Acorn TV’s ‘Deadwater Fell’ Is More of a Whydunit Than a Whodunit

Deadwater Fell
Courtesy of Acorn TV
Courtesy of Acorn TV

On the surface, Deadwater Fell bears a passing resemblance to British mystery Broadchurch. It also starred David Tennant, was set in a close-knit community and delved into the aftereffects of a brutal crime.

But creator Daisy Coulam (Grantchester) calls her four-episode drama a whydunit rather than a whodunit. “It is a psychological study of a crime,” she notes, “and although there are suspects and a police investigation, it becomes more about exploring what drives people to commit these horrific acts.”

Tennant plays respected doctor Tom Kendrick, who survives a devastating house fire that kills his wife, Kate (Anna Madeley), and their three daughters.

But the tragedy wasn’t an accident, and as the townsfolk in their Scottish village, especially Kate’s good friend Jess Milner (The Good Fight‘s Cush Jumbo), mourn those lost, flashbacks reveal cracks in the seemingly pristine Kendrick family veneer.

David Tennant Deadwater Fell

(Credit: Acorn TV)

Coulam was inspired by true-crime shows like Making a Murderer and thrillers like Sharp Objects: “It gives you all the answers, but you’re not spoon-fed them. You have to piece it together like a giant jigsaw puzzle.”

Deadwater Fell, Series Premiere, Monday, April 6, Acorn TV