Secret Smile

Secret Smile

Infobox British television
show_name = Secret Smile

caption = "It's all about control."
format = Drama
runtime = 90 mins
creator = Nicci Gerrard
Sean French
Kate Brooke
starring = David Tennant
Kate Ashfield
director = Christopher Menaul
writer = Nicci Gerrard
Sean French
Kate Brooke
channel = ITV
first_aired = December 12 2005
last_aired = December 19 2005
num_episodes = 2
country = UK
producer = Granada Productions
related =

"Secret Smile" is a drama serial in two parts shown by ITV in December 2005, based on the Nicci French book of the same name and starring David Tennant, Claire Goose and Kate Ashfield.


When Miranda (Kate Ashfield) meets attractive and confident Brendan (David Tennant), a seemingly harmless fling ensues. But her attempt at breaking it off with him leads to a passionate web of lies, deception and death.

Plot summary

The relationship between Miranda and Brendan begins after they meet at an ice skating rink. Ten days into the relationship, Miranda arrives home to find that Brendan has let himself into her flat and has gone through her personal things (such as her teenage diary). She tells him that they are over, and although he seems surprised and hurt at Miranda's reaction, Brendan leaves the flat.

Time passes and Miranda has had no contact with Brendan. She is contacted by her sister Kerry, who asks her to meet up with her. Kerry then tells Miranda that she has a new boyfriend, to which Miranda expresses her happiness. This disappears however, when Kerry reveals that she is dating not only one of Miranda's exes, but it is Brendan.

It becomes apparent as time goes on that Brendan is only with Kerry as a way of getting to Miranda, yet her family openly accepts him to be one of the family upon his engagement to Kerry. He becomes particularly close to Miranda's younger, manic depressive brother Troy, which worries Miranda even more.

Brendan seems to be having a good influence on Troy, which is making the rest of the family happy, whereas Miranda remains cautious about Brendan and the relationships he is having with them. When Troy commits suicide, Miranda's concerns about Brendan are heightened. She believes he had something to with Troy's suicide; believing the influence he had on her brother caused her brother to stop taking his medication.

Nobody believes Miranda's theory about Brendan, and he continues to plan his wedding to her sister Kerry; only to dump her on their wedding day, for Miranda's best friend Laura.

Shortly after the wedding, Laura contacts Miranda, suggesting that they meet to talk. Miranda agrees and waits at a pub for her, but Brendan turns up instead. After a heated conversation, Miranda leaves Brendan at the pub, and goes to check on Laura who hasn't picked up the phone. When she reaches her house, Miranda searches for Laura who isn't responding to her name and finds her body in the bathtub. Brendan is suspected of killing his wife, but a conviction isn't made on the grounds of the investigators not having concrete evidence to arrest him.

When Brendan dumps Laura's belongings on Miranda before leaving town, Miranda discovers a number of overdue bills addressed to Brendan, showing his debts to be true. Upon finding a letter from his estranged sister, Miranda becomes obsessed with proving Brendan's guilt. She finally tracks Brendan down, who by this time is living in an upper class apartment with a glamourous nurse, Naomi.

Miranda sneaks into their apartment to try and warn Naomi about Brendan's violent, possessive and jealous ways, but she is thrown out by Brendan when he returns to pick up something he forgot. He takes Miranda to court for stalking and harassing him, and an injunction against Miranda, forbidding her from going anywhere near Brendan.

Miranda gets a call from Naomi, asking her to go to the flat. Miranda is afraid that Brenden might have done something to hurt her, so, ignoring her sister's advice, she goes to the apartment. Unknown to Miranda, Brenden forced Naomi to call her, and is waiting with the police for her to turn up so he can have her arrested. As she is looking around the apartment, she receives a call from Naomi who tells her the police are there and she has to leave quickly. Upon evading the police, Miranda escapes and meets Naomi further down the road, who expresses that Miranda was right about Brendan being violent.

They decide the best thing to do would be for Naomi to stay at her sister's house, for Brendan would automatically assume that she is staying at Miranda's house. She decides to return to her now sold flat despite the pleading of Naomi, who worries that if Brendan finds her, he'll hurt her. sure enough, later that night Brendan turns up and searches the flat for Naomi, who he is convinced is hiding there. Brendan then proceeds to rape Miranda on the living room floor and then passes out. The last encounter between the two occurs in the bathroom, where a drugged Brendan chases Miranda in telling her 'He can't let her go.'

The next day, a colleague of Miranda's finds the flat in a state of disarray from the previous night, as well as copious amounts of blood and tape in the bathroom. Upon the conclusion that Miranda has been murdered, an investigation ensues; with Brendan as the prime suspect. He denies any involvement, only stating that he'd been there the night before, where they had consensual sex. Naomi, while packing her things, finds a set of bloodied keys in Brendan's suit pocket and hands it in to the police. Brendan is arrested for Miranda's murder and taken away.

Brendan is sentenced to life imprisonment, having to serve 22 years before applying for parole. He continues to deny committing the crime and as he looks up, the faces of Naomi and Miranda's family look down on him, satisfied as he is taken away.

Six months later, Miranda's family receive three plane tickets from Naomi, asking them to come to Australia as she wants to see them. They reluctantly fly to Melbourne, as Naomi has also mentioned that they can stay with her. When they arrive, they meet Naomi at the airport and through the crowd of people walks Miranda.

A flashback follows while Miranda and her family and Naomi are happily eating, detailing the preceding events as they actually happened. It shows Miranda and Naomi planning in Miranda's car after the failed attempt by Brendan to have her arrested. It then shows Naomi giving Miranda some sort of sedative pill, which Miranda then crushes, which is to then be put into the wine glass which Brendan drinks from. Naomi is shown extracting Miranda's blood, which Miranda then pours around in the bathroom after Brendan has passed out. She then plants other pieces of incriminating evidence, including duct tape. After putting Brendan's fingerprints on the set of keys, she poses as Laura and flees to Australia to stay with Naomi's parents.

The camera then passes to the jail where Brendan is serving time; closing in on him, leaning against a wall; seemingly isolated from the other inmates, contemplating his fate. After successfully putting Brendan away and effectively saving Naomi and herself; Miranda pauses to think about her brother Troy, who is the only person missing at the table.


*Miranda Cotton — Kate Ashfield
*Brendan Block — David Tennant
*Kerry Cotton — Claire Goose
*Naomi Stone — Keira Malik
*Laura — Susannah Wise
*Troy Cotton — Robert Lowe
*Marcia Cotton — Jill Baker
*Derek Cotton — John Bowe


The serial was broadcast in the U.S. on BBC America as part of Mystery Mondays: Crimes of Passion [] .

External links

* [ "Secret Smile"] at the Internet Movie Database.

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