The Thief the Wife and the Canoe

EXCLUSIVE: The Thief, The Wife and The Canoe Trailer

The ravenous appetite of viewers on both sides of the pond for all things true crime doesn’t seem to be going anywhere anytime soon. It’s no wonder. From documentaries to re-enactments to fictional interpretations, there’s certainly no shortage of content to feed the obsession. And, as any self-respecting Anglophile can tell you, some of the very best of the genre have come to us courtesy of the U.K. Des, Appropriate Adult, and Manhunt, among others, are truly top-notch series that should appear on any fan’s must-watch list.

No one pulls together a mystery quite like them and the latest addition to the pack is The Thief, The Wife and the Canoe⁠—a new BritBox series, which originally aired in the UK on ITV. Starring Eddie Marsan (Ray Donovan, Ridley Road), Monica Dolan (The Dig, Cyrano) and Mark Stanley (Game of Thrones, Sanditon), the four-part quirky drama tells the story of a prison officer and teacher, John Darwin, who faked his own death and reappeared five and a half years after he was believed to have died in a canoeing accident.

That Shelf is partnering with BritBox to bring you this exclusive new trailer for the series, which begins on the streaming platform August 23. Watch it below now and mark the date in your calendar:

Read the full synopsis below:


Suffocated by debts, prison officer John Darwin pretend to drown in a canoe accident so his wife could make fraudulent claims on their insurance. Anne Darwin played the grieving widow whilst police investigated his disappearance. Yet all along John Darwin was living in an apartment in the house next door to his wife, regularly visiting her through an interconnecting passage. Devastated by the loss of their father, netither of their sons had an inkling their parents had betrayed them. Tired of laying low in England, John Darwin assumed a fake identity and left the country to invest in money making schemes. After these schemes failed, John Darwin persuaded Anne to leave England and start a new life in Panama. 5 years after faking his death, John returned to England and walked into a police station pretending he had amnesia. Their secret was finally revealed following the discovery of a photo of them posing together in a real estate office years after his disappearance.  

This gripping and surprising true crime series is told through Anne Darwin’s eyes. We delve deep into a woman who appears to be under her husband’s control and who argued at trial she had been coerced to go along with it all. Was she to blame for her part in her husband’s absurd scheme? 

The Thief, His Wife and the Canoe premieres on BritBox August 23.