TV & Movies

A New Series About The Grindr Killer Is Coming To The BBC

And will star Stephen Merchant and Sheridan Smith.

by Sophie McEvoy
Originally Published: 
Sheridan Smith as Sarah Sak

Following the success of The Moorside and Appropriate Adult, creators Jeff Pope and Neil McKay have teamed up once again to bring the chilling murders of Stephen Port to BBC One. Told from the perspectives of the family and friends of the victims, Four Lives will follow them as they come to terms with their loss, as well as the widely criticised police investigation into Port’s crimes.

With the release of a trailer and a premiere date ready to go, here’s everything we know about Four Lives and what to expect from the series.

When Does Four Lives Air?

Four Lives will premiere on BBC One in the New Year, airing over three consecutive nights from Jan. 3, 2022. All three episodes will be made available on BBC iPlayer at the same time.

What’s The Plot Of Four Lives?

Initially called The Barking Murders, the three-part factual drama explores the crimes of Stephen Port, who killed four men over the course of six months starting in June 2014. Also known as the Grindr Killer, Port murdered his victims by giving them a fatal overdose of GHB, the “date rape” drug, at his flat in east London. Port was also charged and convicted of four rapes, four sexual assaults and 10 counts of “administering a substance in relation to seven other men,” as Sky News reports.

The deaths of three of Port’s victims were not deemed “suspicious” by the Met Police until the fourth murder, and the force were accused of failing to “carry out basic checks, send evidence to be forensically examined, or exercise professional curiosity” into Port’s crimes, according to a recent inquest per BBC News.

Four Lives will be told from the perspective of the family and friends of the victims as they conduct their own investigations to uncover exactly what happened to their loved ones.

Who’s In The Cast Of Four Lives?

The Office’s Stephen Merchant stars as serial killer Stephen Port, with The Moorside’s Sheridan Smith playing Sarah Sak, the mother of victim Anthony Walgate. Both Merchant and Sheridan were drawn to the show as a way to shed light on the lives and families of Port’s victims. “This is a story that can’t be ignored — how four young lives were lost and their families’ brave attempt to uncover what happened,” Merchant told the BBC.

Smith added, “Along with the other families, Sarah went through so much heartache and it would have been easy for her to just accept what she was being told by the police, but something inside made her keep fighting for her son.”

Four Lives also stars Five Daughters’ Jaime Winstone, Dirk Gently’s Holistic Detective Agency’s Samuel Barnett, Silent Night’s Rufus Jones, Chernobyl’s Robert Emms, The Bay’s Daniel Ryan, Bodyguard’s Stephanie Hyam, and Cold Feet’s Leanne Best.

Is There A Trailer For Four Lives?

Yes, there is. Smith shines as Sarah Sak — who would later go on to write a book about her son’s death — in the short trailer. While the promo is brief, it certainly showcases a masterclass of acting from its main stars — especially Stephen Merchant’s chilling portrayal of Stephen Port.

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