White House Farm - Murders that horrified the British public in the mid-'80s
British Crime Series ordered by HBO Max
Life writes stories... Some of them are not pretty, much less comfortable and this is one of them. In the mid-1980s, the British public was appalled by the cruel murder in Essex. An entire family has wiped off the ground overnight. June and Neville Bamber, their adopted daughter Sheila Caffell and her twin children - two young boys, Daniel and Nicholas Caffell. There are crimes, and there are cruel ones, and there will be. This crime has further attracted media attention because of Sheila Caffell. She was a beautiful young model who got addicted to drugs and contracted schizophrenia. It should be noted that that segment of Sheila Caffell's life is not relevant to the event itself being handled in the series. But the context is such that it has increased the interest of the newspaper and the public.
A fatal night in 1985 in Essex, three generations of one family have been wiped off the face of the earth.
Young Sheila Caffell - starring Cressida Bonas, utterly exhausted by the hard drugs in her battle with schizophrenia, comes to her parents on an isolated farm in Essex. With her are the twins, her 6-year-old sons Daniel and Nicholas. Apart from them on the farm is occasionally her brother, Jeremy- starring Freddie Fox. Then in a fatal night of August 1985, police received a panic call from Jeremy at White House Farm. When they arrived, crime had unfortunately ended.
Bodies of Sheila, two boys, grandparents were found. The house was locked from the inside, and it looked like Sheila had been in a state of total darkness of mind, slaughtering her entire family, and then committing suicide. This is precisely what Jeremy claims, and the police chief, attempting to close the case as soon as possible, endorses the murder-suicide theory. But experienced DS detective Stan Jones - starring Mark Addy, has some doubts about the validation of this theory. June Bamber's niece, Anne Eaton - starring Jemma Whelan, shows DS Jones a window that can be closed from the outside in such a way that no one seems to be able to enter through it. This is the moment when DS Jones moves to confirm his theory that the late Sheila is not a killer but a victim like other family members.
If you love British crime series, this series is for you. The story for the series was written by an Australian - Kris Mrksa. His source was Colin Caffell's book, the husband of the hapless Sheila Caffell - In Search For Rainbow End, Inside The White House Murders. As this is a very well-covered media case, it is not a spoiler to claim that Jeremy Bamber, one of the most famous prisoners with a life sentence in Britain. I’m saying this to show how much of masters of manipulation Bamber was because his brother-in-law Caffell trusted him until the very end.
The first four episodes are a linear account of the police investigation and the background to this heinous crime. The last two episodes - the fifth and the sixth unravels the case, showing us what happened on a fatal night in Essex.
Freddie Fox is brilliant in the role of Jeremy Bamber.
The casting of the show is top-notch. Everything you are used to in the British tv crime series is here. Great story, a detailed reconstruction of the period. The '80s are very close but still very different. Director Paul Whittington, an experienced TV professional - Vera, Jericho, DC Banks - competent ran the story, and he had great support in the casting. Stephen Graham - This Is England, Mark Addy - Robert Baratheon from GoT, Gemma Whelan - Yara Greyjoy form GoT, Alexa Davis from Mama Mia. All acclaimed and famous actors.
But the biggest value of White House Farm mini-series is the title role of Freddie Fox-A theatre and film actor known for his role as Year of the Rabbit and The Riot Club- as Jeremy Bamber. They say the movie is as good as the villain is, and Fox is great! How he physically took down the antipathetic and complacent Bamber is commendable. You gotta hate the smug Jeremy, so Freddie Fox did his job well.
The scene where Jeremy Bamber walks through the courtroom, the steps that determine his fate, he combs his hair and corrects his lapels on his fancy suit. This is exactly what Freddie Fox gives to the character. The gruesome complacency of a man who sees no further than himself. If we doubt that anyone can kill their family, even two young boys of six, then Fox can tell us through the eyes of Bamber. While his entire family is lying down on the autopsy table, Jeremy is partying and kissing with his girlfriend Julie Mugford - starring Alexa Davis. The series is definitely not horror, but when you look into those reptilian eyes of Jeremy Bamber, emotions simply awaken! Creepy in that surreal way.
The series was ordered by HBO Max, who has not even launched the OTT platform yet.
The series was produced by New Pictures in collaboration with All3Media. Interestingly, the series was ordered by HBO Max, which has not even launched as an OTT platform yet. But here it is, collecting values around the world. ITV has acquired the rights to the UK, while the series airs on HBO Max during October 2020. The BBC has launched the series in Australia, and Sky has acquired the rights for New Zealand.
It is also interesting to note that at the end of 2019, Jeremy Bamber made his fourth appeal to the Court of Appeal. After three attempts failed, he still doesn't give up. And like all charismatic, famous killers, he has his fans gathered at Jb Campaign Ltd. If Charles Manson, the tiny psychotic lunatic, has his fan base, it's no surprise that the handsome, smug Jeremy Bamber has his fans who would love to see him released.