Also known asHarlan Coben's Safe
Created byHarlan Coben
Written by
Music byBen Onono
Opening theme"Glitter & Gold" by Barns Courtney
Country of originFrance
United Kingdom
Original languageEnglish / French
No. of seasons1
No. of episodes8
Executive producers
  • Michael C. Hall
  • Nicola Shindler
  • Harlan Coben
  • Danny Brocklehurst
  • Richard Fee
Running time41–47 minutes
Production companyRed Production Company
Original release
NetworkC8 (France)
Netflix (international)
Release10 May 2018 (2018-05-10)

Safe (titled onscreen as Harlan Coben's Safe) is a British television drama thriller miniseries[1] created by crime author Harlan Coben and written primarily by screenwriter Danny Brocklehurst. Set in England, the series is a production by Canal+, with C8 airing the show in France, and Netflix streaming the show internationally outside France.[2] The series began filming in Manchester, Liverpool, and Cheshire in July 2017. It consists of eight episodes that premiered in 190 countries on 10 May 2018.[3][4] The series' theme song is "Glitter and Gold" by Barns Courtney.


Safe focuses on Briton Tom Delaney (Hall), a paediatric surgeon and widowed father of two teenage daughters. He is struggling to connect with his daughters as they still grieve the loss of his wife from cancer one year prior. After his 16-year-old daughter Jenny goes missing, Tom uncovers a web of secrets as he frantically searches for her.

