BBC Orders Drama 'Showtrial' From 'Bodyguard' Producers

The Bodyguard S01 Still - Publicity - H 2019
Sophie Mutevelian/World Productions/Netflix

The six-part series from World Productions will center on a trial that grips a nation and examine how wealth, politics and prejudice conspire to distort the quest for justice.

The BBC is teaming with the producers of its hit shows Bodyguard and Line of Duty on a new drama. 

Showtrial, from writer Ben Richards (Strike, The Tunnel) and the ITV-owned banner World Productions (Line of Duty, Bodyguard, Save Me), will examine how wealth, politics and prejudice conspire to distort the quest for justice, focusing on a trial that grips a nation and thrusts both victim and accused into the heart of a media storm. 

The six-part series will follow Talitha Campbell, the arrogant daughter of a wealthy entrepreneur, who is arrested following the disappearance of fellow student Hannah Ellis, the hard-working daughter of a single mother. From Campbell's arrest to the jury’s final verdict, Showtrial will switch between both sides of the legal battle, as the defense and the prosecution fight for their version of what really happened to Ellis and the truth about Campbell: Falsely accused? Or callous murderer?

"The right to a fair trial and the idea of reasonable doubt lie at the heart of a civilized society," Richards said Tuesday in a statement. "Showtrial explores how they can be distorted by other factors, in a world where concepts such as fairness, doubt and reason are afforded such diminishing value."

Added World Productions CEO and creative director Simon Heath: "It’s great to be working again with Ben Richards, who uses the DNA of our true-crime obsession to create a gripping fictional murder trial that shines a light on the failings of our justice system."

Showtrial was commissioned by Piers Wenger, controller of BBC Drama, and Charlotte Moore, director of BBC Content. It will be executive produced by Heath for World Productions and Mona Qureshi for BBC One.

Casting and further details have yet to be announced.

ITV Studios Global Entertainment will handle international distribution.