David Tennant’s new true-crime drama finally gets release date

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Hotly-anticipated three-part series will air later this month, ITV have now confirmed.

David's Tennant's true-crime drama Des, following the story of a notorious Scottish serial killer, finally has a release date.

Des, which sees the Bathgate-born actor playing Dennis Nilsen will premiere on ITV on September 14 at 9pm.

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The three-part series will follow Angus-born Nilsen’s trial, which ended with his imprisonment for life in 1983.

Dennis Nilsen, left, and David Tennant, right.Dennis Nilsen, left, and David Tennant, right.
Dennis Nilsen, left, and David Tennant, right.

Referred to as the ‘kindly killer’, Nilsen was a civil servant who would meet and befriend young men before offering them food or lodgings at his North London flat. His victims were often homeless or living off-grid, having slipped through the cracks of 1980s society.

When he was finally caught on 9 February 1983, Nilsen had murdered as many as 15 men over a period of five years, making him Britain’s most prolific serial killer of the time.

With no apparent motive, inconclusive forensic evidence and most of Nilsen’s victims living off-grid, the police started the biggest manhunt investigation in UK history. This time not for the murderer, but for the murdered.

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The story is told through the prism of three isolated men – a detective, a biographer, and Nilsen himself.

While Detective Peter Jay (Daniel Mays) and the police investigation’s attempt to get justice for as many victims as possible provides the narrative and emotional spine, the relationship between Nilsen and his biographer Brian Masters (Jason Watkins) allows us to delve into the mind of one of the most emotionally elusive serial killers the world has ever seen.

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