Landscapers

I didn’t think we’d be able to see this highly acclaimed series as it’s on Sky something or other, but turns out it’s available on our Now TV stick. And it was certainly worth it.

Landscapers is an odd title for a true crime series, though how accurate the series is, is debatable (the intro tells us it’s a true story before deleting the word true). The title refers to the fact that Susan and Clive Edwards ‘landscaped’ Susan’s parents’ garden by burying their bodies in it, a crime which remained undetected for 16 years; it also denotes the landscape of their fantasy world, immersed in cowboy films.

The delightfully ubiquitous Olivia Coleman stars with David Thewlis (Harry Potter, An Inspector Calls) as a couple seemingly adrift in modern society. But this is a story not a documentary, and the question of whether they, or she were guilty of murder or whether, as Susan claimed, her mother shot her father whom she then shot in self-defence, is not answered. What isn’t in doubt is that they then buried the bodies in the garden and ran off to France.

As crime dramas go, this is a very unusual production, with flights of fantasy interspersed with realistic drama. At times it’s almost play-like and you can easily imagine the set pieces transferred to a stage. Susan and Clive are shown as people born out their time and clueless at navigating the modern world. She was supposedly abused by her father with the full knowledge of her mother, abuse which according to this narrative continued in other forms after she left home and which may have triggered the double murder.

Whatever their guilt or otherwise, Clive and Susan seem to have been a very strange couple. In spite of having an adequate income they racked up massive debts through buying signed celebrity photos, and seemed to have a fantasy relationship with GĂ©rard Depardieu. In the final episode I could have done with a bit more of the courtroom and a bit less of the cowboy fantasy but overall this was a compelling and very unusual drama.

Kirk out