On Sunday night Channel 4 opened its casebook on The Trial: A Murder in the Family, where a real jury – with the aid of a real judge and real lawyers – have to get to the bottom of a fictional murder.
The defendant in the trial is university lecturer Simon Davis (played by Michael Gould), a man accused of killing his ex-wife Carla Davis. In the opening episode, the jury – and viewers at home – were faced with a bag-full of evidence, rummaging through suspicious phone calls, an unexpected pregnancy and an account from a neighbour.
Did the evidence prove beyond a reasonable doubt that Simon Davis is guilty of murdering his wife?
No, say viewers. At least according to our poll, which suggests 72 per cent of people say they’d need more evidence to convict the defendant.
And that’s the opposite of the impression the show’s jurors gave. Many on Twitter were shocked by their knee-jerk reactions…
Especially when some jurors assumed that a “no comment” response to questioning was fully indicative of guilt…
Although some pointed out, as Radio Times did, that the actor who plays Davis is used to playing questionably moral men. Michael Gould played one of Darth Vader’s officers in Star Wars Rogue One.
However, most of last night’s twitterings revolved around what was real and what wasn’t. Many were VERY confused.
Remember, all the jurors, legal professionals and expert witnesses are real. The murder, defendant and all non-professional witnesses are actors.
Better study that diagram quick: the next episode is on soon…
The Trial: A Murder in the Family continues at 9pm on Channel 4 this Monday