By Emma Shacklock published
Is Landscapers a true story will be the question on many people’s minds as the sinister case of Susan and Christopher Edwards is brought to life in the dark new miniseries.
Created by Ed Sinclair, the husband of one of Landscapers’ lead stars Olivia Colman, this four-episode miniseries is packed with dark twists and turns, inspired by real life events. Fans of true crime shows like ITV’s Code of a Killer and FX’s American Crime Story: Impeachment will soon find themselves drawn into this twisted tale of a devoted couple who kills their in-laws in dramatic circumstances. Evading the law, the pair managed to get away with their crime for almost two decades before being caught out by police in 2013. Starring Olivia alongside British acting legend David Thewlis as her on-screen husband, Landscapers is a must-watch this winter.
But is Landscapers a true story, what’s it about and where can you watch the new true crime show?
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What is the TV series Landscapers about?
New TV series Landscapers brings to life Susan and Christopher Edwards’ murder of her unsuspecting parents, William and Patricia Wycherley, over two decades ago. Starring Oscar-winner Olivia Colman, alongside Harry Potter star David Thewlis, the acclaimed actors play librarian Susan and her bookseller husband Christopher. And whilst they might seem unassuming and harmless with their obvious love for each other, when it comes to Susan’s parents they’re anything but...
Over four episodes, viewers will be drawn in as the Edwards’ kill the Wycherleys, before concealing their bodies at their Nottinghamshire home and proceeding to use their names to secure staggering sums of money.
However, while this might sound quite clear-cut, star Olivia Colman has opened up about the depth in Landscapers and how the bond between her character and David’s character adds a softness that contrasts startlingly with their actions.
She reportedly told Sky, “It’s about a couple, the Edwards, who we know from the beginning have committed a crime. They’ve committed a murder. So you automatically go, ‘Bad! Oh, awful people!’ But then you look into it more and you see that they are two gentle people who are very devoted to each other, and in love.”
“It’s not your average true crime drama. I haven’t seen anything like it before. I’m so excited,” Olivia added.
If that doesn't tempt you to check out Landscapers for yourself, we don't know what will!
Is Landscapers a true story?
Anyone wondering, is Landscapers a true story will soon discover that yes, it is for the most part, having been inspired by very real and appalling events. Olivia Colman and David Thewlis’ characters, Susan and Christopher Edwards did actually exist and the Wycherleys were shot at the Edwards’ home in 1998.
As reported by Town & Country, Landscapers director Will Sharpe has described the show as a “true-crime drama”, but reveals that the show leaves the viewer to draw their “own conclusions” about the historical case.
"It’s not inaccurate to call this a true-crime drama," Will explained. "It’s a drama based on a crime that really happened, but occasionally in true crime, the show will pick a side and tell you a version of a story that makes you feel one way or another. We could tell you this story any number of ways and make you feel any number of things, but instead we leave it to you to draw your own conclusions."
“In terms of the criminal aspect of the show, we’re trying to be complex and nuanced and respectful of everyone involved,” he added. “[B]ut at the heart of it is this relationship between Chris and Susan and trying to use whatever little pieces of evidence we have to imagine what that connection might have been like. In that sense, there’s a romance at the heart of it."
After the murder of William and Patricia, the Edwards went on to bury them in their back garden in Nottinghamshire. There, Susan’s parents remained undiscovered for over a decade whilst Susan and Christopher carried out a thought-out plot to convince everyone that the Wycherleys were still alive and well.
This reportedly included writing greetings cards and writing letters supposedly from William and Patricia which they sent to friends and family. With their secret seemingly buried too deep for anyone to discover it, the Edwards set about forging the Wycherleys’ signatures on official documents. In an astonishing turn of events, they spent the next fifteen years not only evading justice for their crime, but taking out hundreds of pounds worth of loans in William and Patricia’s names and siphoning off benefits.
