Baby Reindeer (2024) Scottish Mini-Series Review

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Baby Reindeer (2024) Mini-Series Featured Image

Baby Reindeer is a heart-breaking tale set in Scotland. Based on a real-life incident involving comedian Richard Gadd, this mini-series focuses on the challenging subjects of love, heartbreak, abuse, stalking, etc.

This limited series, very well crafted by Richard Gadd, showcases his versatility as he takes on the roles of writer, creator, lead actor and producer. Drawing from his experiences with stalking, he brings a unique perspective to the narrative. Before its adaptation into a Netflix web series, Baby Reindeer charmed the audiences as a one-man show during its successful run at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival and London’s West End.

This web-series was filmed just 50 miles from writer and star actor Richard Gadd home in Wormit, in Fife, Scotland.

‘Baby Reindeer’ Is A Bitter-Sweet Relationship Tale Of Our Times

Trailer: Baby Reindeer (2024) Mini-Series

Official Trailer – Baby Reindeer (2024) Limited Show – Netflix | YouTube.

Synopsis: Baby Reindeer (2024) Mini-Series

An act of kindness from a struggling comedian Donny Dunn (Richard Gadd) towards a vulnerable woman Martha Scott (Jessica Gunning) sets off a suffocating obsession that endangers the lives of both individuals.

So, this true story follows writer and performer Richard Gadd’s warped relationship with a female stalker and the impact it has on him as he is ultimately forced to face a deep, dark buried trauma.

Poster: Baby Reindeer (2024) Mini-Series

Spoiler Free Review: Baby Reindeer (2024) Mini-Series

The introduction

In a sensitively written human drama, we meet all kinds of people. These people can not be classified as good or bad persons. They are simple humans, possessing both positive and negative characteristics. So, the protagonist is Donny Dunn (Richard Gadd) in this biographical comedy-drama. But there are no antagonists, as such. However, we meet Martha Scott (Jessica Gunning – the lady in the above poster), who obsessively stalks her prey Donny Dunn (the gentleman in the above poster and picture shared below) in the show. But, then maybe Martha is a flawed and imperfect person.

No matter how much damage Martha inflicts, if you ever try to play her as a villain, I think you would ruin what a brilliant job Richard has done of the writing.

Jessica Gunning | Netflix
Donny Dunn (Richard Gadd) and Teri (Nava Mau) – (their pictures from Left to Right)

Then, we also come across the charming Teri (Nava Mau- the transgender woman in the picture shared above) – the love of Donny Dunn. But then, Donny is a broken and confused man, perhaps; who makes mistakes in life.

When I was reading the script, it felt like the first time reading a character that was written by someone who actually had known and loved a trans woman. And it felt like an honor to even get to read the script because of Richard’s vulnerability. There’s a light that I think pulsates out of that kind of vulnerability, and so all of the characters in the story then are cast in that light. And I felt that in that first read of Teri.

Nava Mau | Netflix

The script is delicate and perceptive

The unique selling point (USP) of this series is the freshness of its tale, which is rooted in the reality of our world. The plethora of emails/messages ‘sent from iPhone’ made us smile every time, maybe it is considered a sign of success in recent times. That is the material world that we all inhabit right now. If you observe closely, then you might find that a lot of the behaviour of the characters in this show (realistic tale) has been overtly/covertly influenced by present-day societal norms about jobs, success, partners, etc.

Richard Gadd deserves all the praise for writing such a delicate and perceptive storyline. It is not very often, that we come across a powerful script that does justice to complex human tales. All three key characters (Donny, Martha and Teri) have been very-well-etched-out in this mini-series. It packs a lot of human emotional drama that has realism at its core. We sincerely believe that to share any details about its storyline would be wrong on our part. We wish you to watch this tender show with an open mind and heart. Only then you will enjoy it.

I didn’t want to write “a victim narrative.” I think art is quite interesting when you don’t know who you are on the side of. I wanted it to be layered, and I wanted it to capture the human experience. The human experience is that people are good, but they have bits of bad and they make mistakes.

Richard Gadd | Netflix

Their acting is top-class

We do not know how to admit this, but to be honest, the acting performance of Jessica Gunning (Martha Scott) broke and stole our hearts, at the same time. She is simply superb as a vulnerable middle-aged woman. It seems that her life experiences have not been good so far. Therefore, any simple act of kindness towards her by another person, makes her deeply possessive.

Not to be outdone, Richard Gadd (Donny Dunn) plays the central character – the Baby Reindeer, with a lot of maturity. A person who has been abused and broken badly, not only accepts his mistakes but even takes the corrective steps. Nava Mau (Teri) plays the beautiful transgender woman realistically. In this show, she is emotionally understanding and of supporting nature. But being a strong woman, she wants love and respect from her partner. Then, it also has a supporting act by Shalom Brune-Franklin (Keeley) in the background. Lastly, Tom Goodman-Hill (Darrien) competently played a renowned television writer who took advantage of struggling comedian Donny. Each of its ensemble cast members skillfully portrayed their complex characters, adding layers of nuance, understanding, and compassion.

The conclusion

The two series directors Weronika Tofilska and Josephine Bornebusch have done an exceptional job in directing a poignant and heartrending show. It is a difficult show to watch because of its heart-breaking contents, which are biographical. All the key characters mentioned above are humans, somewhat invisible and regular people like us. These commoners live away from the limelight, often struggling to find the love (and success) in their lives. While doing so, some people take undue advantage. They break the hearts and minds of poor souls. Genuinely, we did not like the abuser in the show, but then, that is the harsh reality of life. Such monsters do exist. Despite them, watch this slow-burning reality series that makes you think about our lives in general. And even after it ends, it stays with you for a while.

