‘Des’ Trailer: David Tennant Plays Real Life Serial Killer in Mini-Series


Take a look at the trailer that’s arrived for Des, an upcoming three-part series that has David Tennant (Doctor Who, Jessica Jones) playing convicted UK serial killer Dennis Nilsen.

Based on the book Killing for Company by Brian Masters, the event series follows the 1983 arrest and trial of serial killer Dennis Nilsen, who killed at least at least twelve young men and boys in London between 1978 and 1983. The plot is told through the prism of three men – Nilsen (Tennant), Detective Chief Inspector Peter Jay (Daniel Mays, Line of Duty) and biographer Brian Masters (Jason Watkins, The Crown) – and covers the police investigation and trial, as well as the effect of the media coverage at the time.

All three eps are directed by Lewis Arnold (Broadchurch, Misfits), with eps 1 and 2 written by Luke Neal and ep 3 by Kelly Jones (The Musketeers). The cast includes Ron Cook, Faye McKeever, Chanel Cresswell, Barry Ward, Tony Way, and Bronagh Waugh, among others. Tennant is among the executive producers.

Aficionados of real-crime TV drama may want to add this one to their list. The trailer suggests an uncomfortable watch, with Tennant looking oh-so unsettling as Nilsen. In the UK, Des premieres on ITV on September 14th. Stan will premiere it in Australia on September 15th.

Beneath the trailer below, you can check out ITV News’ coverage on the show, which includes an interview with Tennant where he also touches on how productions have been affected by the pandemic.




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Guillermo, Founder and Manager of Screen Realm, lives and breathes all things screen and pop culture. He has over eight years' experience in the media landscape in a career that has encompassed television, radio, and the online space. When he's not working hard on Screen Realm, you can find him at a local Sydney cinema or catching up on his ever-growing list of must-watch TV shows. He's also started a video podcast with his wife, Cassandra. Find the LOUD OBSERVERS right HERE.