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‘The Crown’s Olivia Colman To Star In HBO & Sky Crime Drama ‘Landscapers’ From Director Alexander Payne & ‘Chernobyl’ Producer Sister


The Crown’s Olivia Colman is to star in Alexander Payne-directed crime drama Landscapers for HBO and Sky.

Landscapers is produced by Chernobyl producer Sister and is the first television screenplay from Ed Sinclair, Colman’s husband. It is being co-produced by South of the River Pictures, the new production company established by Colman and Sinclair, as revealed by Deadline.

The four-part series is the latest co-production between WarnerMedia’s premium network HBO and Comcast-backed Sky following the success of the nuclear disaster drama Chernobyl, which won ten Emmys in September.

Directed by The Descendants and Sideways director Payne, the series is inspired by real events. It tells the story of killers Susan and Christopher Edwards. Colman will play Susan Edwards. The pair, a mild-mannered couple from Mansfield in the UK, killed Susan’s parents and buried them in their back garden. The crime remained undiscovered for over a decade. It is a blackly comic true-crime drama based on extensive research, hours of interviews and direct access to the accused, who have always protested their innocence of murder.

Patricia and William Wycherley were shot dead at their home in Mansfield, Nottinghamshire, on the May Day Bank Holiday weekend in 1998. Susan and Christopher Edwards subsequently cleared out their bank accounts and spent the money on things including Hollywood memorabilia such as a letter autographed by Sergeant York star Gary Cooper.

Pivoting through various perspectives from Susan and Chris, to the police officers and lawyers involved in the investigation, the drama also explores how the pair cast themselves as Hollywood heroes in their own story.

The series will start filming in 2020.

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Landscapers will air from Monday Dec. 6 on HBO in the US with a new episode released each week.

Landscapers will air in the UK on Sky Atlantic and NOW TV on Tuesday, Dec. 7 at 9pm. All four, hour long episodes will be available to watch at launch.

Writer Ed Sinclair and director Will Sharpe use a 1998 double murder that fascinated the U.K. as a platform for a mystery and a love story. This is true crime, but as recounted by unreliable characters and calculatedly performative filmmakers. With the facts elusive, it’s left to stars Olivia Colman and David Thewlis to maintain a level of emotional truth through what otherwise feels like a collection of amusing narrative experiments.

We meet Susan (Colman) and Christopher (Thewlis) as unassuming middle-aged British expats living in Paris and harboring a secret. More than a decade earlier, they buried Susan’s parents in the backyard of their Nottingham row house. Is the truth about what happened to Susan’s parents complicated or entirely irrelevant? 

Starring Olivia Colman and David Thewlis, Landscapers tells a unique love story involving a seemingly ordinary British couple who become the focus of an extraordinary investigation when two dead bodies are discovered in the back garden of a house in Nottingham, England. Based on real events, the series is an exhilarating and darkly funny exploration of love and fantasy, featuring Kate O’ Flynn, Dipo Ola, Samuel Anderson, David Hayman, Karl Johnson, Felicity Montagu, and Daniel Rigby.

The Landscapers Podcast

Landscapers is a new four part television drama from HBO and Sky that brings the true story of Susan and Christopher Edwards and the murders they were convicted of to the screen. 

The details of a “stranger than fiction” true crime story are addictive. The more we hear about a case, the more it captivates us. We become hooked on the story, wanting more specifics to puzzle over, and more insights into the “why” behind a shocking crime. It creates a loop where you are walking down the street, still thinking about what you've heard. You can’t get it out of your head.

This five- episode podcast series takes us behind the scenes of Landscapers to explore the real life events that make the show so compelling. It is the story of the people who couldn’t get the tale told in “Landscapers” out of their heads as they share the different aspects that pulled them in.

We hear from the creators about the often complex relationship between the ‘real life’ events and the story that emerges on-screen and revisit the real life events through some of the key people involved in the case.

