A new thriller set in Scotland continues tonight on our TV screens.
When a seemingly perfect and happy family is murdered by someone they know and trust, the small Scottish community they call home becomes riven with doubt and suspicion as those closest to the family begin to question everything they thought they knew about their friends…
Deadwater Fell is four-part drama written being shown on Channel 4, created by Daisy Coulam (Humans, Grantchester) which follows two families in the fictional village of Kirkdarroch in the aftermath of a horrific crime. Part two will be shown tonight at 9pm.
As much as it is an exploration of the anatomy of a terrible crime the series is equally a forensic dissection of two relationships – Kate and Tom, Jess and Steve. BAFTA and NTA award-winning David Tennant stars as Tom Kendrick. The local GP, a trusted, admired and much-liked member of the community Tom is a doting father to three little girls, a seemingly loving husband whose marriage to Kate, played by Anna Madeley, appears nothing short of perfect. Kate is a beloved local teacher who works at the primary school alongside her best friend, and closest confidante, Jess Milner.
David Tennant said: ‘Deadwater Fell is set in the small Scottish village of Kirkdarroch. Tom Kendrick is the local GP and his wife, Kate, works in the local school. They have three beautiful children and are very much at the centre of the community. Very early on in our story, a terrible, tragic event happens; their house burns to the ground and the family are all wiped out with the exception of Tom who survives. With their best friends Jess and Steve, the community start to look into what exactly happened: was it an accident or something darker at play?’
The Paisley-raised former Doctor Who admitted what attracted him to the production was: ‘The script. Just the script. It always is really, for me. If you read a script and it connects with you, it touches you, it intrigues you and you think “I don’t want anyone else to do this because I want to do it,” that’s really the clincher. I read the first episode and was intrigued and compelled by these characters. I didn’t feel like I quite knew what everyone’s story was and that of course makes you want to know what happens next. I think Daisy created very real characters, very believable characters, and also characters that had a real history to them. That was immediately intriguing.’
He was particularly happy to come home to Scotland to shoot the series in Ayrshire.
He grinned: ‘It was hugely appealing to me to get to spend some weeks back in Glasgow. I still have family there and of course it’s a city that I grew up around and has always meant a great deal to me. Any excuse to return to Scotland I’m always happy to embrace. To be filming there with a fantastic Scottish crew and a lot of local actors too, it was one of the great joys of this job for me.’
It’s also the first time Tennant has been involved behind the scenes, as he has an executive producer credit on Deadwater Fell.
He added: ‘They’re two very distinct things. For me, as an EP on this it’s just about being involved in some of the decision making elsewhere and having a little part in that. This was not a case where the scripts needed great wrangling, they’re beautifully written by Daisy Coulam. And the cast came together very easily because they responded to that material and we got great people involved on the crew.
‘It was just nice to have a small involvement in bringing that team together and being part of the process. And also it was learning from Karen Wilson and Emma Kingsman-Lloyd at Kudos who are so, so experienced in that world. It was great to be in on some of those meetings and see what it takes to put together a television production.’