ITV’s latest drama Manhunt creates debate among viewers

The show has had polar reactions

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New ITV drama Manhunt, which began last night, has divided viewers.

The three-parter is based on the real-life hunt for serial killer Levi Bellfield who terrorised south-west London between 2002 and 2004, as documented by senior investigating officer Colin Sutton, played by Martin Clunes.

The first episode saw Colin and his team launch a manhunt after 22-year-old French national Amélie Delagrange was brutally killed after a night out on Twickenham Green.

The drama will go on to examine Bellfield’s other murders – of Millie Dowler and Marsha McDonnell – and his brutal attempted murder of Kate Sheedy.

Martin Clunes Manhunt
Martin Clunes plats Colin Sutton (Credit: ITV)

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Many viewers praised the sensitive handling of such devastating real-life events on Twitter…

One message echoed the sentiments of others, stating: “It would be easy to watch #Manhunt as just another crime drama but knowing this was a real life case made it chilling viewing, especially when you remember when it happened.

“I think it has been respectful so far but it must be heartbreaking for the families of those poor girls.” [sic]

Viewers also praised Martin for his performance as Colin Sutton.

Martin Clunes Manhunt
Martin Clunes was praised for his performance (Credit: ITV)

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One tweeted “Watched #Manhunt on @ITV and thought it was excellent. Martin Clunes was very good. I remember the actual case as I’m sure many do. It was quietly observant drama and very emotional.”

A second tweeted “I actually love Martin Clunes he is brilliant in #manhunt” [sic]

“Martin Clunes is an amazing actor #manhunt” [sic] tweeted a third.

Another posted “#Manhunt Gripping without being sensationalistic. A really great insight into police work behind the scenes. Clunes so believable and sympathetic as Sutton.”

However some viewers, including former Goggleboxer George Gilbey, took issue with the drama being made.

He tweeted: “The thought of making a murder out of such a a lovely innocent soul into a factually incorrect ‘drama soap’ is disgusting. All your doing is monetizing. Thus making others follow suit @ITV #manhunt” [sic]

It’s unclear why George has claimed the drama is factually incorrect, as there has been no suggestion elsewhere, and it is based on Colin Sutton’s actual memoirs.

However some agreed it was not right to make it, with one stating: “Couldn’t agree more and that’s why I didn’t watch it. #Manhunt”

Someone who knew one of the victims posted: “I respect documentaries about murders and serial killers relaying the facts, but making a dramatised series is a step too far man, respect the families and stop bringing up the past. With my family knowing Marsha’s, this is too close to home #Manhunt [sic] tweeted another.

What did you think of Manhunt? Leave us a comment on our Facebook page @EntertainmentDailyFix and let us know what you think!

Manhunt continues tonight at 9pm on ITV.

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