The Landscapers Podcast is produced by HBO and Sky, in conjunction with Campside Media.

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Susan must be delusional.  The black and white interludes, starting with the first scene, looks like something out of a classic movie.  But the viewer is drawn in through the fourth wall, with stage directions starting the scene of Susan’s solicitor taking her call from prison.

She sees the world in black and white, the B & W of the old movies she adores.

Possibly she’s not competent to work.  She speaks French fluently so she should be the one going on job interviews rather than Chris, who can’t speak the language.

So is Christopher protecting his wife, maintaining the delusion?  Going on job interviews for who knows how long before finally admitting to her that he can’t get a job in France.

He doesn’t know that the police back in the UK lack the proof to have French police arrest them so he volunteers them to return.  Susan goes along with it.  She’s spending money on expensive movie posters and imagines seeing Gerard Depardieu on their train back to the UK.


The true life characters on which Susan and Chris are based were probably not as interesting.  Seems like the show is going to play their relationship as genuine love, both of them, protecting each other, sincerely believing in their innocence.  That’s going to be a challenge for the leads, portraying characters who bury elderly parents who were executed (based on each getting shot twice in the chest) and then fled to France for 15 years.

Did they sell the home and take the proceeds?

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May we all find someone to look at us, the way David Thewlis looked at Olivia Coleman on their first date. And may we find someone who loves us enough to bury the bodies. 

I am loving the stage craft that is going into this during their statements.  Their gestures lifting up the Fish n Chips was fantastic. I too always get a fish fry on Fridays.  Did her parents have green blood? 

  • Love 2
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They have a different story than what the cops suspect happened (same shooter killed both of them, not her mother killing her father first).

But they're also not familiar with how the cops would be interrogating them.  They don't say why Susan chose to get a solicitor, even though she repeatedly goes against his advice, while he didn't.

Christopher meanwhile volunteers a lot, probably too much for their own good.

Seems the police don't have physical evidence implicating them, such as the murder weapon or prints or any kind of DNA.  So this heavy interrogation is an attempt to get them to confess.

Truth is, despite them being naive about their situation, they evaded detection for 15 years.  But why run away to France?  They could have stayed in the UK and he would have found work so that they didn't have to reveal the case to anyone -- he called her stepmother and explained why they needed money.

Or if they're going to leave England/UK, they could have gone to a Commonwealth nation like Canada or Australia.  However, maybe it would have been easier to extradite them back to the UK from those countries as opposed to France.

Again, the police didn't know about the demise of her parents though, which is strange, you'd think the various govt. social services would be aware of them missing.  Were the parents receiving any kind of benefits and Susan and Christopher were cashing those checks?

But it looks like only murder is on the table, nothing like fraud or theft.

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Not quite sure why the fact that Chris used to be a gun enthusiast means he must have killed both of Susan’s parent.  Their gun wounds suggest they were shot by the same person?  Obviously that forensic evidence wasn’t enough because they tried to wear both of them down in interrogation.

It looks bad that she took her parents money after they died so they kept digging.

Maybe the story about them corresponding with Gerard Depardieu is meant to show that they believed they could sell any narrative they spun.  Or that they got their heads in the clouds and they’re naive about the real world, or at least the legal system.

But the cops never bought their story from day one and all they had to do is find ways to take it apart.


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This is told & filmed very weirdly. Some artistically craptasktic stuff. I don’t like it. Sounds like they were both nuts though & definitely guilty of fraud etc. She hid the bodies under the bed for a week & then they scammed the govyour of money for years? 

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On 12/19/2021 at 9:06 PM, Quilt Fairy said:

I'm signing out of this - it's just too weird.  I see that it is the first screenplay from Colman's husband, so I think it might be something of a vanity project.

Good decision.  It didn't work for me at all.

