The Secret of Crickley Hall star Tom Ellis says of playing grieving dad Gabriel, “For me, it’s genuinely quite moving”

by Lynn Connolly

As we reported earlier this week, former Coronation Street star Suranne Jones spoke to TV Choice magazine about her role as Eve in new supernatural drama, The Secret of Crickley Hall, which debuts on BBC1 this Sunday…

And today, her co-star Tom Ellis – who formerly starred in the now cancelled drama, The Fades – has revealed that he found filming the role of Gabriel, Eve’s husband, an “emotional” one.

In case you aren’t familiar with the James Herbert story that the TV adaptation is based on, Eve and Gabriel are trying to rebuild their lives after the disappearance of their little boy in mysterious circumstance.

Speaking to the Express & Star about the show, Tom – who’s married to former EastEnders star Tamzin Outhwaite – explained, “The main thing that’s come out of shooting this is the depth of emotion in it, and the depth of the emotion of being a parent, and the implication of all these horrible things…

“For me, it’s genuinely quite moving. It’s really enjoyable working with the kids and having a conversation with the girl playing my daughter, like I would have at home.

“But then the knock-on effect of that is that you’re playing with your son in the first two scenes, then you don’t see him again for the rest of the drama, because supposedly something awful has happened to him.

“It’s something I haven’t found hard to tap into.”

As mentioned, the first episode of the three-part drama airs on Sunday night, and here’s the synopsis from the BBC…


Eve, Gabe and their children Loren, Cam and Cally, live in London until Cam goes missing. Eve falls asleep for a few seconds at a playground and he disappears.

Nearly a year later, Gabe suggests relocating the family to the North, hoping a change of scenery will give Eve some comfort, as they all still cling to the hope that Cam may be alive.

When they first arrive at Crickley Hall, they meet Percy Judd who worked there during the war; he seems concerned for their children. They start to settle in but before long, strange things start to happen at the house. They hear people, Cally claims to have been hit by a man with a cane and their dog runs away in terror.

In the house Eve hears her missing son’s voice for the first time in a year. He says he is alive and the children can tell her where he is. After Loren suffers a terrifyingly real nightmare where she gets whipped by the man with the cane, Gabe wants them all to leave, but Eve can’t bear to abandon her son.


Seventy years ago Crickley Hall is an orphanage for children evacuated from the Blitz. Nancy is interviewed for the position of ‘tutor’ by Magda, sister of Augustus Cribben who runs the orphanage.

Nancy meets the children, including six year old Stefan, a German refugee, and fourteen year old Maurice, the class sneak. Cribben keeps in the shadows – he hasn’t been the same since he was injured in the Blitz.

Nancy suspects the orphans are being mistreated, especially Stefan. When Nancy finally meets Cribben, she is appalled by a man who seems out of control. She tries to rescue the orphans but is fired and no-one believes her apart from young Percy, who is about to be called up to war.

I absolutely cannot wait for this to start! Are you looking forward to it? Here’s the show’s trailer…

Lynn is an editor and writer here at Unreality TV and is trained psychotherapist and the author of two books. She's addicted to soaps, period drama and reality TV shows such as X Factor, I'm A Celeb and Big Brother.