jakub | May 10, 2024

Russell T. Davies says his ‘Baby Reindeer’ would have protected Martha’s identity better

Russell T. Davies has said that he would have done more to protect the real-life identities of the characters in Netflix’s Baby Reindeer.

Baby Reindeer is a semi-autobiographical series written by the comedian Richard Gadd that claims to tell the “true story” of a struggling stand-up (played by Gadd) who is maliciously stalked by an older woman named Martha.

Almost immediately after the show premiered on Netflix last month, some viewers attempted to uncover the real identities of characters in the show, including Martha. Gadd himself subsequently urged people to refrain from speculation, saying, “that’s not the point of our show”.

And now, in an interview with The Times, Davies, who is the showrunner of shows including Doctor Who, It’s a Sin and Years and Years, has said that any equivalent program on the BBC would have to be “much stricter” in the way it disguises real-life people in a scripted drama.

baby reindeer
Jessica Gunning as Martha in ‘Baby Reindeer’. CREDIT: Ed Miller/Netflix

“Compliance and editorial policy drives us mad here but I sleep at night,” he said.

Despite the widespread speculation that the show provoked, Netflix’s policy chief Benjamin King said that Netflix and the production company “took every reasonable precaution in disguising the real-life identities of the people involved in that story”.

On Thursday (May 9), Fiona Harvey, who is allegedly the inspiration for the stalker character in the Netflix drama, appeared on Piers Morgan Uncensored, her first television interview since confirming her identity earlier in the week.

In the interview, Harvey denied many aspects of the Netflix show’s narrative, saying that she did not stalk Gadd, attack his girlfriend, destroy the bar he worked in or contact his parents.

Harvey also told Morgan that she will “absolutely” be taking legal action against both Gadd and Netflix, saying that she is “exploring all the options out there”.

Morgan has since said he believes she lied “quite a lot” in the interview. “If her threatened legal action against Netflix and Gadd goes ahead, I suspect it will quickly emerge she did send all the emails, messages, and letters to him,” he said.

She has given her own reaction to the interview, telling the Daily Record: “I wouldn’t say I was happy. It was very rapid to try to trip me up. He did it fast paced to catch me off guard. It seemed to me that I was set up. I feel a bit used.”

The interview, which has been watched 5.5 million times at time of writing, provoked a range of responses from viewers, with some being made to feel “uncomfortable”, and others describing it as “cruel”, “irresponsible” and “ghoulish”.

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