The Secret Poster

The Secret (2016)

Biography | Thriller 
Rayting:   7.2/10 2.6K votes
Country: UK
Language: English

The true crime story of a respectable dentist and pillar of the community, who became a killer in partnership with a Sunday school teacher.

Episode Guide

Season 1

May 20, 2016Episode 4 Episode 4
May 13, 2016Episode 3 Episode 3
May 6, 2016Episode 2 Episode 2
April 29, 2016Episode 1 Episode 1

Best The Secret Episodes

Top 20 (Ranked)

May 20, 2016star7.6 97 votesS1E4 Episode 4
May 6, 2016star7.3 113 votesS1E2 Episode 2
May 13, 2016star7.2 101 votesS1E3 Episode 3
April 29, 2016star7.1 135 votesS1E1 Episode 1

The Secret Trailer

User Reviews

MOscarbradley 21 May 2016

A few years ago a dentist from Coleraine, here in Northern Ireland, Colin Howell, together with the woman with whom he was having an affair, was convicted of the murder of their respective spouses almost 20 years earlier. After their conviction a book about the case appeared and now this television dramatization, "The Secret". The problem I have with it is that no matter how well done it is, and it is superbly made, people immediately connected with the killers, (their children, their new partners, family etc), are still alive and dragging up these events only a few years after they happened is bound to cause considerable pain to the survivors, so much so that the matter of this series was even raised in the British Parliament.

That said, who doesn't like a juicy murder, especially when sex is involved, particularly when it happened only a few miles from where you live and "The Secret" was the juiciest of murder yarns, excellently written, directed and performed. Until now I've never quite understood the attraction of James Nesbitt, a Northern Ireland actor who has never shaken off his thick Ballymena accent and no always seemed the same no matter what part he was playing but I have to admit he was superb as Howell. This was a career-best performance that just might win him a BAFTA, a complex, multi-layered piece of acting that will surely divide viewers as to whether Howell was the personification of evil or just dangerously disturbed.

As Hazel Buchanan, his partner in crime, Dublin born Genevieve O'Reilly was almost as good, again creating a character with several layers to her personality. More credit, then, to both players since little is known of either Howell or Buchanan before the events portrayed. Yes, "The Secret" may well be controversial and I can fully understand the objections raised against it but it certainly wasn't prurient; rather this was a riveting piece of television and one of the best 'true crime' dramas of recent years.

robertemerald 21 May 2017

This is James Nesbit's best that I have seen. The Missing was also very good but this has a faster pace and more suspense. It's highly original, perhaps reflecting a true or near true story. And its also very hard to review without spoilers, so obviously the plot is key. If you love dark tales from the British Isles then this is for you.

wellthatswhatithinkanyway 17 November 2016

STAR RATING: ***** Saturday Night **** Friday Night *** Friday Morning ** Sunday Night * Monday Morning

A true story set in the early 90s, in the small Irish town of Coleraine, a devoutly religious community where the church elders sway a lot of influence in the lives of the parishioners. Colin Howell (James Nesbitt) works as a dentist, and has an idyllic family life with his wife and children. But he becomes infatuated with Hazel (Genevieve O' Reilly), the wife of the local policeman, and the two begin a passionate affair. After they're exposed, they drift apart for a while, only for them to rekindle it again. It's after this that Colin suggests a murderous way that they can be together, that marks the beginning of a twenty year quest towards justice and closure.

Given the comparatively small number of murders that the UK witnesses (at least, in times gone past), there's always that great potential for drama in exploring the motivations behind the killings, especially in portrayals of serial killers. But this particular story tells the tale of a single double murder committed by two people. But the tale itself is such a wayward, unusual one, involving a pair of non perverted, normal people with probably no trouble with the law in the past, who chose such a strange, cold blooded way to deal with their forbidden love.

In a drama that spans out between two parts and two decades, Nesbitt has to carry the title role. In TV dramas such as this, he has sort of become the 'go to guy' for this kind of thing, but if he's the reliable bloke for producers to fall back on, then he's definitely honed his craft over the years, and delivers a stirring lead performance here.It's a convincing portrayal of a complete novice, who transforms into a cold, calculating killer with little or no disdain. It's hard to tell whether he's using his religious convictions to justify his horrific deeds, or whether it's all just a front to cover his sick, assured presence, and as such it's great. Likewise, O'Reilly also shines as a cold, icy accomplice, happy to continue her life in spite of her actions.

An impressive, well made dramatisation of cold blooded ruthlessness. ****

erikssonsens 8 June 2020

Such a good series! A true story series. Insane! I almost flew out the couch during the episode of the killings. Bit my nails off. Good acting by awesome cast.

Guanche48 4 September 2019

Great acting, great serie!! Phsicollogy is really great and also the location,fotography and actors are really good. Amazing what faith can do by some ..people. crazy!!

benedict-cynthia 4 March 2020

I am very impressed with the way this was acted and how they didn't string it out through too many episodes. I can't say enough about the superb acting. I was so immersed in it. I have Netflix and Starz and a few other apps where I can watch all sorts of shows/movies but nothing has come close to this engrossing series. Bravo Northern Ireland!

danielmanwaring-30384 12 February 2021

Very good and we'll recommend. Paced well with some great preferences from the main cast, Nesbitt is particularly good in this.

johnjkelly-36119 12 September 2018

Top notch stuff but who are the idiot reviewers that think Northern Ireland is in England?

daggersineyes 7 July 2016

I went into this movie with no knowledge of the actual crime or even that this was based on one. I never believe the old "based on a true story" line so just assumed this, like most, was loosely based on something that happened in England but was not actually a faithful reproduction. It's only today when I was doing some research on it that I discovered all the drama created by the victim's daughter but. I don't really understand the controversy. If the victims families don't want to be traumatised by a TV dramatisation of these tragic events then....why watch it? Seems simple to me. I'm pretty sure I wouldn't be able to watch if someone made a movie about deaths of people close to me. Maybe I"m missing something but honestly, the daughter who is voicing all these complaints should have just not watched the show. What is the point of kicking up a huge song and dance about it? Anyway, moving on to the actual critique. Personally like many others, I absolutely loved the series and it is well worth watching. I don't often like dramatisations of true crimes because they are usually stilted, stiff & boring with bad production values, B grade actors and lousy script writing. The Secret is nothing like the "usual" type. It's exceptionally good quality, well written, beautifully produced and all of the actors do a wonderful job. Nesbitt's performance in particular is absolutely chilling in his portrayal of the "ordinary" outside of this very sinister & disturbed individual. In all the story is told with class & compassion. HIGHLY RECOMMENDED.

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