What did Miri Matteson do in Back to Life?

The BBC comedy-drama has everyone asking the same question—what did Miri Matteson do?

What did Miri Matteson do in Back to Life?
(Image credit: BBC)

Back to Life stars Daisy Haggerton as Miri Matteson, a woman who leaves prison after spending the last 19 years of her life behind bars, but what did Miri Matteson do in Back to Life?

Considering all the hype, you might wonder is Back to Life the next best series on Netflix? The series has been praised by critics for its emotional, yet funny, redemption tale. However, the other question everyone is asking is: why was she imprisoned in the first place? 

Warning! There are spoilers ahead as we reveal the answers to all the questions we have been pondering...

What did Miri do in Back to Life?

In short, Miri committed murder which then led to her spending 18 years in prison.

We discover in the first series that Miri was imprisoned for killing her childhood friend Lara Boback, a 'copper's daughter'. It is not revealed immediately how Miri killed Lara and why she would kill her best friend.

By the end of the first season, all is revealed and the tragic backstory behind Miri's imprisonment is revealed.

back to life character

(Image credit: BBC/Netflix)

How did Miri kill Lara?

When they were 18 years old Miri and Lara were in a physical fight at the top of a cliff. 

During the altercation, Miri pushed Lara away from her and off the cliff where Lara fell to her death. 

Why did Miri kill Lara?

This revelation is saved until the very last episode of the first season. Mandy, another character who was childhood friends with both Miri and Lara, reveals that she was having an affair with Lara’s father when she was 18.

Mandy reveals that she lied to Lara to save her own back and said that it was Miri who was sleeping with Mr. Boback. 

It is this incident that led to the fight that ended with Miri pushing Lara off the cliff edge. 

How did Miri get that scar?

When Lara confronts Miri at the top of the cliff, Lara sinks her teeth into Miri’s shoulder during a physical altercation—this explains why Miri has a bite mark scarred into her shoulder. 

Where did Miri kill Lara?

The cliff where Miri and Lara have their altercation takes place on a cliff face. This is filmed in England at Abbot’s Cliff sound mirror, on top of the White cliffs of Dover.

Although this incident is hinted at throughout the series, the show keeps us on our toes and doesn’t reveal the real reason behind Miri’s imprisonment until the last episode. 

The end of the six-part series leaves Miri in a vulnerable and depressed position with a lot of unanswered questions. Back to Life has been renewed for a second series to continue these storylines as fans rave about how impressive the series has been, with a 100% approval rating on Rotten Tomatoes.

Is there a second season of Back to Life?

Yes, all episodes of season 2 of Back to Life were released on 31st August 2021 on BBC iplayer.

The comedy-drama series consists of six, thirty-minute episodes that continue Miri Matterson's return to life as she tries to find a new job, go on dates, and even takes her driving test.

Laura Harman
Laura Harman

Laura is a news writer for woman&home who primarily covers entertainment and celebrity news. Laura dabbles in lifestyle, royal, beauty and fashion news, and her favourite stories to cover as anything and everything to do with television and film. She is also passionate about feminism and equality and loves writing about gender issues and feminist literature.


Laura loves drinking and eating and can often be found trying to get reservations at London's trendiest restaurants. When she's not wining and dining, Laura can also be found baking, hiking with her dog, shopping, and practicing yoga.