HBO Max’s New True Crime Show Has 90% On Rotten Tomatoes

The peak of true crime isn’t going away any time soon. HBO Max has a new true crime show based on a celebrated docuseries, The Staircase. Furthermore, the fictional remake seems to be getting just as much praise, with a Rotten Tomatoes rating of 90%. Then you can also check our review of why it is a must watch. Moreover, you can also stream show on HBO Max watch party with your friends anywhere around the globe.  

The Staircase is based on French director Jean-Xavier de Lestrade’s 2004 documentary series of the same name. In detail, it shared the story of Michael Peterson’s trial for the murder of his wife, Kathleen Peterson. Therefore, the film crew was given unlimited access to Peterson, his family, his counsel, and the legal procedures. 

Colin Firth portrays Peterson, Toni Collette portrays Kathleen, Michael Stuhlbarg portrays defence lawyer David Rudolf, and Vincent Vermignon plays Lestrade in the show. However, the eight-episode limited series explores how storytelling affects subjectivity and whether the truth of a case can ever be known with full assurance. Although, if you haven’t jumped on the HBO Max bandwagon yet, this may be the ideal time. Furthermore, this new true crime show is full of suspense and thrill. 

Hbo Max's New True Crime Show Has 90% On Rotten Tomatoes

true crime show

Michael Peterson was an author who lived in Durham, North Carolina, with his wife Kathleen Atwater and their five children. Kathleen’s daughter Caitlin, Peterson’s sons Clayton and Todd from his first marriage, and Peterson’s wards Margaret and Martha (daughters of his friends George and Elizabeth Ratliff). 

Furthermore, Peterson called 911 to report that Kathleen had died after falling down the stairs in their home, in December 2002. However, the cops did not trust his story and instead believed that he had killed her with a missing fireplace tool. Moreover, Peterson was charged with murder, and he was represented in court by a team of lawyers led by David Rudolf. 

Michael Peterson Has Another Death Connection Too

true crime show

During the court, it was found that Peterson was linked to another death via stairs, while he and his first wife Patricia were living in Germany. Furthermore, after suffering an intracerebral haemorrhage, their friend Elizabeth Ratliff (then a widow) fell down the stairs. Additionally, her head injuries were similar to the ones sustained by Kathleen. Moreover, the investigation of the matter was done by the German cops and the U.S. military, who deemed Ratliff’s death accidental. However, the prosecution stated that the first death motivated Peterson to fake Kathleen’s staircase fall. In addition, they said Kathleen realized Michael was bisexual and having affairs with guys. Therefore, as a result, an argument happened, and he banged her to death, then tried to cover it up. 

On the other hand, Peterson stated that Kathleen did not know about his sexuality. Then, he said she would have accepted it even if she did. To clarify, he stuck to his justification of being outside by their backyard pool when Kathleen fell. 

However, in October 2003, after one of the longest trials in North Carolina history, the jury found Peterson guilty. Therefore, he was given the death penalty and was punish to live in jail without the chance of parole. Multiple attempts at an appeal failed.

Where To Watch The Staircase Docuseries

true crime show

The eight-episode of this true crime show miniseries was previewed on ABC’s Primetime Thursday and aired in its entirety on the Sundance Channel BBC Four’s Storyville in the U.K. in 2004. 

Lestrade released a two-hour follow-up of the new true crime show. The docuseries had its premiere at the International Documentary Film Festival Amsterdam (IDFA). As well as, it aired on the Sundance Channel in 2012.  

The director announced another follow-up film of this true crime show, The Staircase III. Furthermore, Netflix bought it and released it in three new episodes. Moreover, the streaming service also got the rights to the previous episodes in 2015. 

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