Nightmare moment re-enacted: Krew Boylan, hair dyed and eyebrows shaved, plays Schapelle Corby in <i>Schapelle</i>.

Nightmare moment re-enacted: Krew Boylan, hair dyed and eyebrows shaved, plays Schapelle Corby in Schapelle.

Update: Nine will now air Schapelle at 8.30pm Sunday; in direct competition with Seven's INXS: Never Tear Us Apart. A spokesperson said the change of time was "due to the current events unfolding in Bali".

A father with white scraggly whiskers lightly nicotine-stained by the make-up artist and glued to his chin looks up at his daughter, a one-time beauty school student in a green dress seated before him in a prison garden.

Her eyebrows are shaved down each day rather than plucked, so the actor playing Australia's most famous contemporary female prisoner, who was sentenced to 20 years in jail in 2005 after being convicted for smuggling marijuana into Bali in a surf body board bag, can easily regrow her brows once filming finishes.

Twenty-seven extras - women in batik dresses and cut-off jean shorts, walking or sitting in pairs; men in brown prison-guard uniforms - complete a faux Kerobokan prison courtyard at Nerang on the Gold Coast.

It's scene 165, the denouement of the telemovie, and actor Krew Boylan, in character as Schapelle Corby, tells Colin Friels, who is playing Corby's late father Mick, that a visitor, a former prisoner, has advised her to plead guilty to gain release from the jail.

''What did you say?'' says Friels as Mick.

Her response - and most importantly, the way she says it - is a chilling end to what has been a tense shoot and will surely spark controversy again in this TV production of Corby's story, written by Katherine Thomson.

FremantleMedia optioned Fairfax journalist Eamonn Duff's account of the Corby story, Sins of the Father. ''The book and Eamonn himself were really important elements to developing the screenplay, but then I did loads of my own research,'' says Thomson.

Modelled on video footage and Instagram photos of the real thing, the set, in its sixth and final day before being torn down, includes the recreated prison cell that Corby shares with five other women, with aqua-painted window frames, pastel and salmon walls, mattresses lined up in a row and a grotty squat toilet.

The buildings are hollow plywood and plaster. In the nearby fake holding cell, water and shellac were applied to replicate years of bodies rubbing against the walls.

Friels tells the director of his understanding of Mick: ''I think he wants her to say that she should plead guilty.'' Earlier, Friels had reassured Boylan her performance as Schapelle ''sounded truthful''. Boylan admits quietly to him she feels pressured.

Later, sitting with her feet up on a bench, she says that as an actor, judging Corby's guilt or innocence ''doesn't serve the story''. She didn't pause to consider potential sensationalism ''until I got some aggressive tweets''.

Her Twitter account is now protected. ''It's part of the job,'' she says of the reaction, ''Hopefully, I'm dealing with it with some grace.''

An army of Corby supporters has mounted a social media campaign against the show, assuming it portrays Corby as guilty.

Thomson admits the legalities of writing are tricky given that most of the players, bar Mick, who died of bowel cancer in 2008, are still alive.

''I feel very much for Schapelle,'' says Thomson. ''I feel sorry that her parole has been seemingly in some state of suspension. I carry that compassion before being worried about legal things.''

Thomson admits she doesn't have a clear idea about what happened: ''I've probably got a few scenarios in my mind. I don't know that anyone will ever know.''

But she sees parallels between how the media treated Schapelle Corby and how it handled the story of Lindy Chamberlain and the disappearance of her daughter Azaria at Uluru in 1980.

Make-up and hair designer Louise Coulston says she's aiming to get ''essence of Mick'' in Friels, given the actor doesn't much resemble him, while Boylan's hair has been darkened and extensions clipped in, along with ''very groomed'' eyebrows. Contact lenses give Boylan's blue eyes more of a turquoise tinge.

Jacinta Stapleton, who plays Schapelle's sister, Mercedes, was given prosthetic teeth fitted with an overbite and gummy smile.

Friels says the story leaves guilt or innocence ''up for conjecture … I'm sure everyone has got theories about Schapelle; people say, 'She's guilty, slam her up', [or] 'Oh no, she didn't do it' … but this script doesn't attempt to do that.''

But, he says, ''to lock someone up for 20 years for marijuana, just to me is too severe''.

Schapelle was originally due to air on Monday.