Real Dead Body Found On The Set Of BBC One's New Serial Killer Show

rellik bbc one

Any TV thriller about a serial killer is obviously going to be telling some dark stories, but one would hope that such stories would remain solely on the script pages. That's apparently not the case when it comes to the BBC's new thriller Rellik, which had to halt production when an actual corpse was found on the location that was to serve as the set for an in-production episode.

East London's Cambridge Heath Park was to be used as the location for a particular scene for Rellik -- which is "killer" spelled backwards, for those wondering -- and the scene also happened to involve the show's cops finding a corpse. Actor Paterson Joseph, seen most recently by U.S. audiences in NBC's cancelled-then-uncancelled Timeless, spoke about that incident and more with The Mirror, saying this:

The crew ­arrived to film their own dead body and the ­police told them they weren't able to, because they'd found a real dead body. It was bizarre, fact being stranger than fiction.

I'm sure that sent quite a shockwave through all involved, and it would be completely understandable if at least one person suspected that there was some morbid tomfoolery involved. After all, it's not often that life imitates art in such a way, especially when dead bodies are involved. TV shows often try to mirror real life events that have already happened, and some are strangely prescient when it comes to future events. But for a show to experience such coincidental similarities while till in production, that's even freakier.

And it turns out that's not the only bizarre coincidence that has happened when it comes to Rellik. The show's leading actor Richard Dormer, familiar to Game of Thrones fans as Beric Dondarrion, plays a self-destructive cop whose vice-loving life is thrown into disarray when he is the victim of a ruthless attack where acid was thrown on him. As Paterson Joseph shared, Dormer apparently suffered from a bacterial skin infection that strangely matched up with symptoms of his character's wounds.

There were a lot of strange coincidences. Richard [Dormer], who plays our main character, getting impetigo and his face being covered in blotches and blemishes. He got the same reaction as his actual character, who's been scarred in an acid attack. We found that odd. Then there was the acid attacks which happened at the same time as we were filming ours. It's a strange show when it brings out these coincidences.

From a mysterious dead body to uncomfortable ailments to violent attacks, Rellik dealt with the kinds of coincidental situations that I'm sure no other shows would be jealous of. The series was created by Harry and Jack Williams, who also created the stellar drama The Missing, and one can only hope that the world doesn't bear witness to a real-life story that mirrors how that tragic tale turned out. (Not that there aren't enough incidents that come close enough.)

Rellik, which offers a twist on the normal TV narrative by presenting the story in reverse, made its premiere on BBC One on September 11, and it airs Monday nights. Cinemax got involved as a distributor for U.S. audiences, but it's unclear where that stands at this point. But if you need to know everything that is starting up soon in primetime, head to our fall premiere schedule.

Nick Venable
Assistant Managing Editor

Nick is a Cajun Country native, and is often asked why he doesn't sound like that's the case. His love for his wife and daughters is almost equaled by his love of gasp-for-breath laughter and gasp-for-breath horror. A lifetime spent in the vicinity of a television screen led to his current dream job, as well as his knowledge of too many TV themes and ad jingles.