'Deadwater Fell' Premiere sees perfect happy family image get torn apart with murder and mystery
'Deadwater Fell' Episode 1 begins by setting up this happy neighborhood through two families and little by little it breaks apart the veneer of its happiness
Spoilers for 'Deadwater Fell' Episode 1
'Deadwater Fell' Episode 1 does a fine job of setting up an intriguing tale of betrayal and murder. The show set in a remote Scottish village introduces us to a happy neighborhood that prides itself on coming together and cheering for cyclists who cross by during a marathon. Then we meet Tom (David Tennant) and Kate Kendrick (Anna Madeley), Sergeant Steve Campbell (Matthew McNulty) and his live-in partner Jess Miner (Cush Jumbo). All of them friends and they spend quite some time together and know each other in and out, or so it seems.
These happy scenes are segued in with an officer doing a post-mortem on a body and forensic experts going through pieces of evidence. We see an accident first, as a car takes a turn too fast and overturns, and there's a building that is dilapidated after what could have been a fire accident. This segue is a set up to show how in the coming moments, everything that we have seen is going to be torn down to bits. The friendship, the camaraderie, all of it.
Kate, who seems happy on the surface, is someone suffering from anxiety and panic attacks regularly, especially in the presence of her domineering mother-in-law. She gets frazzled so easily in her mother-in-law's company that she loses her temper with the kids and ends up not paying too much attention to the road while driving them back home with her friend Jess. That's the moment the car overturns.
Then we see Jess wake up in the middle of the night to calm down one of Steve's sons who believes he saw a burglar, but what she sees instead is the Kendrick residence on fire. She wakes Steve up and the two end up arriving in time to pull out both Kate and Tom; however, their daughters are lost to the fire. Kate doesn't make it out alive either, but Tom survives and is hospitalized. So who could have started the fire?
Steve, who is also the sergeant of the neighborhood, also finds out that the kids and Kate were also pierced with pine needles which were coated with something poisonous. This is where the mystery unravels and Steve begins to investigate the case only to find out that Kate was up to something suspicious. He tracks her movements on the day of the fire accident and sees her go to a store to pick up something suspicious, but does that make her the prime suspect?
Her mental health status seems to be a topic of local gossip because it comes up during a discussion among friendly neighbors about who could have started the fire. One of them thinks that it is Tom, while another alludes to Kate's medical history by mentioning her prescriptions. The neighborhood doesn't look all that happy anymore and we can only expect the show to break the semblance of normalcy that these individuals have bit by bit, starting with Tom and Jess.
'Deadwater Fell' is originally a Channel 4 show which aired in the UK in January 2020 and has been brought to the US audience by Acorn. The show airs every Friday.