Dennis Nilsen pleased not guilty at the end of episode two of ITV drama Des, leaving viewers ‘gobsmacked’.
The Scottish serial killer, played by former Doctor Who actor David Tennant, had at that point already taken police through the numerous killings he carried out between 1978 and 1983.
And despite offering gruesome details of the murders and his victims, he pleaded not guilty as the judge read out the charges. Earlier in the episode, he had decided to stop cooperating with DCI Peter Jays (Daniels Mays) and the other investigators.
How did Des viewers react when Dennis Nilsen’s ‘not guilty’ plea?
The surprising closing scene in the courtroom left viewers stunned.
One said on Twitter: “Cannot wait for #Des @itv tonight. It’s so good. @DavidTenantNews is amazing as always, so too is @DanielMays9. Shocking ending last night… not guilty!”
A second wrote, using a shocked-face GIF: “When you hear #Des saying he’s not guilty.”
A third said: “Dennis Nilsen telling the police and Brian Masters all about his victims and THEN going to court and pleading ‘not guilty’ is peak psychopathic game playing and publicity seeking. David Tennant and the rest of the cast are masterful in this. #Des.”
— Emma Zakoscielny (@EZakoscielny) September 16, 2020
— Ian (@Mancman10) September 15, 2020
Dennis Nilsen telling the police and Brian Masters all about his victims and THEN going to court and pleading 'Not Guilty' is peak psychopathic game playing and publicity seeking. David Tennant and the rest of the cast are masterful in this. #Des
— Anusia Battersby (@AnusiaBattersby) September 15, 2020
Watching #Des is like getting inside the mind of a psychopath – WHY would you plead Not Guilty after so calmly telling the truth from the start… But I assume by that point he was forced to deal with the reality & he couldn't handle the reality & the reason's behind it…
— Kim (@xxx_kimbo_xxx) September 15, 2020
Omg he’s pleaded not guilty after all those confessions #Des
— Farrah (@Farrah_000) September 15, 2020
‘Masterful’ performances from David Tennant, Daniel Mays and Jason Watkins
Another viewer tweeted: “Watching #Des is like getting inside the mind of a psychopath. WHY would you plead not guilty, after so calmly telling the truth from the start?
“But I assume by that point he was forced to deal with the reality and he couldn’t handle the reality and the reason’s behind it…”
Omg he’s pleaded not guilty after all those confessions.
Someone else asked: “How did he have the balls to plead not guilty? Psycho!”
“Omg he’s pleaded not guilty after all those confessions #Des,” wrote a sixth.
The hairs stood up on the back of my neck when David stood up and looked in to the camera and said “Not Guilty”; and then you looked over at Jason. The whole thing is great tv Daniel and I can imagine it was tough filming it for all of you. 👍
— Ian McClellan (@ianmac67_SE) September 15, 2020
I was gobsmacked at that response!
And what a brilliantly suspenseful way to end the episode?
So felt for Peter Jay earlier when his team were commended and then told they couldn’t continue to identify the others; soul destroying
— Kel Lee (@KayEeLee) September 16, 2020
Des viewers have ‘hairs standing up’ on their necks
One fan tweeted to Line Of Duty star Daniel Mays: “The hairs stood up on the back of my neck when David stood up and looked into the camera and said, ‘not guilty’; and then you looked over at Jason [Watkins, who plays biographer Brian Masters]. The whole thing is great TV, Daniel, and I can imagine it was tough filming it for all of you.”
Someone else told the actor: “I was gobsmacked at that response! And what a brilliantly suspenseful way to end the episode?” They added how they felt sorry for Peter and the team earlier in the episode, when bosses told them to stop identifying victims as it was taking up too much time and money.
– Des concludes tonight (Wednesday, September 16) at 9pm on ITV
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