Baby Reindeer viewers are traumatised by the Netflix series: 'Can't stop thinking about it'

Forget true crime podcasts: Baby Reindeer will keep you on the edge of your seat with its disturbing true story.

Trigger warning: this article contains references to stalking.

Netflix's latest hit series, Baby Reindeer, has everybody talking, and it's not hard to understand why. This gripping show lays bare the unsettling true story of a comedian's chilling experience with a stalker, leaving viewers both hooked and disturbed in equal measure.

With its raw and unsettling depiction of stalking and survival, this show offers viewers a thought-provoking exploration of the darker side of human nature. Social media platforms are buzzing with discussion about the series, as viewers express a wide range of emotions in response.

Richard Gadd as Donny Dunn and Jessica Gunning as Martha Scott in Baby Reindeer. Photo: Ed Miller/Netflix
Richard Gadd as Donny Dunn and Jessica Gunning as Martha Scott in Baby Reindeer. Photo: Ed Miller/Netflix

Indeed, Baby Reindeer is unlike anything seen before, compelling and challenging its audience with its intense narrative. One viewer described it on social media as "the most beautiful, gut-wrenching, desperate, important Netflix series I've ever seen," with another admitting, "I like dark stuff, but this was...dark. Very well made and clearly an exceptional piece of television, but not for the faint-hearted."

Viewers share their thoughts online

"It's hard to watch in parts, but amazing!" commented another viewer, as someone else declared the show "one of the most compelling things I've ever watched. It consumed me completely and I still can't stop thinking about it."

Others chimed in with their thoughts. "Wowza. I don't think I've seen anything like it," remarked one viewer. "Rarely do you get to see a show that is so honest like this," said another.


"It is so dark and confronting, I couldn't look away. Brilliant," commented another person. "Such a great show! Compelling, brave, incredible!"

"Baby Reindeer oh my god," one person on X (formerly Twitter) said. "This took me on such an emotional rollercoaster. What an insane limited series."

"Shook and Shattered," another wrote. "I do not think there is any art that explores the trauma and abuse faced by male victims to such unsettling depth. I do not believe I am the same person after watching this series."

Said another, "Binge watched #BabyReindeer recently and absolutely loved it, despite the heart palpitations, PTSD and life trauma flashbacks experienced whilst viewing. It’s a series I couldn’t switch off."

And then there's the question that's got everyone talking: "Have you googled the truth about it? Just makes it even more compelling when you realise the actor is the guy..."

The true story behind Baby Reindeer

So what exactly is Baby Reindeer, and why is it making such an impact?

The series, based on a true story, follows Donny, a Scottish comedian played by actor Richard Gadd, whose life takes a terrifying turn when he becomes the target of a relentless stalker named Martha Scott, played by Jessica Gunning. What unfolds is a disturbing tale of obsession, trauma, and resilience.

Jessica Gunning as Martha Scott in Baby Reindeer. Photo: Netflix
Jessica Gunning as Martha Scott in Baby Reindeer. Photo: Netflix

Adapted from Gadd's 2019 Edinburgh Fringe Festival stage show of the same name, the character of Martha Scott is inspired by the woman who stalked him for four and a half years. However, Gadd hasn't confirmed her identity for legal reasons, so Scott's real identity remains undisclosed.

Gadd, who both stars in and wrote the series, drew from his own harrowing experience, during which this woman sent him thousands of messages and physical items, including 41,071 emails, 350 hours of voicemail, 744 tweets, 46 Facebook messages, and 106 pages of letters, along with a woolly hat, underwear, sleeping pills, and a stuffed cuddly reindeer toy.

The emails seen in the show after certain scenes are confirmed by Netflix to be the real messages that Scott sent Gadd at the time.

The unsettling reality of the stalking

The show doesn't shy away from portraying the severity of stalking and its impact on its victims. Through Donny's character, audiences are taken on a journey of fear, confusion, and ultimately, survival.

As the story unfolds, viewers are forced to confront difficult themes, including sexuality, trauma, and mental illness. Donny's struggle to come to terms with his past experiences adds layers of complexity to the narrative, making Baby Reindeer a deeply personal and emotionally resonant series.

But amidst the darkness, there are moments of light and humanity. The show's portrayal of Martha Scott is not one-dimensional; instead, it offers a nuanced look at her actions and the underlying issues that contribute to them.

Richard Gadd, who portrays Donny Dunn in the series, is the real-life man who was stalked. Photo: Netflix
Richard Gadd, who portrays Donny Dunn in the series, is the real-life man who was stalked. Photo: Netflix

"It would have been wrong to paint her as a monster, because she's unwell, and the system's failed her," Gadd told The Independent.

He added: "I really did feel quite confronted with just how kind of how much lack of resources there seemed to be — how the police have been gutted. Like, why wasn't she being helped in some way? I left with more questions than answers."


Gadd's decision to create Baby Reindeer was driven by a desire to share his story and raise awareness about stalking and its devastating effects. Despite the trauma he endured, he saw an opportunity to turn his pain into art and create something meaningful.

In the end, Baby Reindeer is more than just a television series; it's a powerful exploration of the human psyche, resilience, and the importance of speaking out against injustice. As viewers grapple with its intense narrative, they're left with a profound reminder of the need for compassion, understanding, and support for those who have experienced stalking and trauma.

If you or someone you know is being stalked or monitored, you can call 1800RESPECT on 1800 737 732, text 0458 737 732 or visit our website for online chat and video call services.

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