In 13 Steps Down Mix Cellini (Luke Treadaway) is an attractive and deceptively charming young man with a disturbed past who rents the top floor of a dilapidated Notting Hill residence. St Blaise House is also where Gwendolen Chawcer (Geraldine James) – a lonely spinster in her mid-70s – has lived all her life, looked after by the only friends she has ever had, Olive (Gemma Jones) and Queenie (Anna Calder-Marshall).
Gwendolen nurses the memory of her long-lost and only true love Dr Stephen Reeves (Rio Fanning), whom she believes was mistakenly connected to serial killer John Reginald Christie years before. When Gwendolen discovers that Stephen’s wife has died, she attempts to make contact again. Meanwhile Mix has two compelling obsessions – Christie himself, and supermodel Nerissa Nash (Elarica Gallacher) whom he is stalking.
Fantasy and reality merge as long pent-up violence is released and Mix begins to inhabit the spirit of the long-dead murderer. In the concluding part, when Gwendolen returns from hospital, Mix’s behaviour and movements come under the microscope – but Mix cares little for the suspicions he arouses. When he finally comes face to face with Nerissa, Mix’s mind begins to slide into the abyss. Driven on by his nemesis, serial killer John Reginald Christie (Mark Lambert), Mix compounds one heinous act with another and rapidly descends into insanity.
UK / ITV – Parallel Films / 2×50 minute episodes / Broadcast 13 August – 20 August 2012
Writer: Adrian Hodges / Book: Ruth Rendell / Music: Frank Bak / Executive Producers: Alan Moloney, Mary Callery, Adrian Hodges / Producer: Neil Zeiger / Director: Marek Losey
Luke Treadaway as Mix Cellini
Geraldine James as Gwendolen
Elarica Gallacher as Nerissa Nash
Gemma Jones as Olive
Anna Calder-Marshall as Queenie
Victoria Bewick as Danila
Sam O’Mahony as Darel
Maryam d’Abo as Madame Odette
Laura Pyper as Kayleigh
Ben Shafik as Abbas
Brian Bovell as Tom
Carrie Crowley as Hazel
Melanie Gray as Colette