The Beast Must Die: Jared Harris leads the cast of British revenge thriller adapted from the classic murdery mystery novel

Chernobyl’s Jared Harris is among the cast currently filming The Beast Must Die - a five-part thriller launching exclusively on BritBox in the UK - on the Isle of Wight.

By Sophia Moir Published: 24 September 2020 - 7.04pm
Drama BritBox

Jared Harris


A brand new British revenge thriller is launching exclusively on BritBox in the UK.

The Beast Must Die, a modern adaptation of the classic murder mystery novel written some 80 years ago, tells the story of a grieving mother who infiltrates the life of the man she believes killed her son.

The script’s been adapted by Gaby Chiappe (Their Finest, Shetland, Vera) and boasts Chernobyl and The Crown star Jared Harris among its stellar cast.

From stroyline to release date, here’s everything we know about The Beast Must Die.

When is The Beast Must Die released?

The Beast Must Die will be available exclusively on BritBox UK in 2021, and it will consist of five episodes. A specific release date has yet to be announced.

Who’s in the cast of The Beast Must Die?

The Beast Must Die cast is led by Bafta-winner and Golden Globe and Emmy nominated actor Jared Harris (Chernobyl, The Crown, Mad Men). He'll be joined by Cush Jumbo (The Good Wife, Deadwater Fell), Billy Howle (MotherFatherSon, Witness For The Prosecution, On Chesil Beach) and Nathaniel Parker (The Inspector Lynley Mysteries, Vanity Fair) to start filming. 

Additional cast members announced include Geraldine James (Back to Life, Anne with an E, Utopia), Maeve Dermody (Carnival Row, Marcella, The Frankenstein Chronicles) and newcomers Mia Tomlinson and Barney Sayburn. 

The Beast Must Die Geraldine James Getty
Geraldine James joins Jared Harris in The Beast Must Die

What is The Beast Must Die about?

The Beast Must Die is based on the murder mystery novel of the same name, first published by Nicholas Blake - the pen name of poet Cecil Day-Lewis, father of actor Daniel Day-Lewis - in 1938.

At the moment, all we know about the plot of the five-part series is that it follows a grieving mother out for revenge.

However we do have the description of the novel to go by - although it’s not been confirmed at this stage how much of the source material was used by the show’s writer Gaby Chiappe as inspiration for the series.

According to, the novel "tells the story of how respected crime writer Frank Cairns plots the perfect murder but ends up working with a top detective to clear his name.

“Cairns intends to murder the hit-and-run driver who killed his young son but when his intended victim is found dead and Cairns becomes the prime suspect, the author insists that he has been framed.

"To solve the mystery, one of Cairns’ old friends calls in private detective Nigel Strangeways to help.”

Where is The Beast Must Die filmed?

The Beast Must Die started filming in and around the Isle of Wight at the end of August for 11 weeks, so production should start wrapping up by the middle of November 2020.

The production has comprehensive Covid-19 protocols in place and is following strict social distancing guidelines, with all cast and crew required to wear masks at all times (except when cast are filming a scene). 

The cast and crew are also being tested routinely and will undergo daily temperature checks and health screenings, while on- and off-set ‘pods’ are being established to ensure safe interaction on the production.

According to Isle of Wight news website, specific filming locations on the island include a grand property on Love Lane in Bembridge; Culver Down near Sandown; and a section of waterfront at Norton Spit, Yarmouth.

In an interview with the Isle of Wight County Press, The Beast Must Die director Dome Karukoski said that the cast and crew are loving life on the island.

"After two weeks, the island has treated us well, we’ve gotten three seasons in one day," he said.

"We’ve gotten the sun, the wind, and I’ve been delivered grapes to my door by an unknown kind person who grows them.

"The crew is loving it, the actors are thinking about moving here and the local football team were kind enough to accept my son into their weekly football club. A very happy director here.”


Is there a trailer for The Beast Must Die?

There’s not currently a trailer for The Beast Must Die as the series is still being filmed.

Watch The Beast Must Die if you liked…

Vera, Shetland, Taboo, The Terror, The Night Manager, The Fall, Giri/Haji, Ozark.


The Beast Must Die will be available exclusively on BritBox UK in 2021.