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I saw the trailer for this three-part television drama, I was definitely intrigued by the choice for the leading actor, I found out it was fact based just before watching it, and Fred West drama Appropriate Adult was brilliant from ITV, so I hoped this would be as well. Basically, in Scotland 1993, Malcolm Webster (The League of Gentlemen's Reece Shearsmith) seems a mild-mannered hospital nurse, but he turns into a monster when his new wife Claire (Sheridan Smith) is questioning him about his wild spending, and to keep her quiet he drugs with the narcotic temazepam which causes her to fall asleep constantly. A medical check-up threatens to expose his actions, and he is desperate for money, so one night in 1994 after drugging her once again he deliberately crashes the car and sets it on fire, he escapes while the car blows up and kills Claire inside, and following the funeral he receives her life insurance policy of £200,000. In 1997 Maolcolm he has moved to New Zealand, having met Felicity Drumm (Kate Fleetwood), he eventually convinces her of his feelings for her and they get married, but history is to repeat itself when he starts drugging her, he still has financial difficulties and wants to get her £750,000 insurance policy, but her parents became suspicious, and she catches him out before he can go ahead with her murder, all he says is "you would have died happy" before he gets out the car and walks away. Another couple of years pass, and Malcolm has found himself another vulnerable victim to coax and embezzle, Simone Banerjee (Archie Panjabi), and this time he goes to more extreme lengths to get her on side with him, telling her he has terminal leukaemia and going through chemotherapy, shaving his head to make it all the more convincing, and she falls for his lies, and of course falls for him as a person as well. Meanwhile the police may finally be catching up to him as they were contacted by his second wife, and they re-investigate the events that lead to the death of his first wife, DS Charlie Henry (John Hannah), DCI Neil Thompson (EastEnders' Alex Ferns) and DC Jarvis (Paul Blair) eventually get permission to write a letter to Simone explaining Malcolm's past history, but she dismisses this as nonsense. In the end of course she realises he had intended to drown her pushing her off her boat that they often went sailing on, finally in 2009, after more than fifteen years after his first wife's murder, Malcolm Webster is arrested and convicted for the murder of Claire, and attempted murders of Felicity and Simone, and he is still in prison now serving life imprisonment, a minimum of thirty years. Also starring Joanna Roth as Trisha, James Laurenson as Brian Drumm, Federay Holmes as Jane Drumm, Juliet Alderice as Margaret Drumm, Dinah Stabb as Odette Webster, Robert Benfield as Alexander Webster, Amelia Crowley as Elizabeth Webster, Ahmed Jamal as Subhash Banerjee and Mary Hearn as Elizabeth Banerjee. Shearsmith is usually seen acting in dark comedy, he is a fantastic choice to play the manipulative man who talks and lies his way out of situations and of course commits deadly crime, supporting cast members Hannah, Smith and Ferns do well also, this really does grip you with how well it is written, the sinister nature to the story, and the dark sequences of plotting, it is indeed a brilliant drama. Very good!
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