course of a series remains to be seen. We’ll watch this one with interest.

Does this sound like a refreshing change or a gimmick to you? Let us know in the comments!


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