The Trial on Channel 4: What's it all about and is it fake?

The Trial: A Murder In The Family on Channel 4 tonight

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The Trial: A Murder In The Family concludes on Channel 4 tonight but what's it all about, what's real and what time is it on?

The new series is a follow up to previous Channel 4 documentary The Murder Trial, which followed a real life Scottish case in the courts.


Despite winning a Bafta for his work, director Nick Holt was frustrated at the restrictions in place surrounding the filming of real life cases.

“We were looking for ways to get back in the court,” he explained, “but the issues around consent and access meant it was going to be extremely difficult to do it again, and there were always certain doors that would remain closed to us, such as the jury room and the conferences between a lawyer and their client.

"We wondered whether there was a way we could do it again but without sidelining those.”

When does The Trial start on Channel 4?

And that's where the idea of The Trial was born, a ground-breaking five-part series to be stripped across one week from Sunday, May 21 at 9PM. Episode 3 airs tonight (May 23) at 9PM.

Unlike The Murder Trial which followed a real life case, The Trial will stage a fictional crime but it will be authentically tried by a team including eminent practising 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.

Channel 4 describes the new show as a "thrilling hybrid of drama and documentary" which '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."

What's The Trial about?

The fake 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 is represented by John Ryder QC and junior barrister Lucy Organ.

Presiding is Judge Brian Barker CBE QC – formerly the most senior judge at the Old Bailey.

Giving evidence at the trial will be forensic experts, police officers and eye witnesses as well as friends and relatives of both the deceased and the accused.

After summing up and the final evidence was heard last night, the jury went to deliberate on their verdict.

In tonight's fifth and final show, the jury concludes its deliberations, while Simon Davis (Michael Gould) and both legal teams await their verdict

The Trial on Channel 4
The Trial on Channel 4

But will it be the right one?


After the verdict, the truth is finally revealed, as a dramatised segment depicts the last tragic moments of the life of Carla Davis (Emma Lowndes).

The Trial continues on Channel 4 tonight at 9PM and continues each night across the week.

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