A four-part British miniseries written and created by Daisy Coulam that aired on Channel 4 in January 2020, Deadwater Fell is set in a remote Scottish village and follows a doctor (David Tennant) whose wife and three young children are murdered in a fire. As the only survivor, investigators begin to question the father and search for a motive after finding out that all five of the victims were drugged.
With a hard-hitting and devastating first episode, Deadwater Fell is a combination of a mystery thriller with a compelling drama. Full of suspicion and speculation, the series is led by a host of talented actors and asks us to question if things are as simple as they seem.
Whilst there’s only really one suspect from the beginning, we begin watching the series by thinking that it can’t be that obvious. And as Tom’s family life slowly starts to unravel and we begin to see the cracks, more suspects begin to be questioned.
It explores these two families brilliantly, really making you question who’s to blame, whose motive is strong enough, and whether we’re seeing the real side to any of these characters.
It’s great when a writer can make you question something that we should already know, but we’re always quick to blame the male in a situation like this, so we’re made to believe that there might be more to the story. Whilst the series starts off as quite complex with numerous twists and flashbacks, the ending is pretty straightforward.
For me, this was both a negative and positive. It was a negative because I wanted something darker and more impacting from the finale, but at the same time, I think that it was a great exploration of domestic abuse. We may question what’s in front of us because we don’t want to believe something or we think there’s more to it, but really, everything was laid out straight in front of us from the start, we just had to put our doubts aside and come to terms with that.
However, as a miniseries, there’s still so much more I want to know. We only get a glimpse into the real Tom in the final few moments and I wanted to see his character get picked apart.
Albeit a short series that could be explored much further, the performances from all involved are excellent, with David Tennant’s creepy performance, especially, keeping you on edge until the very last minute.