Des (TV series)
|Based on||Killing for Company by Brian Masters|
|Written by||Luke Neal (episodes 1, 2)|
Kelly Jones (episode 3)
|Directed by||Lewis Arnold|
|Theme music composer||Sarah Warne|
|Country of origin||United Kingdom|
|No. of series||1|
|No. of episodes||3|
|Picture format||2:1 1080i|
|Audio format||Surround sound 5.1|
|Original release||14 September –|
16 September 2020
Des is a British three-part television drama miniseries, based on the 1983 arrest of Scottish serial killer Dennis Nilsen, after the discovery of human remains causing the blockage of a drain near his home. The series premiered on 14 September 2020.
- David Tennant as Dennis Nilsen, serial killer
- Daniel Mays as Detective Chief Inspector Peter Jay
- Jason Watkins as biographer Brian Masters
- Ron Cook as DSI Geoff Chambers
- Barry Ward as DI Steve McCusker
- Ben Bailey Smith as DC Brian Lodge
- Ross Anderson as Douglas Stewart, one of the attempted murder victims
- Laurie Kynaston as Carl Stottor, one of the attempted murder victims
- Jamie Parker as Allan Green QC, trial prosecution counsel
- Pip Torrens as Ivan Lawrence QC, trial defence counsel
- Ken Bones as Justice David Croom-Johnson, trial judge
- Chanel Cresswell as Lesley Mead
|No.||Episode||Directed by ||Written by ||Original air date ||UK viewers|
|1||Episode 1||Lewis Arnold||Luke Neal||14 September 2020||11.95|
|2||Episode 2||Lewis Arnold||Luke Neal||15 September 2020||10.70|
|3||Episode 3||Lewis Arnold||Kelly Jones||16 September 2020||10.93|
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).
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.
The series was well received by critics and described as a "sensitive, finely worked drama showing the unrelentingly bleak reality of the monstrous narcissist". Tennant's performance was considered "one of his best in an impeccable career".
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."
In 2021, David Tennant won the award for Drama Performance, at the 26th National Television Awards, for his role in the show.
- "ITV commissions three part drama, Des - with David Tennant as Dennis Nilsen". ITV Press Center. 22 November 2019. Retrieved 23 January 2020.
- "David Tennant says TV drama Des 'does not celebrate' killer Dennis Nilsen". BBC News. Retrieved 14 September 2020.
- "David Tennant stars as Dennis Nilson in gripping first-look trailer for ITV drama Des". Radio Times. Retrieved 30 August 2020.
- Cremona, Patrick (11 September 2020). "When is Des on ITV? When David Tennant's true crime drama starts". Radio Times. Retrieved 14 September 2020.
- Wilson, Benji (28 August 2020). "How David Tennant transformed himself into serial killer Dennis Nilsen". The Daily Telegraph. Retrieved 30 August 2020.
- Warner, Sam (15 September 2020). "David Tennant's Des has broken a ratings record for ITV". Digital Spy. Retrieved 4 February 2021.
- Mangan, Lucy (14 September 2020). "Des review – David Tennant excels as a perfectly ordinary serial killer". The Guardian. Retrieved 28 January 2021.
- Ling, Thomas (14 September 2020). "Des review: David Tennant is superb in ITV series with killer flaw". Radio Times. Retrieved 28 January 2021.
- "Des". Rotten Tomatoes. Retrieved 29 January 2021.