Rating: Baby Reindeer (2024) Mini-Series

Rating: 4 out of 5.
FM Rating4.00/5
FM Rating – Baby Reindeer (2024) Limited Mini-Series

Key Details: Baby Reindeer (2024) Mini-Series

GenreBiography, Comedy, Drama
Original languageEnglish (UK)
Age-restrictionsR (18+)
Season One (1) Only
EpisodesSeven (7) Episodes
Writer & CreatorRichard Gadd
DirectorsWeronika Tofilska & Josephine Bornebusch
CastRichard Gadd (Donny Dunn), Jessica Gunning (Martha Scott), Nava Mau (Teri), Shalom Brune-Franklin (Keeley), Michael Wildman (Greggsy), Danny Kirrane (Gino), Nina Sosanya (Liz), Alexandria Riley (Culver), Amanda Root (Elle), Mark Lewis Jones (Gerry), Thomas Coombes
(Daniels), Tom Goodman-Hill (Darrien), etc.
TaglinesA Captivating True Story
About – Baby Reindeer (2024) LimitedMini-Series

Spoilers Alert: Baby Reindeer (2024) Mini-Series

Summary of the Seven (7) Episodes of the only season of the Baby Reindeer (2024) Mini-Series

First Episode (S1, E1) | 32 minutes

Struggling comedian and barman Donny meets a lonely woman claiming to be a lawyer. This happens when he offers her a cup of tea on the house at a bar, and she’s instantly obsessed. Richard Gadd plays Donny, a failing London comedian who gets entangled with a relentless stalker named Martha.

Second Episode (S1, E2) | 28 minutes

On a date with Teri, Donny opens up about his stalker. Trying to be kind, he gives Martha false hope, which only encourages her further.

Third Episode (S1, E3) | 39 minutes

Donny takes some time off from the pub and tries to make amends with Teri. But no matter how much he avoids Martha, he just can’t escape from her for long.

Fourth Episode (S1, E4) | 45 minutes

As Donny reports Martha to the police, it triggers the memory of a traumatic experience he had with a man, Darrien, who he met at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival years before.

Fifth Episode (S1, E5) | 28 minutes

Liz learns the truth about Martha and asks Donny to move out of the house. It is looking like a fresh start for him and Teri, but his persistent memories are stopping them from getting truly close.

Sixth Episode (S1, E6) | 34 minutes

Martha finds new ways to get to Donny: by hurting the people he loves. With frustration building as the police fail to intervene, he riskily takes matters into his own hands.

Seventh Episodes (S1, E7) | 31 minutes

For the first time in his career, Donny feels like he’s getting somewhere. Until he makes one careless decision that allows Martha to explode back into his life.

Ending Explained of the Baby Reindeer (2024) Mini-Series

Following Martha’s departure from his life, Donny reconciles with Keeley and returns to live with Liz. During his time there, he stumbles upon an aged script adorned with annotations from his previous “mentor” and assailant, Darrien. This discovery prompts Donny to unexpectedly visit Darrien, who commends his viral confession as “courageous” and extends a job offer. Overwhelmed by a surge of emotions, Donny eventually collapses on the street, attempting to come to terms with this overwhelming experience.

Later, unconventionally seeking solace, he delves into Martha’s archived voicemails, neatly categorized as Angry, Sad, Happy, Distressed, or, in this instance, Compliments. In the final moments of the last episode, we listen to some flattering messages that Donny receives while he finds himself at a pub. Within those personal messages, we learn about the true origin of Martha’s special nickname for Donny. So, while sitting at the bar, Donny opens a voicemail in his Not Listened To folder and this is the voice message from Martha, that we listen to.

That’s the thing I have always wondered. Why people meet, why people fall in love, that kind of thing. And I suppose that brings me to the Baby Reindeer thing. As I think you are probably wondering. Basically, I had this wee cuddly toy when I was young. Went with me everywhere. Earliest memory I have, I think, was Christmas time. This old photo of me, sitting with this paper hat on my head and this “Baby Reindeer” beside me. Anyway, this reindeer was this cudly, fluffy thing. It had big lips, huge eyes, and the cutest wee bum. I still have it to this day. It was the only good thing about my childhood. I would hug it.When they fought. And they fought a lot, you know? Well, you are the spit of that reindeer. The same nose. Same eys. Same cute wee bum. It means so much to me. You… You mean so much to me.
I have gotta go.

Martha’s voicemail message text

So, Martha affectionately refers to Donny as “Baby Reindeer” due to his striking resemblance to a beloved stuffed animal from her childhood, which she continues to hold dear. It’s a heartrending scene. After hearing the emotional voice message from Martha, Donny weeps, and the bartender asks if he’s OK. Donny realizes he’s forgotten his wallet. The series culminates with a reminiscent scene that harkens back to its inception in the first episode: A male (female in the first episode) individual strolls into a bar, and the bartender kindly serves him a complimentary drink.

At first, their interaction is pure: Donny, working as a bartender, demonstrates compassion towards Martha, a customer who exudes vulnerability. Yet, the old adage “no good deed goes unpunished” comes to fruition, as this casual meeting triggers an all-consuming fixation that jeopardizes both of their lives and compels Donny to confront his deeply buried trauma.

Poster, Featured and Other Images of Baby Reindeer (2024) Mini-Series are courtesy of Netflix.

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