Forget worrying about The Time Traveler's Wife, stuck home alone on the slow path. Paramount+ has a much better idea, greenlighting The Serial Killer's Wife for its U.K. production slate. Loosely based on the 2021 debut novel by Alice Hunter, the thriller is yet another series the U.K. arm of the streaming service is readying to go into production while, over in France, it starts filming French series The Signal, from Lupin creator François Uzan. All this comes as here in the U.S., Paramount+ is practically having a blood bath of cancelation, including one of its highly rated Star Trek shows, Prodigy, as it fails to keep up with Netflix and Disney+.
The new series is based on the first of The Serial Killer's Family series, of which Hunter has published two, The Serial Killer's Wife and The Serial Killer's Daughter, with The Serial Killer's Sister due out at the end of 2023. Annabel Scholey (Britannia) stars as Beth Fairchild, the titular wife of suspected serial killer Tom Fairchild, played by Jack Farthing (Poldark). The novel begins with a knock on the door one evening, with the police on the stoop and Tom missing, having not come home from work. But Beth's fears of her husband's being in an accident shift as she realizes she may not know him at all.
The Serial Killer's Wife marks the 14th U.K.-based project the streaming service has undertaken since the beginning of 2022 when it first announced a super ambitious slate of 50 international productions by the end of that year. That would probably shock Americans, as the service has yet to debut any of them over here. (The monthly list for June 2023 initially mentioned The Gold, the critically acclaimed Hugh Bonneville-Charlotte Spencer drama of the real-life 1980s Brink's-Mat robbery, but that was quickly pulled.) So far, zero of these promised shows have come to America, leaving the streamer limping along on little more than Yellowstone and hope.
Here is the synopsis for The Serial Killer's Wife adaptation, which, as book readers can see, has altered the original premise a bit.
Set in an idyllic English town, Beth Fairchild has prepared a surprise birthday party for her husband Tom. With most of the village present, as Tom is the beloved local doctor, Beth’s world is turned upside down when the party is interrupted by the police, and Tom is arrested for murder. Beth believes her husband has been wrongly accused, but she soon makes some shocking discoveries that cast doubt on his innocence, and she confides her worries in Adam, Tom’s best friend from childhood.
Scholey and Farthing play Beth and Tom, with Luke Treadaway (The Hollow Crown) signed on to play Adam. More cast for the four-episode series is expected to be announced in due course as filming gets underway in Kent. Director Laura Way (Maxine) helms all four episodes, penned by Suzanne Cowie (The Dumping Ground) and Ben Morris (Mr. Selfridge). Executive producers include Andy Morgan and Mike Benson for Clapperboard Studios, along with Chiara Cardoso and Giuliano Papadia for BlackBox Multimedia.
The Serial Killer's Wife is expected to debut in the U.K. before the end of 2023. Perhaps by then, Paramount+ might finally decide to start letting some of its hoarded British content find its way to this side of the pond.