Obsession: Netflix release date, trailer, and cast with Richard Armitage, Charlie Murphy, and Indira Varma

Richard Armitage and Charlie Murphy star in Obsession, a new Netflix psychosexual thriller about an affair between a surgeon and his daughter-in-law

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Obsession, a new psychosexual thriller starring Richard Armitage, is arriving on Netflix this April. The series, which also stars Happy Valley’s Charlie Murphy and Game of Thrones’ Indira Varma, follows an affair between a respected surgeon and his son’s new fiancée. 

Loosely based on the novel Damage by Josephine Hart, Obsession was written by the playwright Morgan Lloyd Malcolm. Hart’s novel was previously adapted as a film starring Jeremy Irons in 1991. 

Here’s everything you need to know about Obsession before it arrives on Netflix. 

What is it about?

The official Netflix synopsis explains that Obsession follows “a respected London surgeon's affair with his son's fiancée [which] turns into an erotic infatuation that threatens to change their lives forever.”

It’s loosely based on the novel Damage by Josephine Hart, which follows a broadly similar plotline (albeit one in which the lead character is an MP rather than a surgeon). The book was later adapted into a film of the same name starring Jeremy Irons, Juliette Binoche, and an Oscar-nominated Miranda Richardson, and later still inspired the opera adaptation in 2008. 

Who stars in Obsession?

Charlie Murphy as Anna and Richard Armitage as William in Obsession, leaning in to embrace (Credit: Netflix)Charlie Murphy as Anna and Richard Armitage as William in Obsession, leaning in to embrace (Credit: Netflix)
Charlie Murphy as Anna and Richard Armitage as William in Obsession, leaning in to embrace (Credit: Netflix)

Richard Armitage plays William Farrow, a widely respected doctor celebrated for his considerable surgical skills. Armitage is best known for playing Lucas North in Spooks, Guy Gisbourne in Robin Hood, and Francis Dolarhyde in Hannibal. In more recent years, Armitage has appeared in a number of Harlan Coben thrillers for Netflix, including The Stranger and Stay Close.

Charlie Murphy plays Anna Barton, William’s son’s new girlfriend. Murphy is best known for playing Ann Gallagher in Happy Valley, but you might also recognise her as communist activist Jessie Eden in Peaky Blinders. She’s also appeared in Halo, Deadline, Ripper Street, and The Capture.

Indira Varma plays Ingrid Farrow, William’s unsuspecting wife. Varma is probably best known for roles in cult television series like Game of Thrones (where she played Ellaria Sand) or Obi-Wan Kenobi (where she played Tala Durith), but you might also recognise her from Torchwood, Luther, Extrapolations, or This Way Up.

They’re joined by Rish Shah (Ms. Marvel, Do Revenge) as William’s son Jay Farrow, Pippa Bennett-Warner (Chloe, Gangs of London) as Anna’s friend Peggy, and Marion Bailey (Vera Drake, The Crown) as Anna’s mother Elizabeth Barton among others. 

Who writes and directs? 

Obsession was developed by Morgan Lloyd Malcolm, a playwright best known for Time Trippers and The Receptionists. She was previously associated with The Apatheists, a group of writers active in London in 2006 (the best known of which is Doctor Foster’s Mike Bartlett). Her father is the Scottish actor/producer Charles Malcolm.

Directing partners Lisa Barros D'Sa and Glenn Leyburn (Good Vibrations, Ordinary Love) helmed the series. Benji Walters (Noughts and Crosses) also wrote episodes alongside Malcolm. 

Is there a trailer?

Yes, there is! You can watch it right here.

When can I watch Obsession?

Obsession will be available to stream on Netflix from Thursday 13 April, where every episode will be made available at once as part of a boxset from around 8am. You can sign up for Netflix here.

How many episodes are there?

Obsession is a four-part drama, and each episode runs to around 30-45 minutes.

Where is it filmed?

Obsession is set in London, and was filmed there for the most part (some additional scenes, set in France, were filmed on location in Paris). Notably, the flat in which Armitage and Murphy’s character conduct their affair was specially constructed in Twickenham Film Studios, rather than being filmed in a real flat, to afford the actors more privacy during intimate scenes.

Is Obsession any good? What do reviews say?

No it is not! In our review and on our podcast discussion, we were very critical of Obsession, describing it as "boring, dull, slow, and monotonous".

Why should I watch it?

It’s one to check out if you’re a fan of Richard Armitage (and a dedicated completist at that). Otherwise, you might also be interested if you enjoyed Josephine Hart’s novel and you’re curious about a new interpretation of the source material. (Of course, we also throught it was rubbish, so.)

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