Trigger Point: ITV drama begins with intense scenes
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Criminal Barrister Simon Spence who prosecutes and defends across Suffolk, Essex, Norfolk and London, has admitted he feels TV dramas give an “unfair” representation of court proceedings. During an exclusive interview with Express.co.uk about the influx of crime dramas and the popularity they have amongst the public, Simon revealed what happens in most fictional TV dramas isn’t what it is like in real courts.
When asked if it gets frustrating to see TV producers dramatise court proceedings or get something wrong despite the intensive research they have to do beforehand, Simon revealed sometimes scenes are “fundamentally wrong”.
He explained: “Many of us find ourselves shouting at the television when the defendant gives evidence first rather than the prosecution which I have seen.
“Sometimes there are small things that don’t matter, and other times they are fundamentally wrong, and it is done for a dramatic purpose clearly, but it’s a form of misinformation.
“Although it is drama and therefore fiction because it is based on what happens in real life, real-life jobs, it is not like it is science fiction or historical fiction they’re modern-day situations which could occur.
“If people think that is how it works, then it is a bit of a problem when they come to court in real life and find out that is not how it works,” Simon explained.
He continued: “Increasingly, we find ourselves saying to jurors, particularly in a murder case, well, it is not like you see it on the television, the forensic evidence isn’t going to give you all of the answers.
“You have got to look at all the evidence and put it in its context, so in a way, these shows are giving an unfair representation of the courtrooms because of the way people think things happen.”
Simon also touched on the impact these false proceedings have when members of the public get jobs within the courts.
“I’m speaking from the perspective of somebody wanting to become a barrister through watching it on the television,” he explained.
“When I was at school, there used to be a programme called Crown Court, and it was quite forward-thinking for its time.
“People are influenced by what they watch undoubtedly, and I am a prime example of that!”
When asked whether he thought crime series would ever die out, Simon suspected there would always be a natural curiosity for crime programmes.
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“They’ll keep going, if you think about the history of them before television came along, the biggest cases were front-page news headlines.
“The trials would be documented, and the press coverage of criminal cases going back to the 20th century were far more detailed than they are now.
“Before the days of television, it was something that caught the imagination of the public, programmes have been made about barristers for donkey’s years!”
Across channels such as ITV, BBC, Channel 4, and Channel 5, an array of crime dramas have been released over the beginning of the year.
The most recent was ITV’s six-part thriller Trigger Point saw more than eight million viewers tune in to see Lana ‘Wash’ Washington unmask Karl Maguire as the terrorist behind the deadly bombing campaign.
Since the success of the show, ITV has announced the drama would return for a second series “next year” on social media at the end of February.
A second season could also delve further into Lana’s personal life, although whether she’ll still be with DI Thom Youngblood is another matter.
Trigger Point is available to watch on ITV Hub.
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