Four-part documentary series, The Case Against Adnan Syed, is set to screen on Sky Atlantic and Now TV in the UK from April 1. Based on the trial of Syed, which was the focus of the popular podcast serial, the new documentary series from Oscar-nominated director Amy Berg brings together never-before-seen details and groundbreaking revelations that challenge the state’s case.
In 2000, Adnan Syed was convicted and imprisoned for life for the murder and kidnapping of ex-girlfriend, Hae Min Lee. In the aftermath of Serial, a podcast that was followed by over 175 million people worldwide, thousands campaigned for the case to be reopened. It led to the annulment of his conviction and a new trial to be ordered.
20 years on, a new four-part Sky Original and HBO documentary series explores the mysterious death of high school student Hae Min Lee, delivering never-before-seen revelations and groundbreaking details that challenge the state’s case. Across four episodes, Oscar-nominated filmmaker Amy Berg’s documentary will showcase exclusive interviews with the people at the heart of the story including Syed’s family, the defence team, and friends and teachers of the two Baltimore high school students.
In production since 2015, The Case Against Adnan Syed closely re-examines the events leading up to Hae Min Lee’s disappearance, a Korean-American high school senior at Woodlawn High School in Maryland, who disappeared on January 13, 1999 and was found four weeks later in Leakin Park having been the victim of strangulation. Berg’s four-part series considers various elements of the case including its background such as the high school romance between Lee and Syed, its sense of forbidden love and the cultural conflict that affected it, to the aftermath of her disappearance, the original police investigation and the present day, when Syed awaits a new trial.
Serial’s investigation saw Baltimore Circuit Court Judge Martin P. Welch vacate Adnan Syed’s conviction in June 2016, granting him a new trial after new evidence challenged the reliability of cell phone data linking him to the scene of the crime. The decision was also made after a long-awaited alibi witness testified in court. Despite The State of Maryland appealing the lower court judge’s ruling, the Court of Special Appeals ruled on March 29, 2018 to vacate Syed’s conviction and grant him the retrial he wanted.
Initially only garnering local attention, the case became a worldwide phenomenon off the back of podcast Serial’s huge following. Its host and producer, Sarah Koenig, has stated that the show is not an original idea but wanted to focus on the “basics” such as “love and death and justice and truth”. It prompted Phil Lord and Chris Miller, directors of The Lego Movie, to consider a television programme focusing on the making-of Koenig’s podcast and how she went from “virtual anonymity to creating one of 2014’s biggest cultural phenomenons”.
In the UK, The Case Against Adnan Syed will air from April 1 on Sky Atlantic, with the Box Set available to stream in its entirety on NOW TV with a contract-free Entertainment Pass, for just £7.99.
The Case Against Adnan Syed will be available to watch in its entirety on Sky Atlantic and streaming service NOW TV from April 1, 2019.