The BBC has revealed that the popular drama series Showtrial is set to make a comeback, featuring an entirely new cast and a gripping murder investigation storyline. Produced by World Productions (known for Vigil, Line of Duty, and Anne) for both BBC One and iPlayer, this fictional drama has been penned and conceptualised by Ben Richards.
The upcoming edition of Showtrial will showcase the talents of BAFTA award recipient Adeel Akhtar (noted for Sherwood, Ali & Ava, Utopia), Nathalie Armin (renowned for Home, Unforgotten, The Batman), and Michael Socha (acknowledged for The Gallows Pole, Chernobyl, This Is England). The narrative will once again revolve around a fiercely disputed criminal trial that fractures the nation and unfolds under the intense scrutiny of the media.
In the aftermath of a brutal hit-and-run incident that leaves prominent environmental activist Marcus Calderwood on the brink of death, he utilises his final moments to unmask his assailant – an officer of the law. Yet, the identity of this enigmatic ‘Officer X’ remains concealed. What revelations does his personal history hold about the complexities of trauma and vengeance? Was Marcus’s demise an unfortunate accident or a calculated act of murder?
From the dying breath of the victim to the ultimate pronouncement of the jury, Showtrial immerses us in the lives of Justin Mitchell, a charismatic and brash officer portrayed by Michael Socha; Sam Gill, a nervous defence solicitor with a track record of championing seemingly lost causes, played by Adeel Akhtar; and Leila Hassoun-Kenny, an exacting CPS lawyer spearheading the prosecution against the defendant, portrayed by Nathalie Armin.
As public fury escalates to a crescendo, Showtrial raises pertinent queries about the repercussions of a trial dominated by contentious themes. It prompts contemplation on whether absolute clarity can ever be achieved in matters of truth. In the midst of such soaring tensions, can a trial truly be impartial and equitable?
Showtrial creator and writer Ben Richards says: “I am very grateful to the BBC for the opportunity to explore another sensational trial which I hope will be just as entertaining as our first outing. I love writing Showtrial and I’m honoured to have a cast of such high quality to deliver it.”
Adeel Akhtar says: “I’m a big fan of Ben’s writing and so excited to be given the opportunity to join the second series of a brilliant show.”
Nathalie Armin says: “I’m thrilled to be a part of this brilliant story. Leila is a fascinating role and I can’t wait to bring her to life.”
Michael Socha says: “Loved series one! I cannot wait to get into the shoes of a character with such depth and ambiguity.”
Simon Heath, CEO, World Productions says: “Ben’s sharp, timely and provocative scripts have once again attracted a stellar cast to this new season of our Showtrial anthology. I can’t wait to see how Adeel, Nathalie and Michael bring to life Ben’s compelling triumvirate of lead characters.”
Lindsay Salt, Director of BBC Drama says: “We’re so excited to once again join forces with Ben Richards and World Productions to bring a new unmissable Showtrial to BBC One and iPlayer. With Adeel, Nathalie and Michael leading the cast, and a brand new central mystery to be played out in front of the nation, Showtrial will have viewers hooked from the start.”
Showtrial (5×60) is created and written by Ben Richards, directed by Julia Ford (Everything I Know About Love, Safe) and produced by Ken Horn (Line of Duty, The Moorside). Executive producers are Simon Heath and Emma Luffingham for World Productions (an ITV Studios company), with Nawfal Faizullah for the BBC.
Showtrial is produced with support from Northern Ireland Screen, in association with ITV Studios which will also handle international distribution.