Four Lives Poster

Four Lives (2022)

Crime | Mystery 
Rayting:   7.6/10 3.1K votes
Country: UK
Language: English

A look at the aftermath of four murders carried out by Stephen Port between 2014 and 2015.

Episode Guide

Season 1

January 5, 2022Episode 3 Episode 3
January 4, 2022Episode 2 Episode 2
January 3, 2022Episode 1 Episode 1

Best Four Lives Episodes

Top 20 (Ranked)

January 5, 2022star8.4 67 votesS1E3 Episode 3
January 4, 2022star8.1 73 votesS1E2 Episode 2
January 3, 2022star8.0 84 votesS1E1 Episode 1

Four Lives Trailer

User Reviews

W011y4m5 5 January 2022

Unfortunately, "Four Lives" feels like a disappointingly "adequate" & formulaic way to tell an incredibly important story regarding one of the worst institutional failures in modern British policing history - & for something which is as deserving of scathing condemnation as this, upon failing to rightfully tear multiple chunks out of the Met & its deteriorating credibility / reputation, the BBC's toothless dramatisation lacks the bold, scornful bite that it should've ideally possessed.

I'm not saying it's bad but after watching a groundbreaking, provocative series like "It's A Sin" (which, in a bittersweet combination, made the stories of young gay men about more than just their tragic & premature deaths, celebrating the individuality of those caught up in events & the beauty of their fleeting lives whilst balancing that happiness with politics & profound, traumatic loss) I can't help but feel as though there's a far better way to tell the stories of LGBT people than this. Furthermore, I don't really want to see a series shaped around the murderer who perpetrated these unforgivable crimes. It shouldn't be about him & I resented the fact that his featuring ate up so much screen time - because in life, he deprived Anthony, Gabriel, Daniel & Jack of their time; he had no right to do so here & wasn't worth it. Therefore, blotting out such light with needless, grim darkness was an unjustifiable creative decision, in my opinion. His scenes only sought to reaffirm his weird, obsessive, predatory nature but that wasn't warranted because his vulgar actions proved that beyond any reasonable doubt. A superior approach would've arguably been to make those who we lost the main focus - as opposed to reducing them to minor roles that were voyeuristically shot as deceased bodies for the vast majority of their inclusion. Didn't appreciate the gratuitous visualisations of their discoveries, I must admit.

Plus, the fact that the man responsible for these heinous acts (I'm not even going to dignify that thing with a name - doesn't deserve one) is dubbed "the Grindr killer" & the producers clearly haven't been granted permission to use the app on screen (the company evidently doesn't want any negative association) so instead, amendments are consequently made to the plot so that the victims are lured to their doom via random websites - like a couch surfing platform (?) - feels like a particularly offensive dilution, regardless of the reason for making alterations; the 4 men used a gay app for hook ups. You can't water it down or hide / shy away from it because that's not something to be ashamed of. Changing that plot point (very noticeably) - no matter how you try & excuse it - simply adds to the misconception that being on there was shameful & unintentionally comes across as victim blaming. It's a careless error of judgement that prevents this from being respectful & worse, it contradicts the messaging - that they shouldn't have had anything to hide in the beginning... When you can't even say what it was that they were using - out of fear of judgement / hostilities. This is a big issue as the series progresses. I know some heterosexuals will say "why put so much emphasis on gay sex?" But it's undeniably a big part of gay men's identities & integral to why they were there (in that flat) in the first place. Masking that & sweeping it und

azanti0029 4 January 2022

Four Lives is an incredibily accurate drama documentary that tells the story of what would become known in the media as The Barkingside Murders or Grinder Serial Killer. The killer in question preying on young men via gay dating apps and giving them too much GHB (also known as the date rape drug) to enable him to assault them.

The real story here though is the absolute bungling of the police investigation. Lessons from Lawrence had clearly not been learned and such familiar mistakes were further compounded by a poor approach towards LGBT sensitivities, a failure of due care towards the victims families and any effort to do the most basic of policework.

This story could not have been told in a single film, nor even as a two parter and somehow three still feels a little indequate but this essential story was well structured and gives great insight into the terrible blunders made by the police that will literally leave you screaming at the television.

