As its next offbeat British dramedy, Acorn TV introduces a darkly comic Irish murder mystery series set during the Victorian era of “post-mortem photography”– a real-life trend in European mourning culture, when the recently deceased were captured in commissioned portraits.
The Acorn TV Original series DEAD STILL follows the strange adventures of renowned 1880s Dublin memorial photographer Brock Blennerhasset (British Independent Film Award winner Michael Smiley, Luther, who played hacker Benny “Deadhead” Silver) and his loyal assistant Conall Molloy (Kerr Logan, “Game of Thrones”, “Alias Grace”), as they visit grieving families for photo assignments, while a tenacious detective investigates a series of local murders and eyes possible disturbing connections between them and Brock. Blending mystery and drama with delightfully macabre humor, DEAD STILL features an ensemble of acclaimed international actors including Smiley, Logan, Eileen O’Higgins (Mary Queen of Scots, Brooklyn) and Aidan O’Hare (“The Dublin Murders”, Jackie).
DEAD STILL premieres exclusively in the U.S. and Canada on Acorn TV with two episodes on Monday, May 18, followed by 1 new weekly episode every Monday through June 15.
Once a photographic prodigy in Ireland and a pioneer of the daguerreotype (an early photographic method which captures an image on an iodine sensitized silvered plate), Brock is now struggling to keep up with the times. With cameras becoming cheaper and photographic studios starting to flourish in Dublin around 1880, the practice of memorial portraiture is on the wane. Brock tries to revive his business after an accident, requiring the help of his sharp-witted niece, Nancy (O’Higgins) and new, eager assistant and former gravedigger Molloy (Logan). Their working relationship develops after a rocky start – Brock takes a while to warm up to the two of them, since he’s known for being remote and unemotional, thus much better in dealing with the dead than the living.
Meanwhile, it appears someone more sinister is getting in on the death photography game. Detective Frederick Regan (O’Hare) investigates a series of murders in Dublin’s criminal underbelly and concludes that the serial killer may be cashing in on a taste for a different type of memorial imagery — pictures of people in their death throes. As the body count begins to escalate, Brock, Molloy and Nancy must stop a murderer intent on ending not just their business, but their lives.
DEAD STILL also features Jimmy Smallhorne (“Taken Down”, “Clean Break”), Mark Rendall (“Departure”, “Versailles”), Peter Campion (“Derry Girls”, “Kat and Alfie: Redwater”), and Martin Donovan (“Big Little Lies”, Come to Daddy).
Produced by Deadpan Pictures in Co-Production with Shaftesbury Films for RTE and Acorn Media Enterprises In association with ZDF Enterprises. Funded by the Broadcasting Authority of Ireland with the Television Licence Fee. Produced in association with Rogers Media Incorporated with the Support of Investment Incentives for the Irish Film Industry provided by the government of Ireland with the participation of The Canadian Film or Video Production Tax Credit funded by the Government of Canada. An Ireland – Canada Treaty co-Production. Developed with the assistance of Fís Eireann/Screen Ireland with the support of the Creative MEDIA Programme of the European Union.