Following the launch of indie, Content Kings last month, the production company has revealed details of its first ITV commission: Accused of Murdering Our Son – The Steven Clark Story.
The one-off crime documentary follows the “mental torture” of Charles and Doris Clark who were arrested on suspicion of murdering their son 28 years after his disappearance. It has been co-produced by Content Kings and Green Rock.
Investigated by ex-detective Mark Williams-Thomas – who exposed Jimmy Savile as a predator in the multi-award award-winning The Other Side of Jimmy Savile for ITV – the documentary reveals new information from the investigation that has never been in the public domain.
Steven Clark, 23, disappeared in mysterious circumstances following a family walk with his mother on the 28th December 1992. Then 28 years later, in September 2020, his parents Doris, 81, and Charles, 78, were arrested on suspicion of murder following a cold case review by police from the Cleveland and North Yorkshire Cold Case Unit.
Following the investigation over 17 weeks, the documentary explores both sides of the story and reveals the mental torture experienced by the couple forced to relive the anguish of Steven’s disappearance and face the prospect of going to jail for the rest of their lives.
Williams-Thomas, who also produced the documentary, says, “Over 17 weeks I followed Charles and Doris whilst they were accused of the murder of their son. My approach was to be totally impartial, my questioning direct, as I unpicked their accounts and explored the possible scenarios around Steven’s sudden disappearance. It’s a compelling real-life story, providing an intimate insight to the unique experience of this couple that is as close to a crime drama as you will ever see on television.”
The ITV documentary is the first major commission co-produced by Content Kings and Green Rock since Content Kings formally launched last month. British film director and writer, Terry Winsor, also worked on the commission as an Executive Producer.
Jonathan Levi, co-Executive Producer and Managing Director of Content Kings, who previously collaborated with Winsor on the four-part part ITV factual drama ‘Hatton Garden’ starring Timothy Spall, adds, “We’re pleased to reveal this first major commission that is a result of many unique talents. Through Mark’s journey, we discover the true pain and trauma caused by this investigation with never-before-seen access to the Clarks. They say they do not know why they are being accused of murder, what the new evidence is and if they will go to jail. More importantly, nearly 30 years later Doris and Charles Clark say they still don’t know what happened to Steven and we gain a painful insight into what it’s like not just to lose your son, but to be accused of his murder without proven facts.”
Simon Green, founder of Green Rock and producer of the documentary, added, “ITV set us a challenge to create this one-off crime documentary in a more cinematic and engaging way. So, we enlisted the help of Terry, who co-executively produced this production, and the result of this cocktail of talent and skill sets is amazing.”
Visually inspired by the likes of Wallander and Baptiste, producing ‘Accused of Murdering Our Son – The Steven Clark Story’ was no easy feat Green said, “There was a lot of information to process that we had to articulate in a rich and engaging way. If it were any other time this could have been a run of the mill documentary, yet throughout this challenging time we managed to maintain the discipline to tell this story in a thought-provoking way and all of the post-production was completed remotely using Green Rocks cloud-based facility, but it worked well.”
Now ruled out as suspects in the murder investigation, Doris and Charles aim to get on with their lives and still live in hope that one day Steven will return to their family home.