Des: Series 1/Episode 1
Monday 14 September 2020
Written by Luke Neal
Directed by Lewis Arnold
Series Producer: David Meanti
Executive Producer: Kim Varvell
Executive Producer: Lewis Arnold
Executive Producer: Willow Grylls
Executive Producer: Charlie Pattinson
Executive Producer: Elaine Pyke
Executive Producer: Luke Neal
Executive Producer: David Tennant
On Wednesday 9 February 1983, Detective Chief Inspector Peter Jay is called to the leafy North London address of 23 Cranley Gardens, where he discovers the drains clogged with rotting flesh and bones. But the extent of this grisly discovery only becomes apparent when the culprit returns from work.
Dennis Nilsen, a meek man, freely admits to the police that it is not just one or two bodies but "15 or 16, I think".
How had they allowed this to happen under their noses for five years, and what had driven this seemingly ordinary civil servant to commit such atrocities?
As the police try to secure a conviction and identify the victims from scant DNA evidence, biographer Brian Masters attempts to understand why.
A game of chess with 'Des' begins, and while Brian may be exhilarated by his newest subject, he is unaware what this new obsession could do to his life.
David Tennant as Dennis "Des" Nilsen
Jason Watkins as Brian Masters
Bronagh Waugh as Charlotte Proctor
Laurie Kynaston as Carl Stottor
Chanel Cresswell as Lesley Mead
Pip Torrens as Ivan Lawrence QC
Daniel Mays as DCI Peter Jay
Jamie Parker as Allan Green QC
Faye McKeever as Linda Jay
Ben Bailey Smith as DC Brian Lodge
Silas Carson as Russell Cavendish
Ron Cook as Det. Chief Supt. Geoff Chambers
Jay Simpson as DS Chris Healey
Ross Anderson as Douglas Stewart
Barry Ward as DI Steve McCusker
Andrew Woodall as Professor Hardy
Tony Way as Mike Cattran
Oscar Garland as Juan
Andy Gibson for The TV Chronicle