Deadwater Fell arrives on Channel 4 this January but what inspired the captivating drama series?

Crime always makes for a fascinating watch; whether that’s in a drama series, documentary or a film, there’s just part of the human mind that gets drawn in by actions of ill intent.

Channel 4’s new drama, Deadwater Fell, is steeped in suspicion and distrust after a seemingly perfect and happy family are killed in a house fire.

However, cracks in the idyllic community they live in start to appear as suggestions of foul play start to unfurl.

All of this sounds like it’s been taken from a true crime documentary but is the series based on a true story?

What is Deadwater Fell about?

Deadwater Fell tells the story of how a seemingly idyllic community is torn apart when a loving family is murdered by someone they knew and trusted.

Cracks quickly start to appear in what was once an apparently perfect community with distrust taking centre-stage as each member of the tightly-knit society has something to hide with Tom (David Tennant), the father of the murdered family, falling under suspicion for the killings.

On paper, the show sounds as if it’s been taken from a typical true crime documentary that have flooded the likes Netflix in the past few years and there’s a very good reason for that. 

Is Deadwater Fell based on a true story?

No, Deadwater Fell is not based on a true story as such.

However, with the popularity of true crime documentaries and similar drama series at a seemingly all-time high, the series’ writer Daisy Coulam and producer Emma Kingsman-Lloyd have revealed the inspiration behind Deadwater Fell.

In a Q&A session before the first episode aired, the duo revealed that the series is actually inspired by the Netflix true crime documentary The Staircase which tells the true story of a novelist, Michael Peterson, who was suspected of killing his wife after she had died falling down a flight of stairs.

However, it was revealed in an autopsy that she had injuries inconsistent with her fall and Peterson was then tried for her murder despite protests of innocence. 

Deadwater Fell takes inspiration from this as, even though Tom’s family supposedly died in a fire, it becomes apparent that they were killed before the blaze took hold. 

The real locations where Deadwater Fell was filmed

Channel 4‘s Deadwater Fell is set in the idyllic fictional village of Kirkdarroch and features plenty of locations from across Scotland that were used for filming.

The primary locations that stood in for Kirkdarroch were the East Ayrshire village of Dunlop and as well as Kilbarchan in Renfrewshire to the west of Glasgow.

Meanwhile, a crucial beach scene in the show was filmed on the west coast of Scotland at Culzean Beach, which is part of the Culzean Country Park and is located about an hour away from Dunlop in Ayrshire.

Deadwater Fell begins on Channel 4 at 9pm on January 10th.

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