‘Baby Reindeer’ Creator Asks Fans to Stop Looking for Real-Life Counterparts of Show’s Characters

“Baby Reindeer” creator Richard Gadd has asked fans and viewers of his new Netflix miniseries to stop trying to make real-life connections to the characters in the show.

“People I love, have worked with, and admire (including Sean Foley) are unfairly getting caught up in speculation,” Gadd wrote on his Instagram story on Monday. “Please don’t speculate on who any of the real-life people could be. That’s not the point of our show.”

The limited series, which launched on Netflix on April 11 and rose to the streamer’s Top 10 over the weekend, follows struggling comedian Donny Dunn (portrayed by Gadd in a fictionalized version of himself), who navigates a twisted relationship with his female stalker Martha (Jessica Gunning).

The concept first manifested in Gadd’s Edinburgh Festival Fringe one-man play in 2019, and was then adapted into the 7-episode series. Both are based on true events that occurred in his life. The show also features Nava Mau and Tom Goodman-Hill as Darrien.

“It’s all emotionally 100% true, if that makes sense. It’s all borrowed from instances that happened to me and real people that I met,” Gadd told Variety. “But of course, you can’t do the exact truth, for both legal and artistic reasons. I mean, there’s certain protections, you can’t just copy somebody else’s life and name and put it onto television.”

In Gadd’s original play, he represented Martha with a stool and would move the piece of furniture around into different positions. He admitted he felt “a load of pressure” to bring the 70-minute monologue to life on the small screen with an ensemble and added plotlines.

“As much as it is an examination of stalking and abuse and love and loneliness, I really wanted it to be an examination of the ramifications of trauma,” Gadd explained. “I think that’s quite subtle in the show, but a lot of people are really getting that aspect of it.”

Baby Reindeer is available to stream on Netflix.

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