Channel 4 will be teaming up with Daisy Couman to visit Deadwater Fell in a new crime drama.
Written by Coulam (Humans, Grantchester), the four-part series is a forensic examination of a tragedy and its effects on a small Scottish community, and an exploration of the evil that can reside behind closed doors. It follows the story of two families in the aftermath of an unthinkable crime. When a seemingly perfect and happy family is murdered by someone they know and trust, cracks appear on the surface of a supposedly idyllic community.
The series examines the ripple effect of the crime on each person who knew and loved the family. From the best friends of the victims, to their parents, and the children who have to go to school the next day.
Deadwater Fell is also a dissection of two marriages. Best friends Jess and Kate were closer than sisters, they worked together at the local school and went on holiday together. But when Kate and her three children are found murdered, and her husband Tom is suspected of the crime, Jess’ world is upended in her search for answers. She is desperate to understand what caused this tragedy, and what secrets lie at the root of this horrific act. Meanwhile, her own already-fragile relationship with her husband Steve is driven to the brink of collapse amid the chaos.
Beneath the shadow of this murder, once strong relationships become fractured, respect gives way to recriminations, and friendship is replaced by suspicion. The community is now irrevocably associated with death, while those that are left behind desperately try to make sense of a tragedy that simply makes no sense at all.
Caroline Hollick, Head of Drama at Channel 4, says: “I’m so proud that Deadwater Fell is my first commission at C4. Daisy’s writing is warm and full of heart, while boldly tackling epic themes of extreme violence with psychological acuity. She is turning the norms of family drama on its head, with a story that’s deeply shocking yet always relatable.”
Emma Kingsman-Lloyd, Executive Producer for Kudos, adds: “Daisy’s beguiling new drama dissects a community in crisis and examines the human psychology behind a horrific and hard to comprehend crime. But with her signature warmth and humanity, Daisy leads the audience on a journey to examine not just the nature of evil but also love and forgiveness.”
Daisy Coulam says: “With Deadwater Fell I wanted to look at the notion of evil. We’re very quick to call something evil – to dismiss it out of hand as something inhuman or monstrous. But it is humans who commit these acts. Deadwater Fell is an unflinching look at a community we might live in, families we might know and what happens when tragedy befalls them.”
Deadwater Fell (still a working title for the drama) is produced by Kudos (Humans, Utopia, Tin Star), part of the Endemol Shine Group, for Channel 4 and has been commissioned by Channel 4’s Head of Drama, Caroline Hollick and Commissioning Editor, Manpreet Dosanjh. The series will go into production later this year and will be Executive Produced by Emma Kingsman-Lloyd and Diederick Santer. Written by Daisy Coulam (Grantchester, Humans) it will be distributed globally by Endemol Shine International.