IYV's The Twelve follows a dozen seemingly ordinary people from diverse backgrounds who have been summoned to the Supreme Court

​Thursday: The Twelve (ITV1, 9pm)
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​Who doesn’t love a good courtroom drama?

There have been quite a few good ones to come out of America down the years – Perry Mason, Law & Order, Boston Legal – to name a few, while British viewers have been gripped the likes Judge John Deed, Kavanagh QC and Rumpole of the Bailey.

Nevertheless, the legal drama genre is a relatively untapped source Down Under.

Sam Neill leads the castSam Neill leads the cast
Sam Neill leads the cast
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However, that appears to have changed with the broadcast of The Twelve, the 10-part Australian series, previously available on ITVX.

Sam Neill, who leads the cast as Brett Colby, ‘one of the rock stars of the Sydney bar’, explains what makes The Twelve stand out from other shows in the genre.

“I don’t think I’ve seen anything like this before, where the lives of the jurors are as important to the plot as anything else,” the 76-year-old Northern Ireland-born Kiwi actor says.

“How those lives intersect with the future of the accused is a very important story and they all have very different, very diverse backgrounds.

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“Some of them have very difficult lives, for one reason or another, so you have one drama happening in the courtroom and 12 other dramas happening in different houses all over the city.”

Neill also shares his theory on why courtroom dramas continue to grip viewers.

“It’s possibly like submarine films,” he says.

“You’ve got a lot of people in a confined space and there’s a lot at stake.

“When it comes to drama that is also what’s happening in courtrooms. People’s lives and people’s futures are at stake.”

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The Twelve follows a dozen seemingly ordinary people from diverse backgrounds who have been summoned to the Supreme Court to decide the fate of Kate Lawson (Kate Mulvany), a woman charged with murder.

Her 14-year-old niece Claire Spears (Coco Jack Gillies) went missing when in her care, but a body has never been found and it isn’t clear what motive she would have for killing her.

With Kate’s own family divided about her guilt or innocence, what hope does the jury have of reaching the truth?

We explore the lives and loves of the people who will decide the fate of the accused, their histories, their conflicts, their families and their secrets.

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In last week’s opener, the jury was selected for Kate’s lengthy trial, and when the jurors met for the first time, it soon became clear that they are bringing their own problems to the table.

Tonight, the Crown calls Detective Sam Chedid (Louisa Mignone) to the stand and various pieces of evidence are introduced to the Court, including a disturbing video of Claire.

During his cross examination, Colby throws suspicion onto Nathan Spears (Matt Nable), as he points out the Detective’s failure to investigate him as a potential suspect.

Later, the jurors share polarising opinions on the trial thus far, as different personalities begin to rub each other the wrong way.

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Meanwhile, Garry (Brendan Cowell) is offered a dubious bribe – his debts cleared in exchange for information on his fellow jurors.

Plus, Alexi (Damien Strouthos) makes a bad decision when confronted with a horrific work-place accident, and Jarrod (Ngali Shaw) finds himself unexpectedly arrested.

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