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The Deceived on Channel 5 - start date, plot, cast and everything you need to know

Emmett J Scanlan and Emily Reid as Michael and Ophelia in The Deceived

Emmett J Scanlan, Emily Reid and Paul Mescal star in a psychological thriller from the creator of Derry Girls...

Channel 5 is set to add to its impressive slate of dramas with upcoming thriller The Deceived. Here's everything we know about the show.

The Deceived start date: when does it begin on Channel 5?

The four-part drama launches on Channel 5 at 9pm on Monday 3 August. It will be stripped across weeknights at 9pm, with the finale scheduled for Thursday 6 August.

What is it about?

The Deceived begins as university student Ophelia recounts the story of her affair with married lecturer Dr Michael Callaghan. Ophelia is very conflicted about their relationship, especially after she meets Michael's wife - famous author Roisin Mulvery.

When Michael disappears without warning, Ophelia eventually tracks him down to his hometown in Ireland, where she discovers that Roisin recently died in a fire at their house - on the same night that Michael told her about their affair. The two of them can now be together, but Ophelia can't shake her feelings of unease about what happened to Roisin, especially as she keeps hearing strange sounds when she's alone in the house...

Emily Reid, Emmett J Scanlan, Paul Mescal and Catherine Walker in The Deceived

Ophelia (Emily Reid), Michael (Emmett J Scanlan), Sean (Paul Mescal) and Roisin (Catherine Walker) in The Deceived (Photo: Channel 5) (Image credit: Charles Fearn)

The Deceived cast: Who's in it?

Emily Reid - recently seen on our screens as Sophia Trenchard in Belgravia and Roxanna Dubicki in The Trouble With Maggie Cole (opens in new tab) - plays Ophelia in the drama. "Overall she's an incredibly courageous, brave person," says Emily. "That's why, as the story unfolds, it's so upsetting what happens - you see someone so strong be diminished by the circumstances she finds herself in. She's a very rational person, so it becomes increasingly terrifying for her to have to question her own rationality - it's something she takes pride in."

Peaky Blinders and Butterfly star Emmett J Scanlan plays Dr Michael Callaghan. "He's excellent at his job in the university, and he knows it," reveals Emmett. "He's intelligent, confident, and has his students eating out of the palm of his hand. He manipulates and charms not only his students, but people in general - he's used to getting what he wants, when he wants it."

Other members of the main cast include Shetland and Cursed star Catherine Walker as Roisin, and Normal People's Paul Mescal as Sean, a builder and an old friend of Michael's and Roisin's who acts as a confidante for Ophelia while she's far from home. Liar star Shelly Conn plays Ruth, Roisin's best friend who is suspicious of Michael, while Derry Girls favourites Ian McElhinney (Granda Joe) and Louisa Harland (Orla) play Michael's father Hugh and local psychic medium Cloda respectively.

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Paul Mescal in The Deceived

Local builder Sean (Paul Mescal) is one of the few people Ophelia can confide in (Photo: Channel 5)

What else do we know?

  • The series was co-written by Derry Girls creator Lisa McGee and her husband, actor Tobias Beer.
  • The Deceived was filmed on location in Cambridge and Northern Ireland - and Michael's sprawling family home was a key location. "The house is like a character in itself - it's the strangest, kookiest place!" says Emily. "Emmett was like, 'oh, I don't think there's any ghosts knocking around', and I said, 'honey, I would not go up to that top floor if no one else was up there!' There was definitely, for me, some strange energy in that house - which was great. It meant you didn't really have to do anything imaginatively as an actor, it was all sort of done for you!"
Steven Perkins
Steven Perkins

Steven Perkins is a Staff Writer for TV & Satellite Week, TV Times, What's On TV and (opens in new tab), who has been writing about TV professionally since 2008. He was previously the TV Editor for Inside Soap before taking up his current role in 2020. He loves everything from gritty dramas to docusoaps about airports and thinks about the Eurovision Song Contest all year round.