More casting announced in Mansfield 'bodies in the garden' murder drama starring Olivia Colman

More casting has been announced on the eagerly awaited four-part drama about Mansfield’s most notorious double murder.

Tuesday, 20th April 2021, 6:14 pm

Landscapers, which is currently filming, details the Wycherley murders which came to light in 2013 when the skeletal remains of two elderly people were unearthed from the rear garden of their Forest Town home.

William and Patricia Wycherley had been murdered and secretly buried 15 years earlier by the couple’s daughter and son-in-law, Susan and Christopher Edwards.

They then ‘kept them alive in the eyes of the world’ by replying to doctors’ letters and sending letters and Christmas cards to their family, posing as the Wycherleys and claiming they were travelling in Ireland.

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Police at the murder scene in Forest Town in 2013

Meanwhile, they embezzled hundreds of thousands of pounds from the couple, spending much of it on film memorabilia.

The Crown and Hot Fuzz actress Olivia Colman has been attached to the Sky/HBO project from the outset, when it was first announced last yeaar, but was stalled due to the Covid pandemic.

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The Oscar-winner, whose husband, Ed Sinclair, wrote the screenplay, will play Susan Edwards. Last month it was announced that David Thewlis, who played Remus Lupin in the Harry Potter movies, will play Christopher Edwards.

Olivia Colman at th Golden Globes in January 2020, shortly after the drama was announced

Speaking about the role, he said: “This is without doubt the very finest project I have worked on for many years.

"Everything about Landscapers is magical, there is nothing like it and I’m impatient to get to work."

Now, according to the IMBD website, performers Samuel Anderson, Karl Johnson, Felicity Montagu, Kate O’Flynn, Dipo Ola, Daniel Rigby and Gianni Calchetti have all been attached to the project.

It is not yet clear who the actors will be playing, but it is understood that Mr Johnson, who also appeared in Hot Fuzz and Lark Rise to Candleford, will play William Wycherley, while Bridget Jones actor Ms Montagu will play Patricia.

Susan and Christopher Edwards

The murders eventually came to light after the Department for Work and Pensions tried to contact William Wycherley, thinking that he was still alive, to assess his benefits as he approached his 100th birthday.

Knowing the game was up, the Edwards then fled to France and quickly ran out of money.

Christopher Edwards then called his step-mother, begging for cash, and confessed that the Wycherleys were buried in the rear garden of their former home on Blenheim Close, and police were alerted.

Last month, film crews came to Mansfield to shoot scenes for the drama and some key local landmarks – including the town’s iconic viaduct were shot for background scenes.

Last year, when the drama was first announced, Nottinghamshire Police Chief Superintendent Rob Griffin, who led the investigation into the murders when he was a detective chief inspector, commented on the plans.

He said: “I have mixed emotions about the programme being made. It involves victims who have a family and people’s lives have been changed forever because of this. Having said that, I understand why people want to hear about this case. It’s a unique story and I will be interested to see how it plays out on television.”

It is not the first time the case has been dramatised – with a planned BBC drama eventually parked in 2018 – while the novel A Garden of Bones: Blood Runs Thicker also details the Edwards’ crimes.

Landscapers is expected to air later this year.

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