TV Guide

Every Question You Have About Anatomy Of A Scandal, Answered

Here’s everything you need to know about the new crime drama that’ll keep you on the edge of your seat this spring.
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In a nutshell:

Sienna Miller is the star of Netflix’s tense new courtroom drama, which will be the first instalment of a multi-season anthology series chronicling the personal and political scandals of Britain’s elite.

What is the plot of Anatomy of a Scandal?

An adaptation of Sarah Vaughan’s gripping novel of the same name, the show is billed as a six-part psychological thriller set in the shadowy parliamentary offices of Westminster. At its heart are James and Sophie Whitehouse, a government minister and his doting wife whose lives are upended when the former is accused of rape. The pair are thrust into the spotlight, but Sophie is convinced of her husband’s innocence and determined to protect her family. Meanwhile, Kate Woodcroft, the barrister poised to prosecute the case, is equally certain of his guilt and hellbent on making him pay for his alleged crimes. It’s set to be a riveting examination of privilege and power which will also, according to the show’s creators David E Kelley and Melissa James Gibson, tackle “entitlement, truth, and the boundaries of consent.”

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Who’s in the cast of Anatomy of a Scandal?

Miller will play Sophie, an Oxford graduate and mother of two whose idyllic existence slowly unravels. Taking on the role of her partner James, an ambitious and charismatic operator who is close to the prime minister, is Rupert Friend, while Michelle Dockery is Kate, the lawyer who specialises in prosecuting sexual crimes and believes she’s been handed the case of a lifetime. Rounding out the cast is Naomi Scott as James’s accuser, Olivia Lytton – a bright young parliamentary researcher who previously had an affair with him – and Josette Simon as James’s lawyer Angela Regan.

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“It feels like an important and timely story to explore,” Miller said of the show in an interview with Vanity Fair in 2020. “What is rape? How are women complicit in the unfolding of their lives? And how well can anyone know anyone else? It’s deep and raw, and is being created by an amazing team of producers and writers, and I’m a huge fan of our director SJ Clarkson.”

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Who’s behind the camera on Anatomy of a Scandal?

Clarkson – who is known for her work on Jessica Jones and The Defenders, and was recently announced as the director of the upcoming Dakota Johnson-led Spider-Man spinoff Madame Web – will take the helm for all six episodes. The showrunners are equally impressive: Melissa James Gibson, who has been Emmy-nominated for her work on House of Cards, and 11-time Emmy winner David E Kelley. If the latter’s track record as the creator of Big Little Lies, The Undoing and Nine Perfect Strangers, is anything to go by, Anatomy of a Scandal should be as suspenseful as it is splashy.

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When will Anatomy of a Scandal be released?

Anatomy of a Scandal will premiere on Netflix on 15 April.

What will future seasons of Anatomy of a Scandal cover?

Per Deadline, the series is being envisioned as an anthology, with the hope that each new season will focus on a different scandal. It’s already drawn comparisons to A Very English Scandal, which cast Hugh Grant as Liberal MP Jeremy Thorpe and Ben Whishaw as his sometime lover Norman Josiffe, while the show’s second instalment, A Very British Scandal, centred on Claire Foy and Paul Bettany as the warring Duke and Duchess of Argyll.

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How should I entertain myself until Anatomy of a Scandal arrives?

It’s worth rewatching both A Very English Scandal and A Very British Scandal, as well as The Undoing, another study of a seemingly perfect marriage falling to pieces. Make sure to read Sarah Vaughan’s source material too, and then order her follow-up, Little Disasters – an unsettling exploration of postnatal anxiety which is also set to be adapted for the screen.