Cast and characters


No.TitleDirected byWritten byOriginal air date
1"Episode 1"Daniel NettheimDanny Brocklehurst10 May 2018 (2018-05-10)
Surgeon Tom Delaney (Michael C. Hall), a widower, has a strained relationship with his elder daughter, Jenny (Amy James-Kelly). A year after the death of her mother Rachel, Jenny sees Tom sneak off for romantic reasons with family friend Sophie Mason (Amanda Abbington), a police D.S., during a neighbourhood picnic. That night, Jenny goes missing after a house party. The next morning, Tom is racked with worry, especially when he learns that Jenny's older boyfriend Chris Chahal (Freddie Thorp) has also disappeared. Chris's mother, French teacher Zoé (Audrey Fleurot), is accused of having an affair with a student after an incriminating USB drive is found in her locker. Sophie butts heads with her new colleague, D.C. Emma Castle (Hannah Arterton), over the case against Zoé. Chris's friend Ioan, who had agreed to lie about Chris's whereabouts, tells Tom that Jenny and Chris attended a party at the house of their friend Sia Marshall (Amy-Leigh Hickman). Tom confronts Sia, but she denies knowing when Jenny left the party. Ioan shares a Facebook feed with Tom, on which Jenny is seen leaving the party with Tom's friend Pete (Marc Warren). Sia's father, Jojo (Nigel Lindsay), is shown checking the freezer in his garage, revealing that Chris's dead body is inside it.
2"Episode 2"Daniel NettheimDanny Brocklehurst10 May 2018 (2018-05-10)
In a flashback to the night of Jenny's disappearance, party hostess Sia makes a horrifying discovery of a dead body floating in the pool and kicks everyone out before they can discover it. Jojo goes to extreme lengths to protect his daughter by hiding Chris's body in the freezer instead of calling police because Sia supplied drugs for the party. Tom fails to contact Pete about Pete having picked up Jenny from the party, so he enlists police assistance from Sophie. Pete is traced through the movements of his car, and reveals that he is more inclined to be interested in Tom than in Jenny and that he simply dropped Jenny back home. Tom searches Jenny's room and discovers that she bought a fake ID online. Using neighbourhood security cameras, Pete and Tom track Jenny's movements after Pete dropped her off, discovering she went to Chris's house, where they find evidence he was planning a train trip. Sophie visits the Marshalls' home, but they hide rather than answer the door; investigating the exterior, her suspicions are raised poolside, prompting the Marshalls to decide to move the body. At the train station, Tom finds Chris's Vespa, and receives a call from his younger daughter reporting that she found photos posted by Chris online showing him with a happy Jenny. However, Tom finds that the dress that Jenny is wearing in the photo still in her wardrobe. A flashback shows the Marshalls using Chris's thumb to unlock his phone and post the photo. Pete and Tom theorise that Jenny and Chris had gone to a bar called Heaven. The bar owner Bobby (Milo Twomey) claims to have never seen Jenny but he is later seen laying flowers at her mother's grave. While attempting to move Chris's body after lying to the police, Jojo and Sia are caught by a neighbour, who Sia hits in the head with a wine bottle in panic.
3"Episode 3"Julia FordMick Ford10 May 2018 (2018-05-10)
It is revealed Pete actually followed Jenny into the community after dropping her off the night she went missing. Sia and her family are keeping their neighbor Martin hostage but she releases him after threatening to accuse him of being a pedophile should he ever talk. An anonymous tip leads Tom and Pete on a frantic chase across the city, and they learn the tip came from a bouncer at Heaven who overheard Tom's discussion about Jenny with Bobby, and who tells them that Jenny had been at Heaven, alone, looking for Bobby the night before. Tom's younger daughter Carrie is reported missing from school, and he looks for her at his late wife's old office, then an art museum where she took the kids during her illness, and where he finds her. Sophie discovers her son Henry (in need of a kidney transplant and under Tom's medical care) was hiding a blood-soaked shirt in his closet. Zoé, out on bail, makes a list of parents with whom she had disagreements; the list includes the Marshalls, who are visited by Sophie and Emma, interrupting (but not discovering) the family's latest attempt to move Chris's body. Tom and Carrie trace Bobby, learning his name is Archie Roberts, and Tom later discovers he was his late wife Rachel's high-school boyfriend at the school where Zoé teaches. Tom confronts the mysterious 'Bobby' about his lie not recognising Jenny, who is the spitting image of Rachel during high school. Bobby admits realising (from CCTV footage of Jenny's visit to the bar looking for him) that Jenny was Rachel's daughter, and gives Tom a note Jenny left saying she "knows about Jasmine" and would return the next night, but says she did not do so. Emma finds that the photos used to incriminate Zoé were old art photos from the Internet. Tom and Pete follow up on the "Jasmine" clue and learn it refers to a psychiatric institution. Sia and Jojo dispose of Chris's body in a lake, but it floats to the surface after they depart.
4"Episode 4"Julia FordMick Ford10 May 2018 (2018-05-10)
Sophie and Emma break the news of Chris's death to the Chahal family. When the police learn that the water drowned Chris in had chlorine in it, they visit the Marshalls who call a lawyer and are arrested. Sophie learns that her estranged husband Josh saw Jenny at the train station but obeyed Jenny's request not to tell anyone. Tom and Pete chase down one of the party-goers named Scott; Pete follows him to a drug-buy but is discovered, stabbed, and left for dead. Tom catches up with the gang, finds Pete and begins to give him First Aid. Jenny is revealed to be in hiding in the next-door neighbour's home, where she learns of the discovery of Chris's body; the homeowner, Helen Crowthorne, does not disclose Jenny's whereabouts when Sophie and others in the police detail canvass the neighborhood.
