Published 22:32 IST, April 27th 2024

What Is The Real Story Behind Baby Reindeer, New Series That Explores Stalking And Obsession?

Baby Reindeer is among streaming giant Netflix's global top performers for April. Did you know that the series is inspired from real life events?

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Baby Reindeer | Image: X

Richard Gadd may be currently heaving a sigh of relief at how his complex, yet comic (morbidly so) take on his own 4-year long ordeal, has found favour among the audience - however, Baby Reindeer, is more than just a real-to-reel tale. The series explores stalking in a completely new light, pressing on the facet of vulnerability and broken-ness.

Richard Gadd real life ordeal which inspired Baby Reindeer

For the unversed, Baby Reindeer the show, stands adapted from Gadd's own book of the same name, also adapted into a one-man play. As per Gadd's own admission, he was incessantly stalked by a woman for a period of four years, who affably called him Baby Reindeer. She sent Gadd a staggering 41,071 emails, 350 hours of voicemail, 744 tweets, 46 Facebook messages and 106 pages of letters. This stood coupled with disconcerting gifts to the tune of sleeping pills, a woolly hat, brand new boxer shorts and a reindeer toy. 


In translating his own experience for the screen, Gadd wanted to take the mysticism away from the topic of stalking, making it as raw and real as possible. In an interview with Netflix's Tudum, he said, "Stalking on television tends to be very sexed up. It has a mystique...I really wanted to show the layers of stalking with a human quality I hadn’t seen on television before. It’s a stalker story turned on its head."


Richard Gadd addresses his culpability

Those who have given the series a watch will acknowledge how Gadd's character - essayed by himself as Donny in the show - had a hand in what all he proceeded to go through. Not shying away from how incorrectly he handled the situation, Gadd was clear that he was absolutely against presenting his story from the perspective of a "victim narrative".


In a separate interview with The Guardian, he said, "I did loads of things wrong and made the situation worse. I wasn’t a perfect person (back then), so there’s no point saying I was..." Going back to his Tudum interview, he reflected, "I wanted it to be layered, and I wanted it to capture the human experience...people are good, but they have bits of bad and they make mistakes." Baby Reindeer, also starring Jessica Gunning, is currently streaming on Netflix.

22:32 IST, April 27th 2024