BBC’s Showtrial Season 2 Starts Filming in Belfast in November

Image Credit: Joss Barrett/BBC/World Productions

The filming of BBC’s courtroom series ‘Showtrial’ season 2 is set to commence in Belfast, Northern Ireland, in November. The second season of the anthology series revolves around the high-profile climate activist Marcus Calderwood, who identifies his killer as a serving policeman during his dying moments upon a violent hit and run. From the victim’s last breath to the jury’s final verdict, the season takes us into the worlds of the charismatic and cocky officer Justin Mitchell, an anxious defense solicitor with a reputation for winning lost causes named Sam Gill, and Leila Hassoun-Kenny, a rigorous CPS lawyer leading the case against the accused.

While the show’s first season was filmed in Bristol, England, and particularly the University of Bristol, for the second season, the production team has picked Belfast. In April 2021, a fairground was set up outside Bristol University’s Physics building with a Ferris wheel and helter-skelter for the filming of season 1. The shooting at the University grounds was done for the first round’s flashback scenes.

Produced by World Productions for BBC One, the production of the sophomore round will be supported by Northern Ireland’s screen agency, Northern Ireland Screen. The new location of Belfast is known for its magnificent tourist attractions and it’s no wonder several hit shows such as ‘Game of Thrones’, ‘Line of Duty,’ ‘Derry Girls’, ‘Conversations with Friends’, ‘The Fall’, etc. were filmed here. There are several dedicated ‘Game of Thrones’ tours in Belfast that take you to walk trails called Winterfell Trek and scenic locations like the Giant’s Causeway.

Ben Richards, who created the series, remains the head writer. He is known for creating ‘The Diplomat,’ Sky One’s political thriller ‘COBRA,’ and Liam Cunningham-starrer ‘Outcasts.’ His credits also include ‘C. B. Strike,’ Richard Dormer-starrer ‘Fortitude,’ Stephen Dillane-starrer ‘The Tunnel,’ etc. Directed by Julia Ford, who is known for directing multiple episodes of ‘Everything I Know About Love’ and ‘Safe,’ each episode of the new season will run the same length of 60 minutes and showcase the challenges of a complex trial.

What’s unique about the second season of ‘Showtrial’ is that a brand new cast will feature in the same with BAFTA Award-winner Adeel Akhtar (‘Sherwood,’ ‘Ali & Ava,’ and ‘Utopia’), Nathalie Armin (‘Treason,’ ‘Unforgotten,’ and ‘The Batman’), and Michael Socha (‘The Gallows Pole,’ ‘Chernobyl,’ and ‘This Is England’) playing Sam Gill, Leila Hassoun-Kenny, and Justin Mitchell respectively.

The new cast is thrilled to be a part of this hit series with Akhtar stating that he’s a “big fan of Ben’s writing and so excited to be given the opportunity to join the second series of a brilliant show.” Armin, who plays a lawyer, shared that she’s “thrilled to be a part of this brilliant story. Leila is a fascinating role and I can’t wait to bring her to life.” Socha also said he “loved series one [and] cannot wait to get into the shoes of a character with such depth and ambiguity.”

The first season of the five-part British series is about a wealthy entrepreneur’s daughter, Talitha Campbell (Céline Buckens), who is accused of the disappearance of her classmate Hannah Ellis. The season focuses on both sides of the prosecution and defense and shows multiple perspectives as to what really happened. Through the exploration of a complex legal system, the first round showcases the class divide between the rich and the underprivileged and the differences between truth and perception.

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