Richard Armitage Gets Hot and Heavy In the Trailer for Racy Netflix Thriller 'Obsession'

Richard Armitage and Charlie Murphy in "Obsession"

Richard Armitage and Charlie Murphy in "Obsession"

(Photo: Netflix)

Though actor Richard Armitage is an almost universally beloved figure among Anglophiles (North and South is an absolutely perfect period drama and we should say so!), in the past few years he hasn't been on our screens all that much. Sure he's done a ton of voice work for Netflix's animated series Castlevania, a fairly incredible filmed stage version of Anton Chekov's Uncle Vanya, a couple of mid-range TV series (The Stranger and Stay Close), and that's about it.

So, imagine our surprise (and delight!) when Netflix dropped a trailer for its upcoming racy limited series Obsession, and lo and behold, Armitage is back on our screens and doing what he does best: Smoldering intensely. 

A contemporary adaptation of Josephine Hart's novella Damage, Armitage stars as talented surgeon William Farrow whose attraction to his son's fiancee Anna Barton (Peaky Blinders' Charlie Murphy) quickly spirals into a dangerous, all-consuming obsession that has devastating consequences for the whole family. The four-part series is described as an "erotic thriller", which is usually an industry code phrase that means  "steamy" and/or "full of sex," an assumption that the Netflix thriller more than confirms. (All the Richard Armitage fangirls' dreams are coming true today is what I'm saying.) 

The series' description reads as follows: 

Obsession is a thrilling and seductive four-part limited series about erotic obsession and forbidden desire. A contemporary adaptation of Josephine Hart's novella, Damage, the story centers around a dangerous love triangle that emerges when the enigmatic Anna Barton embarks on a passionate affair with her fiance's father, William. Whilst Anna fights to sustain both relationships, William is drawn into an obsessive spiral. But how long can they keep their secret hidden before someone gets hurt?

Alongside Armitage and Murphy, the series cast includes Indira Varma (Game of Thrones), Rish Shah (Ms. Marvel), Pippa Bennett-Warner (Gangs of London), Celine Arden (Bridgerton), Isla Jackson-Ritchie (Bluebird), Gregg Barnett (Fleabag), Francesca Knight (The Girl Before), Victor Pontecorvo (Black HeartsLetty Thomas (The Crown), Sonera Angel (Red Velvet Revolution), and Karim Hassan (The Boy Who Stole God).  

The limited series adaptation was written Morgan Lloyd-Malcolm (The Interrogation of Leo and Lisa), with Benji Walters (Noughts + Crosses) serving as an additional writer. 

“I loved the book, which is an amazing page-turning, erotic thriller, but it was written entirely from a man’s point of view," Lloyd-Malcom said in a statement.  "Anna, his lover, is portrayed as a kind of vamp who comes into the family, blows everything up and then disappears. Her primary function is to serve the purpose of what the male lead needs. I said, ‘If I’m going to do this, I want to make sure I dig into Anna and why she behaves in the way she does.’ I wanted to try and understand the characters in the story – and especially Anna - in a way that wasn’t just two-dimensional.”

Obsession premieres on Netflix on Thursday, April 13. 

Lacy Baugher

Lacy's love of British TV is embarrassingly extensive, but primarily centers around evangelizing all things Doctor Who, and watching as many period dramas as possible.

Digital media type by day, she also has a fairly useless degree in British medieval literature, and dearly loves to talk about dream poetry, liminality, and the medieval religious vision. (Sadly, that opportunity presents itself very infrequently.) York apologist, Ninth Doctor enthusiast, and unabashed Ravenclaw. Say hi on Threads or Blue Sky at @LacyMB. 

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