Is Red Rose on Netflix based on a true story? We discuss the popular TV Show and debate whether it’s based on actual events.
Red Rose is an eight-episode British horror drama. It follows a group of teenagers during the summer when they download an app that starts to slightly take over their lives, making threatening demands with deadly consequences.
Created and written by Michael and Paul Clarkson, the series was first broadcast on BBC Three in the UK in August of 2022, with Netflix later acquiring it and dropping it on the platform in February of 2023.
The cast includes Isis Hainsworth as Rochelle Mason, Amelia Clarkson as Wren Davies, Ellis Howard as Anthony Longwell, Natalie Blair as Ashley Banister, and Ali Khan as Taz Sadiq. It was shot on location in 2021, following a delay from its 2020 aimed start due to the pandemic.
Is Red Rose based on a true story?
No, the story of Red Rose is based on an original concept by twin brothers Michael and Paul Clarkson. However, the writers did allow for some real-life inspiration. For instance, the series was shot and set in Bolton, Greater Manchester, where both writers grew up.
Speaking to The Bolton News, Paul Clarkson explained how they used their own experiences to create the series:
“Writers do write what they know. We draw from inspirations from real life. This really is a love letter to Bolton. It is partly inspired by ourselves and our friendships and our family stories, some of which we think are very important to try and highlight.”
As fans of the horror genre, it was only a matter of time before they told the story of The Ring in Bolton. In an interview with The Guardian, they even said as much:
“We always knew we wanted to tell a story in our home town. We were asked: ‘What concepts do you have?’ And Michael went: ‘Something like Scream or The Ring, but set in Bolton.’”
“We were growing up watching horror, saying: ‘Bloody hell, can you imagine this happening in our house?’ Like in The Ring when you get the call: ‘Seven days …’ People would be like: ‘What? Who do you want? Sorry?’”
They decided that a modern-day retelling of The Ring should instead involve mobile phones and apps. They used that to explore the relationship between teenagers and their addiction to the screen.
What is Red Rose about?
Following their finishing of the GCSEs and trying to navigate the summer while wondering what life has ahead for them, many changes for our leading group of teenagers. Rochelle (Isis Hainsworth) receives a text prompting her to download an app called “Red Rose,” and what starts as yet another assistant will soon become the group’s deadly and relentless stalker, forcing the audience to question their attachment to technology and the amount of time they spend on their phones.
Is Red Rose based on a book?
No, the series comes from an original idea by creators Michael and Paul Clarkson. There is, however, a Stephen King novel titled Rose Red, adapted into 2002 miniseries that aired on ABC. However, both stories have no relationship, as BBC’s Red Rose explores the relationship between teenagers and technology. At the same time, Rose Red follows a group of people trying to find scientific evidence of paranormal phenomena inside a haunted mansion known as the “Rose Red.”
Have you seen Red Rose on Netflix on BBC Three? What did you think about it? Did this article help you understand where the idea originated? Let us know in the comments!