When Natalie Varga stands accused of murdering her husband in cold blood, disgraced investigative journalist James Alden finds himself captivated by the case. And when he interviews Natalie for his documentary, he finds himself falling for the very femme fatale he is supposed to be dispassionately profiling. His infatuation leads him on a dangerous path, and the desire for ‘a story’ clouds his judgement. With the court of public opinion ruling Natalie guilty until proven innocent, can James separate truth from fiction?

Episode One

James Alden is a washed-up journalist making trashy documentaries when he lands the interview of the decade. Natalie Varga is suspected of murdering her rich Hungarian husband and she makes James an offer: find the killer and she’ll give him the exclusive story everyone wants.

Years ago, James was a rising star, but he made one terrible mistake that derailed his career. By helping Natalie, James has a chance to get his life back – but it won’t be easy as his investigations attract the attention of sinister henchman Toth, who warns him off.

(Picture: Channel 5)

Cast

  • Charlie Murphy as Natalie
  • James D’Arcy as James
  • Indra Ové as Barbara
  • Anamaria Marinca as Mrs Molnar
  • Brian Caspe as Toth
  • Nina Senicar as Vera

What initially drew you to this project?

James D’Arcy: I was sent the script, and immediately was struck by this flawed character who had, as it turned out, made a colossal mistake. Obviously ,we don’t know that on page one, but I really loved the way that James had been written, so you knew that he was scraping the bottom of the barrel somehow. You didn’t know why, but what I really liked about him was he seemed fairly cheerful about the fact that he’d floated downwards, and he didn’t seem to even really have massive aspirations to dig himself out of that hole. He was just like, “This is where I am, this is it.” I felt that I had seen a lot of people like that, who’d just sort of settled at some point. So I guess that was my initial thought, that it’s a really good thriller. I really didn’t know what was going to happen at the end of the fourth episode. That’s an important benchmark, if you’re in episode one going, “I know who did it and why,” that’s problematic. But this one, I just felt like I hadn’t really seen a story like this before, except for maybe in the news. I felt like this had borrowed some aspects of news stories that I had seen, and now was dramatizing it in a way that I thought, “Well, I want to turn the page, so hopefully that means that audiences will want to keep watching.”

Charlie Murphy: Obviously it’s a story I hadn’t read, so from an audience point of view that’s how you receive something. As an actor, you get the scripts, you read it, and you don’t know what’s going to happen on the next page – and I read them all in one go, all the episodes. It was such a page-turner. I had never played a character like Natalie before. She’s such a Pandora’s box, and there’s so much to discover. And to work with James D’Arcy has been fantastic.

Indra Ové: I made a decision on Barbara very, very quickly. What struck me was her coolness. She seemed a woman on top of things, on top of her work, on top of her home life. She has kids, she’s married, but she’s also the top of her professional game. And with that came a coolness about her, and a sense of herself, a sense of who she is, and that really attracted me. And with that comes a strength, a groundedness, which is great in the story, and sits very well with James. She’s got the balance right. The work/play/mother balance, and that’s very attractive.

Deadline airs nightly at 9pm on Channel 5 from Tuesday April 5 until Friday April 8