Des (TV series)

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Des
Des title card.svg
GenreCrime drama
Thriller
Based onKilling for Company by Brian Masters[1]
Written byLuke Neal (episodes 1, 2)
Kelly Jones (episode 3)[1]
Directed byLewis Arnold
Starring
Theme music composerSarah Warne
Country of originUnited Kingdom
Original languageEnglish
No. of series1
No. of episodes3
Production
ProducerDavid Meanti
EditorSacha Szwarc
Production companies
  • New Pictures
DistributorAll3Media
Release
Original networkITV
Picture format2:1 1080i
Audio formatSurround sound 5.1
Original release14 September (2020-09-14) –
16 September 2020 (2020-09-16)
External links
Production website

Des is a British three-part television drama miniseries,[2] based on the 1983 arrest of Scottish serial killer Dennis Nilsen,[3] after the discovery of human remains causing the blockage of a drain near his home.[1] The series premiered on 14 September 2020.[4]

Cast[edit]

Episodes[edit]

No.EpisodeDirected by [1]Written by [1]Original air date [4]UK viewers
(millions)
1Episode 1Lewis ArnoldLuke Neal14 September 2020 (2020-09-14)11.95
2Episode 2Lewis ArnoldLuke Neal15 September 2020 (2020-09-15)10.70
3Episode 3Lewis ArnoldKelly Jones16 September 2020 (2020-09-16)10.93

Production[edit]

In November 2019, production began on Des,[1] starring David Tennant as Dennis Nilsen.[5]

The drama is the ninth in a sequence of ITV miniseries featuring notorious British murder cases of the past two centuries, following on from This Is Personal: The Hunt for the Yorkshire Ripper (2000), Shipman (2002), A Is for Acid (2002), The Brides in the Bath (2003), See No Evil: The Moors Murders (2006), Appropriate Adult (2011), Dark Angel (2016), In Plain Sight (2016). The next in the sequence is The Pembrokeshire Murders (2021).

Reception[edit]

Ratings[edit]

The premiere episode was watched live by 5.4 million viewers on ITV, a benchmark previously hit in 2019 with Cleaning Up. The peak was 5.9 and nearly a third of all viewers were watching it at the time of its airing.[6]

Critical reception[edit]

The series was well received by critics and described as a "sensitive, finely worked drama showing the unrelentingly bleak reality of the monstrous narcissist".[7] Tennant's performance was considered "one of his best in an impeccable career".[8]

Rotten Tomatoes reported an approval rating of 89%. The website's critics consensus reads, "Des is a smartly scripted, sufficiently eerie true crime drama anchored by a chilling performance from David Tennant."[9]

Awards[edit]

In 2021, David Tennant won the award for Drama Performance, at the 26th National Television Awards, for his role in the show.

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c d e f "ITV commissions three part drama, Des - with David Tennant as Dennis Nilsen". ITV Press Center. 22 November 2019. Retrieved 23 January 2020.
  2. ^ "David Tennant says TV drama Des 'does not celebrate' killer Dennis Nilsen". BBC News. Retrieved 14 September 2020.
  3. ^ "David Tennant stars as Dennis Nilson in gripping first-look trailer for ITV drama Des". Radio Times. Retrieved 30 August 2020.
  4. ^ a b Cremona, Patrick (11 September 2020). "When is Des on ITV? When David Tennant's true crime drama starts". Radio Times. Retrieved 14 September 2020.
  5. ^ Wilson, Benji (28 August 2020). "How David Tennant transformed himself into serial killer Dennis Nilsen". The Daily Telegraph. Retrieved 30 August 2020.
  6. ^ Warner, Sam (15 September 2020). "David Tennant's Des has broken a ratings record for ITV". Digital Spy. Retrieved 4 February 2021.
  7. ^ Mangan, Lucy (14 September 2020). "Des review – David Tennant excels as a perfectly ordinary serial killer". The Guardian. Retrieved 28 January 2021.
  8. ^ Ling, Thomas (14 September 2020). "Des review: David Tennant is superb in ITV series with killer flaw". Radio Times. Retrieved 28 January 2021.
  9. ^ "Des". Rotten Tomatoes. Retrieved 29 January 2021.

External links[edit]