David Tennant As Serial Killer Dennis Nilsen In Stan’s New Show Des Will Make Your Skin Crawl

Des - David Tennant

I don’t know about you lot, but it feels like it’s been a minute since we’ve seen a true crime show worth talking about. Enter Stan and its brand new series, Des. 

Des, for those unfamiliar, is based on the biography Killing for Company: The Story of a Man Addicted to Murder by Brian Masters. The series focuses on one of the most infamous criminal cases in UK history, that of Dennis Nilsen.

Known as the ‘Kindly Killer’, Nilsen was a civil servant who spent five years murdering boys and young men in his flat from the years 1978 to 1983.

Nilsen went undetected for five years, and was only arrested after Detective Chief Inspector, Peter Jay, was called to 23 Cranley Gardens on February 9, 1983, to investigate human remains clogging the drains.

Nielsen was arrested and convicted of six counts of murder and two of attempted murder.

In custody, he admitted to killing at least 15 people.

David Tennant in Des. 

During his trial at the Old Bailey in London, the court heard that the remains of three bodies were found at his home, while the bones from at least eight bodies were found at his previous residence in north-west London.

Nilsen reportedly met most of his victims, who were all men, at a pub. They were mostly homeless, gay, or sex workers.

He was jailed for life in 1983, and later died in May 2018.

While in prison, Nilsen was visited by Masters – the author of the aforementioned biography – who studied the serial killer over a series of interviews and letters.

Ahead of the series’ premiere on Stan, Masters wrote exclusively for The Sun about his interviews with Nilsen.

Masters said Nilsen always talked at him, not with him, “like a programmed, fully rehearsed stand-in for a spontaneous human.”

Told from the perspective of the police and Masters, Des explores how a man like Nilsen was able to prey on and murder the young and vulnerable.

David Tennant (Good Omens, Broadchurch) stepped into the shoes of Nilsen, while Daniel Mays (Line of Duty, Temple) and Jason Watkins (The Crown, The Lost Honour of Christopher Jefferies) starred as DCI Jay and Masters respectively.

You can find all three episodes of Des on Stan right now.