Sunday 24 March 2019

What to expect from Netflix's new docuseries about disappearance of Madeleine McCann

Trailer for The Disappearance of Madeleine McCann released today ahead of series landing on Netflix on Friday

Madeleine McCann (PA)
Madeleine McCann (PA)
Aoife Kelly

Aoife Kelly

Netflix has finally released the trailer for their docuseries about the disappearance of Madeleine McCann, a day before it becomes available for streaming globally.

The Disappearance of Madeleine McCann comes a month after Madeleine's parents Gerry and Kate McCann outlined their opposition to the series while other key figures also reportedly declined to partake in filming.

Netflix says the series, helmed by Chris Smith, who directed Netflix's Fyre Festival documentary, blends interviews with more than 40 contributors, 120 hours of interviews, archival news footage, and reenactments.

Among the contributors are 'friends of the McCann family, investigators working the case, and those who became the subject of media speculation and rumour', some of whom give 'never-before-heard' testimonies.

Madeleine was three when she was last seen while on holiday with her parents Gerry and Kate in Praia da Luz, Portugal, in May 2007.

The ensuing Portuguese and Scotland Yard investigations have rarely left the news as Madeleine's disappearance became one of the most high profile missing child cases in history.

The Netflix documentary, which was commissioned in 2017 after the success of true crime series including Making a Murderer, charts the facts of the case and looks at its impact on media standards around the world.

Among the theories explored in the documentary is the possibility that Madeleine was abducted by a human traffickers as the "value that Madeleine had was really high" and it is easy to move children to other countries from Portugal.

However, Kate and Gerry McCann have expressed concern about the documentary, in particular that it could potentially "hinder" the ongoing investigation.

In a statement released last month, they said, “We are aware that Netflix are planning to screen a documentary in March 2019 about Madeleine’s disappearance.

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Madeleine McCann’s parents speak out against reported Netflix documentary (John Stillwell/PA)

“The production company told us that they were making the documentary and asked us to participate.

“We did not see – and still do not see – how this programme will help the search for Madeleine and, particularly given there is an active police investigation, it could potentially hinder it.

“Consequently, our views and preferences are not reflected in the programme.

“We will not be making any further statements or giving interviews regarding this programme.”

The Guardian reports that some leading British journalists who covered the story at the time also declined to take part in the documentary.

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Madeleine McCann (Family handout/PA)

Mr and Mrs McCann have always vowed to never give up the search for their daughter.

Scotland Yard launched its own investigation, Operation Grange, into her disappearance in 2013, after a Portuguese inquiry failed to make any headway.

In November last year, a further £150,000 (€175,000) was granted to the investigation to allow it to continue until the end of this month.

UK police force bosses have been applying for funding from the Home Office every six months to continue the inquiry, which has cost about £11.75 million (€13.77 million) so far.

The Disappearance of Madeleine McCann will be available to stream on Netflix on Friday, March 15.

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