Here it is the quality of the writing that stands out from the outset, as adequate screen time is given to each of the four young men who ultimately became Port's victims, so we feel invested in their lives and their futures. Equally we feel the loss by their friends, relatives and lovers. The show has a number of stand out performances including several from the lesser well known cast, among those which deserve special mention are: Rufus Jones (who you will reconogize as he never stops working) Samuel Barnett, Jimmy Bradshaw, Paddy Rowan, Michael Jibson and Ella Kenion bring some of the smaller roles to life with great skill, while Sheridan Smith, Holly Aird and Jamie Winston fill the shoes of the more meaty roles with their usual gutsy portrayals. The real stand out performance here though is Stephen Merchant as Port, whom I expect we will see a great deal more of in serious roles after this. The one moment in the show where he chooses to smile is truly chilling. Roberts Emms also gives a very emotive and raw performance as the partner of one of the deceased. The visit by the Police to his home is a scene which is hard to digest but one for which he brings a really visceral poignancy with his performance.

Four Lives is not an easy watch, and having watched both this and Anne practically back to back two days in a row, I felt something of an emotional wreck by the end of that journey. This show leaves you feeling angry towards the police by the end of it and really demonstrates, sadly, the days when you could just trust them to do their job are a distant memory. Hopefully this programme will reinforce to them the lessons that should have been learned from this story. An outstanding piece of drama and a credit to all involved.

peterrichboy 6 January 2022

This is a really well-made story of how four young men were murdered by same man after meeting up through a gay dating website. It's a tale very much of the time we live in. It seems to me there's so many young people who are prepared to just meet complete strangers through social media, without really thinking of the potential consequences.

Sheridan Smith plays the mother of the first victim and as always she puts on a first class performance. As far as I'm aware this was Stephen merchants first straight role and deserves praise for the way he portrayed the evil sadistic killer, who claimed his innocence right up to the end. Well worth a watch particularly if like me you were previously unaware of this story. 8/10.

daviddunn-90653 12 January 2022

Excellent drama with Stephen Merchant and Sheridan Smith giving top notch performances. Merchant was especially chilling. Very scary. Sheridan Smith, is one of the finest actresses of modern times and it showed here.

The police were completely inept throughout the investigation and this drama highlighted that perfectly. A fine production all round.

pnpete9 4 January 2022

This story had all the makings of being great material for a great drama. Sadly all involved did in no way give it their all. It simply plodded along in a Luke warm fashion until it's conclusion. Ms Smith yet again gives a mind numbing flat performance. She was once brilliant. Money simply wasted by the BBC.

chris-h-3 5 January 2022

I remember watching the documentary about this case and it was shocking what was missed in the course of the investigation. To me this three hour long series fails to communicate or fully explain those failures and mistakes.

To watch the first two episodes you would think the most important failure was in name mispronunciation. I get that this is to show the lack of detail or care of the investigators however it comes up so often it begins to feel petty and gets into Hyacinth Bucket territory, which I'm sure was not the aim.

We do get to know some more about the four lives of the title however this is counterpointed by all the other supporting characters, who are completely one dimensional. Ultimately this is a let down on the writing side it failed to communicate the characters and the impact the event had on them, it failed to have any drama and it also failed to fully communicate the failures of the investigation.

The odd blurry edged camera work throughout I found distracting also, presumably this was a style choice and not a technical mistake but it seemed to serve no purpose, at times even characters speaking would have half their heads out of focus.

I would recommend seeking out the BBC documentary about this case as it is less than a third of the length and a far more powerful piece of television.

kpassa 5 January 2022

The police investigation is everything you would expect from a country where less than 10% of crimes get solved. Kudos to the producers for making it real.

Another incredibly annoying feature of this falls on Imdb. The cast list is a mess with all sorts of major characters missing. We like to watch a show, look for characters that look familiar then crosscheck on Imdb. For example there was one character who reminded of someone that used to be on Emmerdale. Even though he has been in every episode he wasn't listed here so we had to search Emmerdale for his character. Sure enough, Shaun Thomas was in Emmerdale, he is listed on the show credits but nowhere to be found on Imdb. The murder victims aren't even listed so the staggering incompetence in this show also applies to Imdb.

jacquelinesandra-34671 6 January 2022

Great cast but I have to say that Sheridan Smith was quite awful in it.

Didn't know about the murders, the Police miserably failed the victims and the families. Was shocked to see it happened just a few years ago, with all the technology, a lot more should have been done!

lizxypopcornkid 5 January 2022

The show four lives is unfortunately based on true preventable events which I knew before going into watching it , I am truly sorry for the families and victims than ever before.

The show is accurate and very well acted, especially regarding Sheridan Smiths performance which I have no doubt she'll win many awards for!

I hope the tv show brings more light to unjust crimes not just in the UK but everywhere !

If u have the time to spare watch this TV show and please support the LGBT community.

Thank you .

grahamf-55542 8 January 2022

Very well made drama, great acting by the leads, especially Merchant and Smith. Shocking that the police could handle a case so poorly, but it deserves to be exposed.

Strongly recommended and one of the superior dramas from the BBC recently.

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