Des, ITV's new true-crime drama, continued tonight (September 15) with its second episode as serial killer Dennis 'Des' Nilsen (played by David Tennant) began to change his behaviour as the police investigation into his crimes intensified.
Tonight's episode saw Nilsen withdraw his cooperation from the police as he began to speak more often to biographer Brian Masters (Jason Watkins). He made a number of revelations to Masters about his childhood, as well as sharing some disturbing drawings he had made with him.
His conversations with Masters led Nilsen to question his own behaviour and he started to resist speaking to the police, coldly telling Detective Chief Inspector Peter Jay (Daniel Mays) that he had "no comment" when Jay asked him to identify a man from a photo as one of his victims.
Jay and his team were nevertheless managing to make progress on the case and had identified a total of six of Nilsen's victims, but they were dealt an awful blow when their superiors announced that the investigation was being wrapped up and that Nilsen would be charged with the murders of six people, despite the fact that he had previously confessed that there were many more.
Even after another victim was identified, the police on the case were unable to add his name to the official victim list, meaning that Nilsen would not be charged with his murder – deeply disturbing Jay.
Things got even worse when Nilsen made his first court appearance and declared that he would be pleading not guilty to all the murders, leading to audible gasps from the gallery.
Viewers were shocked at the latest horrific developments in the case and many labelled the mini-series, which has broken a ratings record for ITV, "the best drama on TV":
David Tennant and Jason Watkins were both on top form in tonight's episode but special props to Daniel Mays as well. One of the best actors around right now. #Des
— SirBrianCannonHunter (@TheCannonHunter) September 15, 2020
#Des by far the best drama on tv #DavidTennant is beyond exceptional, chilling to the core. @DanielMays9 @Jason__Watkins superb acting all round. But #DavidTennant portrayal of #DennisNilsen is award winning....
— teresa morgan (@teresamorgan10) September 15, 2020
Two episodes in and I have to say that #Des is possibly the best television ITV has produced this century.
David Tennant is chillingly brilliant and Daniel Mays is matching him scene for scene.
BAFTA’s all round I expect
— Verso (@JamieVersey) September 15, 2020
This is genuinely one of the best things I’ve seen on TV in a long time👌🏼 #Des
— Max Pollard (@MaxPollard92) September 15, 2020
The scenes between David Tennant and @Jason__Watkins are absolutely riveting. An interplay of transfixed horror and ambiguous mind games. Two of this country's best actors, both giving brilliantly nuanced performances #Des
— Deborah (@DeadasDodos) September 15, 2020
Feel like I’ve just watched an acting masterclass. David Tennant is just chilling and pure brilliance. @DanielMays9 acting prowess has always fascinated and captured me. He doesn’t get enough acclaim in my opinion. Can’t wait for Ep 3! #Des
— Caroline Nicholas (@carolvnicholas) September 15, 2020
#Des is perfectly cast. Everybody looks exactly right. And David Tennant will be getting all the gongs come Awards season.
— Caroline D'Arcy (@Carodarcy) September 15, 2020
Des concludes tomorrow (Wednesday, September 16) at 9pm on ITV.
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