Unscripted

Channel 4 commissions legal docuseries from Spring Films

UK pubcaster Channel 4 has commissioned a four-part documentary series, The Defenders (w/t), from London-based prodco Spring Films. The series boasts unprecedented access to one of the UK’s top defence chambers ...
November 24, 2021

UK pubcaster Channel 4 has commissioned a four-part documentary series, The Defenders (w/t), from London-based prodco Spring Films.

The series boasts unprecedented access to one of the UK’s top defence chambers at 25 Bedford Row and follows a group of barristers from the moment they receive a case through the judicial process all the way to the verdict.

The defenders in the series handle everything from speeding fines to murder charges. Audiences will get to see what goes into preparing a case, like walking the crime scene and forensic examination, while the barristers prepare to go up against the police and the crown prosecutors with their clients’ futures on the line.

The series will also explore its subjects’ day-to-day lives outside of the courtroom, their families, friendships and hobbies as they deal with a tough and stressful job.

The Defenders was commissioned as part of Channel 4′s Black to Front initiative, which seeks to amplify Black stories and voices.

“We’re used to seeing TV programs about crime — but it’s rare to see what goes on in the world of the barristers defending the alleged criminals,” said commissioning editor Shaminder Nahal┬áin a release. “These films will attempt to tell us new truths about the justice system, and how it works — and the people working within it, and caught up in it. The highly topical series was commissioned as part of the Black to Front project — one of the aims of which is to tell authentic and diverse stories not often heard.”

Added executive producer Richard Melman: “For almost a year, we’ve been given a remarkable insight into a rarely seen world of remarkable people who fight everyday for justice in cases ranging from parking to murder. It’s been an eye-opening privilege.”

The Defenders comes from Spring Films and is executive produced by Melman and Kathy Myers. Commissioning editors for Channel 4 are Nahal and Rita Daniels.

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