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I was somewhat into it for the first three episodes but the last didn't work for me at all. Probably what I enjoyed most was seeing Dipo Ola from We Hunt Together as Susan's lawyer. I mean, Colman and Thewlis were excellent as usual, and the supporting staff was good, but glad it's over. 

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This was based on a true story and the outcome is known.  So they could have done a true crime or procedural where they pile on details.

But there wouldn't be much suspense.

So the story unfolded through the filter of these two perpetrators, who were film buffs.  You had black and white segments and stylized coloring and they broke the fourth wall a few times to show the cameras and the sets.

Then they re-played the couple getting rid of the bodies as a Western, with them carting the corpses on horse-drawn cart to the wilderness.

(though I wonder if the name "Landscapers" came from the writers or maybe something the media called them because of how they covered up the burial site).

Then they have a shootout with the cops who interrogated them and ultimately got them convicted.  Chris kills all of them but later at the end of this Western film dream, they all rise at once, to show the artifice.

Turns out they were Gary Cooper fans so they must have loved Westerns.

Chris always says that Susan was fragile and that he had to protect her.  Susan testified that she was broken, by her parents who not only refused to love her but expressed disdain for her repeatedly.

But it wasn't just Chris coddling Susan, like letting her spend a lot of money on movie paraphernalia.  Turns out Susan faked the letters from Gerard Depardieu, to boost his spirits.  They exchanged letters for awhile, Chris and not Gerard Depardieu.

This mini series certainly tells the story of this couple who committed this crime and their subsequent capture but through their disconnected phenomenological perspectives.  They still stick to their story after conviction because they still believe that's what they actually did, not what the police and prosecution presented in court.  It wasn't just that they were guileless or uninformed about criminal law so much as they believed they didn't do anything wrong, because in the movies, the good guys always win in the end.



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Thank you for your summary aghst. I wanted to like this because of the excellent actors and I understood it was told from their delusional view point, but I just could not get into it.  I understand it was an artistic style choice meant to be very different but perhaps my simple brain just could not follow. I'm glad I watched as I am desperate for anything new and love the actors but I would not recommend.  The actual true story is far less romantic, a pair of greedy, entitled jerks who couldn't live within their means and murdered two innocent people. Better done as a quick, factual Dateline or 48 Hours.

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Thank God that’s over. I hate it when I start to watch something and I like one of the actors and make myself watch it to the end even though I’m wasting my time. I have to wonder what kind of drugs the person who wrote version of the truth this was on. I’d much rather have seen the actual story from the point of a single person and not a delusional whatever. I am off to see if there is a podcast or something where I can listen to this without cursing my head off and saying “what the hell is going on, why are they doing this, what the fuck”?!

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By the third episode this just felt like “film student final school project” instead of actually having any POV. I get having some of the story done in various homages to film genres, as if that was how the mentally unwell people involved saw it, but then they’d break the fourth wall and move beyond the sets showing all the COVID masked set people, why exactly? How does that relate to the story? And starting each episode with the note of how it all ended brought what to the table? Certainly took any drama out of the story. That was a slog to get through and I’m glad it was only 4 episodes. 

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Not quite like the plot of this limited series but a UK boy abducted by his mother and grandfather years ago was found in France and is in the process of being returned to his legal guardian back in the UK.

I wonder how many UK perpetrators of criminal acts try to escape to France or Spain.


Alex Batty, from Oldham, was 11 and under the guardianship of his grandmother Susan Caruana, when he was allegedly abducted by his mother, Melanie Batty, and grandfather, David Batty.

After his disappearance, Caruana said she believed her ex-partner and her daughter had run away with the boy because they wanted him to have “an alternative lifestyle”.

On Thursday, the French newspaper La Depeche reported that officials had confirmed Batty, now 17, had turned up in the town of Revel, in southern France.

Greater Manchester police said officers in Oldham were in contact with the French authorities to establish the authenticity of the report.

Read in The Guardian: https://apple.news/AqJnMP_GuSnGAiTkUkbf33A


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