The Staircase: Season 1 (2005 - 2018)


Season 1
The Staircase

Critics Consensus

The Staircase -- in its newly expanded form -- offers a gripping, detailed depiction of the complex justice system, even if the overall narrative lacks objectivity.

94%

TOMATOMETER

Critic Ratings: 32

82%

Audience Score

User Ratings: 337

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Episodes

Air date: Jan 16, 2005

Kathleen Peterson is found dead and her husband, Michael, stands accused of the killing.

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Air date: Jan 17, 2005

Michael Peterson's hidden sex life comes to light.

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Air date: Jan 18, 2005

A previous staircase death 17 years earlier sparks a new investigation.

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Air date: Jan 18, 2005

Elizabeth Ratliff's body is exhumed for autopsy and a report in the press threatens Peterson's defense.

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Air date: Jan 19, 2005

The prosecution presents its case and Michael Peterson's frantic 911 call is played in court.

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Air date: Jan 20, 2005

A reluctant witness comes forward and information about a previous death is used in the trial.

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Air date: Jan 23, 2005

As Peterson's defense brings in experts a new discovery comes to the attention of the defense.

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Air date: Jan 23, 2005

Michael Peterson receives the jury's verdict.

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Air date: Mar 4, 2013

Michael Peterson, convicted of killing his wife, may have one last chance left to appeal his case.

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Air date: Mar 11, 2013

A startling revelation opens the door for Michael Peterson's final appeal.

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The Staircase: Season 1 Photos

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News & Interviews for The Staircase: Season 1

Critic Reviews for The Staircase: Season 1

Audience Reviews for The Staircase: Season 1

  • Aug 01, 2022
    You know the husband did it from the start. The saddest part is watching the lawyer rob these kids of their mothers inheritance. Over and over and over. That should be illegal
  • Jul 01, 2022
    True crime fans, would really enjoy this series!
  • Jun 13, 2022
    I'd like to comment on the possibility that if one contends that the deaths of Elizabeth Ratliff and Kathleen Peterson were murders, then there are some likely possible motives that connect them. Elizabeth's husband, who died during a military mission in 1983, was a very good friend of Michael Peterson's. Could the men have been having an affair? A couple of years after Mr. Ratliff's death; is it possible Elizabeth Ratliff found some damning evidence of this affair and maybe others while going through her late husband's things? Could it be that the last night she was seen alive by Mr. Peterson; she had confronted him with the evidence and in a bid to gain back control he took her life and the evidence she had? If his fear of being outed was a probable motive; then is it possible he also flew into a rage with Kathleen upon the discovery of his secret homosexual life? I have previously wondered if Peterson was having an affair with Elizabeth Ratliff? Was her new baby actually Michael's, or could she have suggested that it was? If so then, therefore, it's likely that he wanted to keep that quiet and by killing Elizabeth and by trying to distance himself from the baby/girl by leaving her with family, friends and even trying to adopt her he could mitigate the possibility of the secret coming out. Did he recieved any of the money from the Ratliff's deaths via the biological children of the deceased couple? Some have mentioned that, lack of access to the 💰 or of 💰 running out, may have been a catalyst. Or the motive can some combination or some of or even all three.
  • Jun 12, 2022
    Absolutely essential viewing. This is not a dramatised crime watch, it's real life in every detail. A gripping and very interesting watch from start to finish.
  • May 17, 2022
    The defense is sickening. They are laughing and joking about a horrible death. The children of the mother who was murdered are laughing and joking about her death. If you can handle psychopaths being lighthearted over the disgusting horrific death of their own mother, this show is for you.
  • May 09, 2022
    I normally love true crime drama but I found this documentary boring. This is less a documentary and more of a one-sided presentation of the defense's case which has a ton of holes in it. Granted the prosecution made unforced errors but the documentary really concentrates on just Peterson's views--to the point I wondered if he funded it. The defense lawyers are tiresome and arrogant, Peterson is unconvincing. It leaves many crucial questions answered. I would have preferred a more balanced approach and a further exploration into some of the issues which made the prosecutor go forward with the case. Unconvincing, boring, repetitive unbalanced "documentary" with a focus of allowing Peterson to babble away without adding information to help the audience form their own opinion.
  • Feb 21, 2022
    Completely lost interest in the series after the second episode which was all over the map.
  • Jan 08, 2022
    This is a truly detailed and fascinating journey through the legal process in the murder trial of Michael Peterson. Peterson is an author and journalist whose wife died in their home leading him to be charged with murder. Was this murder or an accident? Through documentary footage we see the legal process and strain on this unusual family. I thought 13 episodes would be overkill but this was a well done crime documentary. Worth checking out.
  • Nov 11, 2021
    For true crime fans, this is an absolute must watch. This docuseries slowly built the story and the intensity grew.
  • Mar 05, 2021
    Too many stairs, not enough murder.

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