The Staircase: Limited Series (2022)


Limited Series
The Staircase

Critics Consensus

The Staircase doesn't hold many surprises for those already intimate with the original documentary, but this dramatization brings a fresh perspective and texture to the mystery -- along with a terrific performance by Colin Firth.

95%

TOMATOMETER

Critic Ratings: 56

83%

Audience Score

User Ratings: 48

Where to watch

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Episodes

Air date: May 5, 2022

In 2001, author and aspiring local politician Michael Peterson is charged with murder after the suspicious death of his wife Kathleen.

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Air date: May 5, 2022

While working on his defense, Michael considers an opportunity to tell his story in a documentary; after learning shocking information about her stepfather, Caitlin wrestles with doubts.

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Air date: May 5, 2022

As the DA's office attempts to solidify their case, shocking new details surface about Michael's past that threaten to derail the defense.

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Air date: May 12, 2022

After an unexpected homecoming, a critical discovery rocks the Peterson household; Michael's fate hangs in the balance as the trial ends.

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Air date: May 19, 2022

In the aftermath of the verdict in 2004, Michael and his family struggle with the court's decision; in France, Jean and his producer Denis butt heads over whose side of the story they are telling; Sophie strikes up an unlikely friendship.

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Air date: May 26, 2022

Exploring the life of Michael Peterson, his sprawling N.C. family, and the suspicious death of his wife, Kathleen Peterson; based on a true story.

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Air date: Jun 2, 2022

Exploring the life of Michael Peterson, his sprawling N.C. family, and the suspicious death of his wife, Kathleen Peterson; based on a true story.

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Air date: Jun 9, 2022

Exploring the life of Michael Peterson, his sprawling N.C. family, and the suspicious death of his wife, Kathleen Peterson; based on a true story.

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The Staircase: Limited Series Videos

The Staircase: Limited Series Photos

Tv Season Info

Cast & Crew

Colin Firth
Michael Peterson

Actor
Toni Collette
Kathleen Peterson

Actor
Michael Stuhlbarg
David Rudolf

Actor
Dane DeHaan
Clayton Peterson

Actor
Olivia DeJonge
Caitlin Atwater

Actor
Rosemarie DeWitt
Candace Hunt Zamperini

Actor
Tim Guinee
Bill Peterson

Actor
Patrick Schwarzenegger
Todd Peterson

Actor
Sophie Turner
Margaret Ratliff

Actor
Vincent Vermignon
Jean-Xavier de Lestrade

Actor
Odessa Young
Martha Ratliff

Actor
Parker Posey
Freda Black

Actor
Antonio Campos
Executive Producer
Maggie Cohn
Executive Producer
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Critic Reviews for The Staircase: Limited Series

Audience Reviews for The Staircase: Limited Series

  • 8h ago
    Much more realistic than Netflix! You have to be a complete idiot or in complete denial to think he's innocent. Just the fact when he calls 911 and says she's still breathing and her blood was dry when the responders arrived. Her time of death was hours before he called. Right there is enough. But on top of that, you get broken bones and bruises when you fall down stairs, not giant lacerations on the top of your head and evidence of strangulation. I know as I myself fell from the very top of marble stairs all the way down to the bottom. Obviously, no blood, it's not that type of injury. I hit my head and my back, breaking my back. Great job of an intelligent, realistic show not a ridiculous, laughable documentary like Netflix.
  • 3d ago
    It's remarkable when the writing and acting is so good that it makes you dislike an actor who you'd previously cherished. Firth is brilliant but plays a character so unlikeable so well that it's hard not to blur those lines between fact and fiction. The Staircase is well paced, well acted and unsurprisingly grim, even traumatic at times. For those more familiar with Toni's work in Muriel's Wedding, it's quite jarring to see the alleged events portrayed in such haunting realism. This obviously won't be for everyone, but it'll get its hooks in you and it's compelling watching.
  • 4d ago
    Seems like a good thriller
  • 6d ago
    It's slow going but like a train wreck you can't look away from. I haven't seen a more disturbing death scene than the original Jaws movie. I can't get the wife's death throes out of my head. That two minute scene will haunt me forever! Ugh. I think of the people I know who could just as easily die through a simple accident like that which is also disturbing. What a messed up family.
  • May 12, 2022
    I watched up to Ep 3...great cast and directing, but I was getting a very creepy feeling. As I am interested in the case itself I decided to watch the original French produced 2004 mini-series documentary, Death on the Staircase, which is in English. The filming of this docu-series is integrated into the HBO reenactment. Clearly the new HBO production has tried, faithfully, to stick to the scenes and even the 'script' of the French docu-series, but the French docu-series is much better. There are no unnecessary reenactments of Peterson's sexual activity, nor any suggestion the adopted daughter is gay, as portrayed in the HBO Max production. The complexities of the evidence, the defense team huddles and strategy meetings, the interviews with the prosecution and the politics of Durham are compelling enough. Putting all this background into the actual courtroom in front of a jury makes for great drama, and the 'real' actors in this drama make it difficult to stop watching...unlike the new HBO production, in spite of the great cast and in spite of the very detailed duplication of scenes and dialogue from the French docu-series..
  • May 11, 2022
    I've only seen three episodes, but that's enough for me. The critics liked it, so what do I know? I find it dark (dark can be good) and plodding. I can't give a care about such a narcissist, whether or not he did it. Toni Collette is a great actress, but there's not enough character development to really even care about her, as tragic as the real story is. Not for me, I'm going to read a good book and not give my precious time to the rest of this.
  • May 10, 2022
    This show is a true sensational spectacle by every sense of the word! I am stunned by the true crime story behind this and the allegations against a prominent author and political incumbent whose wife wound up at the bottom of the stairwell appearing to have been bludgeoned to death with blood splatter all over - it is riveting and the element of HBO having had documentarians work on the investigation as it was unfolding in 2001-2002 make it seem like a double entendere.
  • May 10, 2022
    Very well made show some glaring mistakes. First, I really like this and I've seen the documentary. The glaring mistakes are with casting. Why does Hollywood insist on using black actors when the character is white in real life, they would never do that with a black show. It really makes you not trust a word or storyline that is being shown. What else are they going to change to help their political beliefs. Really not fun as a viewer. Good show so far though, besides the above.
  • May 09, 2022
    Always thought Michael Peterson did it. Hardcore narcissist who enjoyed the attention.
  • May 09, 2022
    Engrossing stuff. Good writing, very good acting.

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