After weeks of speculation, Netflix is preparing to release its documentary, The Disappearance of Madeleine McCann, this week.
The new true crime docu-series looked like it might not materialise, with rows, delays and accusations that the programme makers had failed to secure access to those close to the case.
But it appears that it’s finally here, with Netflix releasing a trailer taking a look at the new, Making A Murderer-style series.
Here’s everything you need to know about it.
What is The Disappearance of Madeleine McCann about?
Madeleine McCann’s disappearance from a Portuguese holiday resort in 2007 is the world’s most famous missing child case.
She was kidnapped at just three years old while her parents had dinner with friends at a nearby restaurant.
Twelve years on, Maddie – who would be 15 years old now – remains missing, and the search continues as her parents Kate and Gerry doggedly quest for their daughter’s safe return.
What’s the controversy?
Delving into one of the world’s most famous missing child cases – a sensitive subject which has broken the hearts of millions of onlookers around the world – is a controversial move in and of itself.
But the main controversy surrounding the new documentary series stems from the McCanns themselves, who distanced themselves from the project and refused to be involved in any way.
“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, could potentially hinder it,” they have said.
“Consequently, our views and preferences are not reflected in the programme.”
The show does feature appearances from Gonçalo Amaral, the retired detective who led the initial hunt for Madeleine, and a man who has been called a “thorn in our sides” by the McCanns after he claimed Madeleine was dead and her parents faked her kidnap.
The parents sued for defamation after Amaral wrote a salacious book implicating them as orchestrators of Madeleine’s disappearance, and as reported by The Mirror, lawyers are “closely watching” what he will say in the show, and may take further legal action if necessary.
Does the documentary reveal anything new?
Until the documentary is released, the magnitude of its findings will remain a mystery, but there are a few talking points that have been reported ahead of its official broadcast.
Metro reports that private investigator Julian Peribanez (who was hired by the McCanns in the wake of the their daughter’s disappearance) claims Madeleine is still alive in the show, and was abducted by traffickers because of her financial value as a “middle-class British girl”.
“That’s the main supplier of these gangs,” he says.
“The value that Madeleine had was really high because if they took her it’s because they were going to get a lot of money.”
Senior child protection officer Jim Camble also says in the film that he believes the case will be solved within his lifetime, saying “there’s huge hope to be had with the advances in technology.”
“Year on year DNA is getting better. Year on year other techniques, including facial recognition, are getting better,” Camble explains.
“And as we use that technology to revisit and review that which we captured in the past, there’s every likelihood that something we already know will slip into position.”
How extensive is it?
With key figures not associating themselves with the production, some will be wondering just how in-depth the new documentary series can go.
One rival documentary producer told The Guardian that “around 50 people are thought to have been interviewed for it,” but while that might sound like a lot, “it looks as though it is not going to be a big ‘reveal’ kind of show that some were expecting, more of a narrative piece.”
Those that have taken part include journalists Anthony Summers and Robbyn Swan, who wrote a book on the case, and the series also feature interviews with previous suspects Robert Murat, and the Russian Sergey Malinka.
Why the delays?
The show’s repeated delays have led many TV industry insiders to wonder what, if anything, has actually been uncovered in the documentary.
The docu-series was initially listed to come to Netflix on 15 March, but was subsequently pulled from the public listings.
It may be meeting that air date now, but its removal from the schedules prompted many to speculate on the behind-the-scenes chaos that may have been taking place.
The Guardian reports that individuals with knowledge of the production say a trailer was due to be released last week, only for that to be pulled at the last minute too.
It’s estimated that the show cost more than £1 million for each hour-long episode, of which there are eight, but speculation is rife that archive footage is relied on heavily, with new material taking a back seat.
When can I watch it?
The Disappearance of Madeline McCann will be on Netflix from 15 March
This article originally appeared on our sister site, inews