BBC announces casting for new legal drama Showtrial from producers of Line of Duty

Doctor Who's Sharon D Clarke and Star Trek: Discovery's James Frain are among the cast announced.

Sharon D Clarke

The makers of Line of Duty have announced a gripping new BBC One drama, Showtrial, penned by Cobra writer Ben Richards.

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Sharon D Clarke (Grace O’Brien in Doctor Who, Tracy , and James Frain (Star Trek: Discovery) lead the cast, who have already begun filming the five-part series in Bristol.

The legal drama centres around a court trial and promises tense twists and turns and plenty of dark humour.

In the drama, the accused is Talitha Campbell, the estranged daughter of a wealthy property developer. She’s charged with conspiring to murder a fellow university student, Hannah Ellis, and the trial thrusts the victim and accused into the media spotlight, along with their respective families.

Into that same media storm enters Cleo Roberts, “the duty solicitor on the night of Talitha’s arrest”.

“Refusing her father’s help, Talitha wants Cleo to lead her defence against a prosecution weaponising Talitha’s gender as well as her social privilege against her,” according to the BBC synopsis.

“From arrest to verdict, Cleo and defence vie with the prosecution to convince us of the truth about Talitha: Damaged scapegoat? Or cold-blooded killer? Showtrial explores how prejudice, politics and the media distort the legal process, in a timely legal drama full of dark humour.”

Rounding out the cast are Sinéad Keenan (Little Boy Blue, Care); Celine Buckens (Bridgerton); Kerr Logan (Alias Grace, Game of Thrones) and Lolita Chakrabarti (Criminal: UK).

Ben Richards, creator and writer, says: “I am delighted with the cast that has been assembled for Showtrial. It is a brilliant ensemble of talented actors that feels modern, energetic, and perfectly suited for the complex characters and storylines.”

Zara Hayes, director, says: “These scripts are thoroughly gripping and yet say something truly resonant about the justice system. I couldn’t be more honoured to bring them to life along with such a wonderful cast and the dream team in British TV drama…”

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