David Tennant to play notorious serial killer Dennis Nilsen in new ITV drama

David Tennant is set to take on a particularly gruesome new role, that of prolific serial killer Dennis Nilsen for a three-part drama for ITV, Deadline reports.

Nilsen is known to have killed at least 12 young men, and attempted to kill several more between 1978 and 1983. Nilsen’s murders were first discovered by an employee from Dyno-rod who was responding to complaints about problems with the drains from tennants in the London building where Nilsen lived, caused by Nilsen’s activities. If we’re being slightly coy it’s because this is one of the most horrific cases the country has seen…

The series is adapted from Brian Masters’ book Killing For Company which Masters wrote with the co-operation of Nilsen. The show will be told from the perspectives of three men – Masters himself (played by Jason Watkins), Nilsen and Detective Chief Inspector Peter Jay, played by Daniel May. The story will focus on Nilsen’s arrest and trial and comes from the makers of Sky and HBO’s Catherine The Great.

The series is written by Luke Neal (the first two eps) and Kelly Jones (episode three). 

This news comes at the same time as the announcement that Harrison Ford will starring in an adaptation of true crime documentary series The Staircase playing American author Michael Peterson who was accused of killing his wife Kathleen, while 2016 BBC miniseries Rillington Place saw Tim Roth portray John Reginald Christie, a serial killer who committed murders in Britain in the 40s and early 50s.

Tennant was beloved as The Doctor, but he’s also ably demonstrated he can tap into a dark side, not least when he was playing Jessica Jones’ nemesis Killgrave. 

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No TX date for Des has yet been announced.


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