Malcolm Webster (Shearsmith) is a seemingly mild-mannered male nurse whose first wife Claire (Smith) was killed in a tragic car accident in Britain. Now living in New Zealand, Malcolm is remarried to Felicity (Fleetwood), who starts to suspect that he is embezzling her bank accounts and planning a similar fate for her. Escaping back to Scotland when exposed, Malcolm sets his sights on attractive nurse Simone (Panjabi), insinuating himself into her life before justice starts to close in on him.
The effectiveness of this three-part television mini-series rests firmly on the shoulders of Shearsmith, who is positively unnerving in the title role. His Malcolm is slowly revealed to be a chilling psychopath, yet Shearsmith grounds him in ordinariness. Whittington directs with straightforward, chronological simplicity, yet the tension builds in direct proportion to the disbelief of the viewing audience in this shocking true story. Pay your respects to “The Widower”!