The #1 Show on Netflix Is a Stalker Thriller That’s Actually Based on a True Story

ICYMI: The drama series stars the real-life stalking victim himself

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Donny Baby Reindeer CAT
Ed Miller/Netflix

*Warning: Sensitive topics discussed*

It’s only been a week (and a few days) since the brand-new Netflix miniseries Baby Reindeer premiered on the streaming service. And it didn’t take long for the British drama to climb all the way to the top spot on the platform’s top 10 shows list.

Baby Reindeer follows a man named Donny Dunn, who meets a lonely woman named Martha (Jessica Gunning) sitting at a bar. While working as a bartender, Donny strikes up a convo with Martha and gives her a free cup of tea, unaware of the terrifying events that will come next. Martha becomes obsessed with Donny and starts stalking him. Slowly, her intense obsession threatens to destroy both of their lives. OK, now I’m invested. 

And perhaps the most interesting part? The show is actually based on a true story. Yup, Baby Reindeer was inspired by true events that happened to comedian Richard Gadd, who plays Donny in the series. Over the span of four and a half years, according to Forbes, Gadd was stalked by a middle-aged woman who would send him 41,071 emails, 350 hours’ worth of voicemails, 744 tweets, 46 Facebook messages, 106 pages of letters, as well as a plethora of peculiar gifts that included a reindeer toy, sleeping pills, a beanie hat and boxer briefs. 

Baby Reindeer Netflix CAT
Ed Miller/Netflix

“At first, everyone at the pub thought it was funny that I had an admirer,” Gadd revealed in an interview with U.K.’s The Times. “Then she started to invade my life, following me, turning up at my gigs, waiting outside my house, sending thousands of voicemails and emails.”

While talking to The Guardian back in 2019, the 34-year-old writer and actor shared what he experienced when he finally tried to report his stalker to the police. “I’ve been through two police investigations in my life and they’ve both been hilarious, fly-on-the-wall terrible. Honestly, my advice to someone who ever thought of pressing charges would be: it’s a f*cking nightmare process, and it takes years,” Gadd said at the time.

Richard Gadd Baby Reindeer CAT
Ed Miller/Netflix

All seven episodes of Baby Reindeer are available to watch right now on Netflix—and I certainly know what I’ll be watching tonight.

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Assistant Editor, News And Entertainment

Karelle McKay is the Assistant Editor of News and Entertainment at PureWow. Before she started writing about all things pop culture, she was a literal couch potato who loved...