Deadwater Fell is a new psychological crime drama released by Acorn Media. Starring David Tennant as Tom Kendrick and Cush Jumbo as his wife’s best friend Jess, the four part mini-series takes us into the dark heart of a seemingly bucolic village.
On the surface everything seems idyllic; a small rural town where everybody knows and likes everybody else. The children all go to the same schools and the families are all friends. The closest of these friends are Jess and her partner Steve Campbell (Matthew McNulty) a local police constable and Tom and his wife Kate (Anna Madeley). Not only are the four close, but Jess works as Kate’s teaching assistant in the local primary school.
Sounds like a tight community doesn’t it? However when tragedy strikes hidden secrets start to ooze out of the dark places where they’ve been lurking. One night Tom and Kate’s house burns down killing everybody but Tennant’s character. At first it looks like a tragic accident, then its discovered the fire was set by somebody and the adults and children had been sedated so they wouldn’t be able to escape. It was only a miracle that Tom was rescued.
So now begins the unravelling. Who could have possibly hated the family so much that they committed this crime? Over the course of the four episodes the series leads us down various trails as Steve and the local police, led by a special investigation unit from the city, try to solve this conundrum.
This is one of those shows where if any more of the story line is revealed it would be heading into spoiler territory. However, be assured all four episodes will keep you riveted. On top of an excellent script, are the superlative performances delivered by not just the four leads, but all the supporting characters down to the most minor role.
That being said as Tom Kendrick, Tennant gives us a tour de force performance. The nuances of emotion, frustration, and anger he infuses into his depiction of the father are amazing. While he’s best known for playing somewhat outrageous characters, here Tennant shows off his ability to be subtle and is equally memorable in this as he is in his more famous roles.
There aren’t many actors who can compete with Tennant on screen, but Cush Jumbo does a remarkable job playing opposite him. Those who only know her through The Good Fight might be surprised at her range and what she can deliver on screen under very different circumstances. She does a remarkable job of depicting the distance her character travels in a short time.
Deadwater Fell is a wonderful piece of television complemented by the great acting of David Tennant and Cush Jumbo. Combined with stelar writing and great direction, it all adds up to must see TV.