Much of this money was reportedly spent on movie memorabilia as the couple were said to be “obsessive” about 1930s and 1950s films and their stars. However, despite their devious cover-up, Susan and Christopher couldn’t escape the long arm of the law forever.
In 2012, the UK’s Department of Work and Pensions asked to see William Wycherley, who by then would’ve been about to celebrate his 100th birthday. Afraid they’d been caught out, the couple attempted to flee, traveling to France. Landscapers is understood to fictionalize their lives there for lack of information, though it’s said that they carried spending lavishly.
William and Patricia’s bodies were later discovered in 2013 and having spent so much and with no further source of income, the Edwards returned to the UK after telling the police of their intention to travel. Susan and Christopher Edwards were eventually arrested at St Pancras Station in London in 2013.
However, it wasn’t murder, but manslaughter they pled guilty to initially. According to RadioTimes.com, Susan’s account suggested that her parents had been arguing, which led to Patricia shooting William. Susan then claimed she’d been taunted by her mother, resulting in her shooting her. Susan Edwards also alleged that William had abused her when she was a child.
Nottingham Crown Court to find them guilty of murder a year later and they were sentenced to 25 years in prison and have now served seven years of this. Their exact locations are currently undisclosed and despite appeals from both Susan and Christopher’s lawyers over the years, neither were successful.
What channel is Landscapers on and when you can watch it
For anyone who is eager to see how Olivia Colman and David Thewlis bring Susan and Christopher Edwards and their disturbing crimes to life, Landscapers is now available to watch across the world. If you’re a US resident and already have a subscription to HBO, then things couldn’t be simpler! The series premiere of Landscapers landed on HBO and HBO Max on Monday, December 6, ready for true crime fans to binge-watch their way through for the next four weeks in between catching up on the best feel good Christmas movies.
Meanwhile, anyone living in the UK who’s hoping to be chilled and transfixed in equal measure by this true crime series can check out Landscapers on several channels. If you already have a Sky Atlantic subscription, then Tuesday is the day to mark in your calendar as Landscapers will be airing on Tuesdays at 9pm every week.
But if you won’t be able to watch live or perhaps want to save up some Landscaper episodes to enjoy in one go after all your favorite festive films then NOW is the place to go.
#OliviaColman & #DavidThewlis + #Landscapers = A chilling mini-series inspired by a true story. pic.twitter.com/0KEiMxyIDWDecember 7, 2021
When you sign up to the streaming service’s Entertainment Pass for £9.99 a month, you can enjoy Landscapers wherever and whenever you like. And if you’re not sure that NOW is for you, they also offer a 7-day free trial so you can try it out before taking the plunge.
For true crime fans, Landscapers is an unmissable watch this winter, but if you're finding it hard to wait for the next installment of this sinister show, the BBC's Showtrial and Shetland series 6 are also well worth checking out.
Emma is a Senior Lifestyle Writer with five years experience working in digital publishing, ranging from book publishing to magazines. She currently looks after all things Lifestyle for Woman&Home, GoodToKnow and My Imperfect Life.
Before she joined Future Publishing, Emma graduated from the University of Warwick with a Bachelor of Arts degree in English and Comparative Literary Studies. After leaving education, she started out her publishing career in the world of books, working as a Publisher for an independent digital publisher specializing in back-list and debut commercial fiction novels. With a huge book list and a passion for bringing the best stories to the broadest audience possible, Emma filled her spare time with reading the latest best-sellers and catching up on hit adaptations.
In 2017 she joined TI Media as a fiction writing coordinator on Woman’s Weekly and Woman’s Weekly Fiction as part of the features team. From here, she used her love of books, working to bring short stories to our dedicated readers and began writing for the books pages of Woman, Woman’s Own and Woman&Home, as well as online features ranging from genre round-ups to travel pieces for womanandhome.com.
After honing her skills, Emma branched out online in 2020 when Future gave her the opportunity to focus on digital-first. When she’s not writing about the next big lifestyle trend, she enjoys cooking, long walks and watching as many crime dramas as she can!
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