Landscapers is a charming title euphemism, a curtain that, when drawn back, reveals a disturbing story of love and violent crime. Olivia Colman and David Thewlis star as Susan and Christopher Edwards, an unassuming British couple living in France until their past crime comes back to haunt them in the HBO miniseries, which premiered Monday night. What was the crime? Susan’s elderly mother and father were murdered, and their bodies were buried in the back garden of their Mansfield home. Suppose you will, some landscaping. The four-part series is a richly acted and darkly romantic tale directed by rising star Will Sharpe and written by Ed Sinclair.
About the show: Landscapers
Landscapers is a crime fiction black comedy-drama theatre miniseries created, written, and directed by Ed Sinclair. The series is based on the true story of William and Patricia Wycherley’s 1998 murders and stars Olivia Colman and David Thewlis as Susan and Christopher Edwards, the couple responsible for the murders, as their decade-old crimes were revealed in 2012. Based on actual events, Landscapers tells the story of mild-mannered Susan and her husband and how they came to murder and bury Susan’s parents in the back garden of their Mansfield home in a violent act that went unsolved for over a century.
The crew members of the movie:
Landscapers, a true-crime miniseries written by Ed Sinclair and originally intended to be directed and executive produced by Alexander Payne, received a series order from HBO and Sky in December 2019. Sinclair created and wrote the series with Colman in mind for the role of Susan Edwards. Alexander Payne left the project in October 2020 due to scheduling conflicts and was replaced by Will Sharpe. In March 2021, David Thewlis was cast as Christopher Edwards. The series’ principal photography began in March 2021 in Mansfield, Nottinghamshire. The series includes a flashback scene in which Colman and Thewlis are supposed to be much younger.
The Plot of the movie:
According to The Guardian, the honest Susan and Christopher met through a dating agency and married quickly, just like in Landscapers. They lived in Dagenham in peace, never having children. Susan, a retired librarian, remained at home while Christopher went to work as a bookkeeper. Susan didn’t work, but she kept herself busy by collecting memorabilia, spending thousands of dollars that the couple didn’t have on items such as signed photos of Gary Cooper. A typed letter from Cooper is another item. Susan even sent herself letters written in Depardieu’s voice, convincing Chris that she and the actor had been pen pals for 14 years.
Inspired by the actual events:
Sharpe began researching not only the scripts by writer Ed Sinclair but also the words of the real people who inspired his characters when it came to telling the Edwards’ story for television. “I was interested in conducting my research,” he says. “I read their trial transcripts, and Ed had some correspondence with Susan and Christopher Edwards that he was gracious enough to share with me.” I also watched a very different documentary from our show, and I went to some of the key locations from the story. Finally, this research demonstrated that what Landscapers has to say is not a straightforward true-crime expose.
The Reviews recorded for the movie:
The series received positive reviews when it first aired, particularly for the two lead performances. It has a 98 percent approval rating on Rotten Tomatoes, with an average score of 8.1/10 based on 46 reviews. “Landscapers layers enigmatic style onto an already unbelievable true story with varying results,” writes the site’s critics, “but Olivia Colman and David Thewlis ground the absurdity with outstanding performances.” The series has a Metacritic score of 79 out of a possible 100 based on 22 reviews, indicating ‘generally favorable reviews.’ The series averaged 1.52 million subscribers in the United Kingdom and broadcasted on SkyAtlantic.
Landscapers truly excel at depicting the fantasy world Susan escapes to when she imagines herself and Christopher as characters in movies she enjoys. They’re gazing at each other lovingly in a black and white romantic comedy for one minute. As their situation worsens, she imagines them as heroic outlaws in western, fighting law enforcement officers who look like the investigators handling their case the next. The staging is inventive and amusing. When police offer an alternative theory of the crime during interrogation, claiming that Christopher shot both of his parents, the episode shifts into a reality-bending sequence in which the detective leads Christopher and Susan to a movie theatre.