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Anatomy of a Scandal: The one major change from the book

Michelle Dockery stars in the drama

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Nicky Morris
Nicky MorrisTV and film writer
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Netflix's gritty new courtroom drama, Anatomy of a Scandal, follows an MP on trial for sexually assaulting a political aide and stars Downton Abbey's Michelle Dockery, Layer Cake's Sienna Miller and Homeland's Rupert Friend.  

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The series, which landed on the streamer this weekend, is based on a novel by Sarah Vaughan, who has revealed the one major change the creator's made from the book. 

WATCH: What do you think of the new series? 

Speaking to HELLO! at the show's world premiere in London on Thursday, the author explained how the role of Sophie, played by Sienna Miller, was made more prominent in the series than it was in the novel. 

Speculating about what fans of the book will make of the new psychological thriller, she said: "I hope that fans are going to love the characters of Kate and Sophie as they have in the novel. Sophie has actually got a bigger part in [the series], she's more proactive. 

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"They are going to find that it's a bit twistier because to fill six episodes requires more plot than to fill 100,000 words. So I think they are going to get a slightly different experience because obviously, it's really immersive. It's going to feel a bit pacier, more compelling and obviously, we have these amazing leads in the roles."

sienna miller© Photo: Netflix

The role of Sophie was enhanced in the series

The author and former journalist went on to reveal what she would like viewers to take away from the drama. "It's slightly different to the book but I feel it's been really faithful to the nuance and the tone of it," she explained. What was really important to me was that we talked about consent and entitlement and the legal scenes were really accurate and realistic because I took a lot of care in following a criminal barrister to make sure they were all accurate and actually, they involved a legal consultant to make sure that that was really accurate as well. 

"Hopefully they'll still want to binge it and race through it but hopefully they will still think about it in the way they might have from the book. They might still think about consent and entitlement and if there are the tiniest conversations about it then I can feel like we've kind of done our job."

anatomy couple© Photo: Netflix

Sienna Miller plays Sophie, the wife of Tory MP James Whitehouse (Rupert Friend)

For those who have yet to catch up on the new drama, it "infiltrates Britain's elite through personal and political scandal, where the truth lies between justice and privilege," Netflix explains.  

"James and Sophie Whitehouse live in a blissful and rarefied world. A Minister in Parliament, a loving family at home, James' trajectory appears without limits. Until a scandalous secret suddenly comes to light. Barrister Kate Woodcroft has a trajectory of her own, and her prosecution threatens to tear into Westminster, the Whitehouse marriage, and her own personal esteem."

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