Showtrial is a BBC crime drama series created by Ben Richards and starring Tracy Ifeachor and Céline Buckens. The 5-part miniseries concerns a high profile murder case that captures the attention of the world’s media and the general public alike. Throwing Cleo Roberts, a once high flying solicitor defending the chief suspect, back in to the spotlight. (IMDB)
The main appeal of Showtrial certainly lies in its realistic portrayal of how the UK justice system operates and also the fact that in any criminal case, the ultimate verdict is dependent on a jury views the evidence presented before them. Showtrial never quite provides us with a definitive version of the facts but allows us – like the jury – to assess the evidence presented on screen.
Key also to the narrative thrust of Showtrial is the fact that both accused are children of the wealthy and the powerful while the murder victim is working class. Which is of course a fundamental schism that exists within British society and media fodder, as played out in the miniseries.
The central character in Showtrial is Talitha Campbell (Buckens) the obnoxious college student – estranged from her wealthy family – that is hiding a dark secret from her childhood. The key question regarding Talitha is this — was she falsely accused or a callous murderer? The answer is never quite established despite the series conclusion and the audience is left to ponder Talitha’s innocence or guilt, as the case may be.
While ostensibly the main character appears to be Cleo Roberts (Ifeachor) the high stakes of the story inevitably weigh on the shoulders of Talitha and the success or failure of the miniseries to engage depends very much on whether the audience is able to emphatize with Talitha’s plight.
Now streaming at BBC.
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