David Tennant to play mass killer Dennis Nilsen in docudrama

The former Dr Who takes on the role of necrophile Dennis Nilsen, who murdered at least 12 young men over five years in London. He was convicted of six murders and two attempted murders. The programme is called Des – Nilsen’s nickname – and is based on  the book Killing for Company by Brian Masters. The author had a correspondence with the killer after his arrest in 1983.

The story is told through the prism of three men: Nilsen, Detective Chief Inspector Peter Jay, played by Line of Duty’s Daniel Mays, plus Masters, played by Jason Watkins of The Crown.

It explores the personal and professional consequences of coming into contact with an individual as evil as Nilsen.

Aberdeenshire-born Nilsen lured boys and young men to his flat from 1978 until his arrest in 1983. 

He was caught after DCI Jay was called to his address to investigate fragments of flesh and bone clogging the drains.

It quickly became obvious that the police were dealing with a prolific serial killer. Nilsen was convicted at the Old Bailey and sentenced to a minimum of 25 years. The sentence was replaced by a whole life tariff in 1994 and Nilsen died in May last year.

Des will explore how a man like Nilsen was able to prey on his victims and takes a look at the police investigation and trial plus the role of the media in the infamous case.

Polly Hill, ITV’s head of drama, said: “This drama starts with Nilsen’s arrest and is looking at him through the eyes of the police officer trying to identify those he killed and deliver justice for them and the biographer he chose to tell his story.

“David Tennant is going to be brilliant as Dennis Nilsen. This has an incredible cast to bring this story to screen.”

The docudrama is being produced by New Pictures.

Kim Varvell, executive producer, added: “Dennis Nilsen’s crimes shocked the nation in the early 1980s.” 

source: express.co.uk