David Tennant looks like Fraserburgh-born serial killer Dennis Nilsen in the new ITV drama Des, but did he get his accent right? Nilsen, as portrayed by David Tennant, is apparently very co-operative when asked to help the police with their enquiries after human bones are found blocking his drains. Without pretending to understand everything about who Nilsen was and why he did what he did, you hopefully can assemble something that will illuminate the unilluminatable.". At the time, he was working in a Job Centre, following stints in the police and the Army catering corps. Mon 14 Sep 2020 17.00 EDT. Last modified on Thu 10 Sep 2020 12.51 EDT. Photograph: ITV. A recreation of the infamous shots of Nilsen being lead out of Hornsey Police Station after admitting murder. It’s about trying to get some sort of sense of him, not to relate to why he did what he did but to try to understand it. Many actors would think twice before agreeing to play an infamous serial killer. “The only thing that the men who were killed by Nilsen did wrong was go home with someone who was being nice to them and had offered them a drink or a meal,” says Neal. Image: Stan. Sometimes he would drone on a little, but there was certainly nothing extraordinary, apparently, about this man. Nilsen, from Fraserburgh in Aberdeenshire, died in jail in 2018. By Ian YoungsEntertainment & arts reporter. It is true that our growing obsession with true crime (ITV appears particularly keen on the genre, having recently screened White House Farm about the Jeremy Bamber case and Jeff Pope’s A Confession, which followed the case of the Swindon taxi driver Christopher Halliwell) brings with it a responsibility to the families of those who were killed. David Tennant plays serial killer Dennis Nilsen in new ITV drama Des. At his trial, prosecutors described him as a cunning and resourceful murderer who had killed for pleasure. David Tennant portrays serial killer Dennis Nilsen in ITV drama Des. David Tennant transformed into Scottish serial killer and necrophile Dennis Nilsen in the trailer from the chilling ITV drama Des. David Tennant's latest role may be his most gruesome one yet. "Of the few people I met who had personally known him, one of the most frequent descriptions seems to be that he was actually rather boring," Tennant says. ITV has offered a first look at David Tennant as Scottish serial killer Dennis Nilsen in its newly-announced miniseries Des.. “I think it’s a drama as much about how you cover crime as it is about the crimes themselves,” he says. The drama is based on the book Killing for Company by Brian Masters and will follow the arrest and trial of Nielsen – also known as the 'Muswell Hill Murderer' – in one of the most infamous cases in UK criminal history. Nilsen murdered at least 15 men between the years of 1978 and 1983 in London. David Tennant in the Netflix series Criminal. The unfortunate thing for these poor men was that someone they trusted was a predator. That we haven’t gone home with someone to carry on a party or because you feel like you trust them. Most true-crime dramas have to walk a fine line between telling the story the audiences want to hear and sensationalising real and still painful events. David Tennant as serial killer Dennis Nilsen from the ITV drama Des. David Tennant stars as notorious murderer Dennis Nilsen in new ITV drama Des. How David Tennant transformed himself into serial killer Dennis Nilsen About to star as the notorious murderer in the new ITV drama Des, the actor explains the extraordinary challenges involved Here's the chilling true story behind David Tennant's Des and real-life British serial killer Dennis Nilsen. David Tennant's startling physical transformation into Dennis Nilsen, one of Britain's most notorious serial killers, is shown in a new trailer. “We came to the conclusion that you couldn’t use flashbacks because the only person who knew the truth of what happened on those evenings was Nilsen, and using flashbacks would be giving credence to his version of events,” says Arnold. Des: Horrific way children reacted to Dennis Nilsen murders Des cover-up: Dennis Nilsen's secret smirk hidden from ITV drama Des star David Tennant divides fans with Dennis Nilsen portrayal David Tennant is set to play Dennis Nilsen, an infamous killer known as the Muswell Hill murderer, in the new ITV drama Des. Lucy Mangan @LucyMangan. "It's something that everyone was always very keenly aware of," he says. David Tennant plays Dennis Nilsen in Des. All rights reserved. .css-14iz86j-BoldText{font-weight:bold;}Dennis Nilsen was one of Britain's most notorious serial killers. .css-po6dm6-ItalicText{font-style:italic;}Des is on ITV in three parts from Monday 14 to Wednesday 16 September. The main mystery in any TV drama about a murder - or murders - is usually whodunit. Luke Neal's script "presented this character who will remain forever unknowable, I suspect", the actor says. What drew him to Des, however, was the sensitivity with which the writer, Luke Neal, and the director, Lewis Arnold, planned to tell their tale. How does a human being like this come to be, and how do they travel undetected for as long as he did?". He transforms into Scottish serial killer Dennis Nilsen in the upcoming miniseries Des, which premieres this Thursday.Nilsen … David Tennant says people have often pointed out his resemblance to Dennis Nilsen. “Film-makers making a true crime series have a responsibility: they have to be mindful of the victims and sensitive about the kind of story being told. David Tennant is eerily uncanny as the notorious serial killer Dennis Nilsen in new snaps released of ITV drama Des airing in September. David Tennant says people have often pointed out his resemblance to Dennis Nilsen. Des, starring David Tennant as Nilsen – who passed away in 2018 after spending 35 years in prison – will run from 9pm tonight (Monday) to Wednesday on ITV The two men share a Scottish background (Nilsen grew up in Fraserburgh, Aberdeenshire), and a similarity of build and colouring, so it was perhaps unsurprising that Tennant found himself circling the role. David Tennant as Dennis Nilsen (Image: ITV) Nilsen also admitted boiling heads in a cooking pot on his stove to dispose of the brains. They did reach out to the families involved, “some of whom talked to us and some of whom didn’t want to be involved, understandably”. “I don’t think any of us can stand there and say we haven’t done that. Des also features superb performances from Watkins as Nilsen's biographer, and Daniel Mays as dogged Detective Chief Inspector Peter Jay. "I think Dennis Nilsen himself became rather obsessed with his legacy after he was caught," the star says. Watkins also knows about playing real-life characters, including Prime Minister Harold Wilson in The Crown and the Bafta-winning title role in The Lost Honour of Christopher Jefferies. A recreation of the infamous shots of Nilsen being lead out of Hornsey Police Station after admitting murder. In hospital, doctors later repaired a ruptured abdominal aortic aneurysm. "It certainly would seem that those who worked with him at the job office found him pleasant enough. Des starts on ITV on Monday 14 September at 9pm and continues on Tuesday and Wednesday. David Tennant plays Dennis Nilsen in Des, the new three-part ITV drama which will explore the gay serial killer’s life and the investigation which led to his capture.. David Tennant's latest role may be his most gruesome one yet. Dennis Nilsen: Serial killer died in 'excruciating pain', What's in store for US President-elect Biden in 2021? The murderer, who changed the conversation on killers in the UK after his killing spree between 1978 and 1983 is the star of ITV and Sundance Now's new drama and his story is one that reads stranger than fiction. It was never our intention to glorify Nilsen.”, It is partly because of this that Neal and Arnold chose to eschew flashbacks, a standard device in true-crime dramas. 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