5"Episode 5"Daniel O'HaraAlex Ganley10 May 2018 (2018-05-10)
Tom fights to save Pete's life after a brutal stabbing, prompting Emma to confess that Pete is the father she never knew. Scott tells Tom that Jenny was told a secret by Rachel on her deathbed, and that the secret is something Tom should not be told. Sophie warns Tom against interfering in the investigation, and in flashback, we learn Tom was with Sophie when Rachel died. Carrie tells Tom that Helen visited and spoke with Rachel on the night Rachel died. Jojo gives a false confession accepting full guilt for Chris's death; Sia and her mother are released. The neighbourhood holds a vigil for Chris, during which Tom confronts Henry about the bloody sweater he wore during Sia's party. Police unravel Jojo's confession. Tom calls an acqauintance, B.O Ben, and asks him to triangulate his daughter's location using her phone. Ben informs him that her phone signal is locked on to a nearby wifi. Tom goes into Helen's house and discovers a fire has been started inside.
6"Episode 6"Julia FordKarla Crome10 May 2018 (2018-05-10)
Flashbacks reveal that Neil was present near the Marshall residence at the time of the party. In the present, Tom goes through the burning house and finds Helen Crowthorne dead. He tracks Jenny’s phone to the Chahal residence, where he meets with the family after the police begin their inquiries into the fire. Their house is also broken into by an unknown assailant. Neil reveals that he planted the pictures in Zoé’s locker. Autopsy results reveals that Helen was bludgeoned before the fire started. Mike Lloyd-Powell, a friend of Chris, reveals the origins of his altercation with Chris at the night of his death to the police. Jenny’s phone and purse are discovered. Pete is discharged from hospital, and Tom confronts Neil about knowledge of Jenny. Neil reveals that he knew Zoé had an affair with a student, revealed to be Ioan.
7"Episode 7"Daniel O'HaraDanny Brocklehurst10 May 2018 (2018-05-10)
Tom speaks to Ioan about the party, and also reveals to him that Neil, Chris’ father, knew about his affair with Zoé. Ioan reveals that he saw Jenny and Henry leave the bathroom together. Tom then attempts to question Henry about the party, but is refused by Sophie. Emma reunites with Pete, and decides to make her own attempt to question Henry. Henry reveals that Jenny suspected that her father was spying on her via her phone, which he helped discover after she raised suspicions. Henry then has a seizure, and is brought to the hospital. Tom and Pete go to Heaven, the bar Jenny visited, to speak to Bobby. Having been refused to see him, Tom sneaks into Bobby’s office before being caught and is advised to stay away. At the bar, they see Eric Pratchett, and track him to Jasmine Hall, a psychiatric hospital Rachel frequented. Pratchett reveals his son, Craig, is being treated there, and that he hasn’t been speaking since the school fire. He also reveals that there were five kids who were behind it: Craig, Bobby, Helen, Rachel and Sophie.
8"Episode 8"Daniel O'HaraDanny Brocklehurst10 May 2018 (2018-05-10)
Sophie explains the events of the fire to Tom, and that they moved on by contributing to the community, with Bobby the only one who moved away. Sophie is able to set up a meeting with Bobby, claiming to have the school security tape that had been allegedly destroyed. Flashbacks reveal that Jenny discovered information about the fire in her mother’s diary. She then talked to Helen before being asked to leave, stealing the tape in the process. Jenny also attempted to speak to Bobby, but like her father in the present, was refused. Some time later, Helen tells Bobby at her own doorstep that she wants the truth to come out, prompting him to kill her in a fit of rage. In the present, Sophie and Bobby agree to make Jenny’s death quick, while Tom sneaks in after Sophie had left clues for him to follow. Bobby holds them at gunpoint, before committing suicide. Emma questions Jenny about a pendant found in the Marshall’s swimming pool, which Tom recognises as Sophie’s. He confronts her about killing Chris, which she admits, but stands firm that it was never her intention. Despite their reconciliation, Tom decides to call the police, and Sophie is arrested.

Critical response

Safe has received positive reviews. It has a 71% approval rating on review aggregator Rotten Tomatoes, based on 24 reviews.[6] While British newspapers The Daily Telegraph and The Guardian found Hall's "odd" English accent to be a metaphor of overall peculiarities with the series, they both found many elements of the show to be entertaining. Ed Power wrote in The Daily Telegraph that Harlan Coben "makes every one of his characters feel plausibly sinister and throws in plenty of skilfully crafted cliff-hangers. Netflix's latest can be hackneyed and is written to formula, but the central mystery is assembled with a watchmaker's eye and the entire fandango whirrs by with ruthless efficiency."[7] The Guardian's Sam Wollaston wrote, "What looked at one point like it might be Netflix's Broadchurch – the disappearance of a teenager, a parent's anguish, the effect on a community, the police investigation – soon starts to look more like Desperate Housewives. I'm very much enjoying these people, without really caring about them."[8]

Maureen Ryan of Variety praised the series, writing, "It's a highly watchable, semi-pulpy serial loaded with reveals, clues and cliffhangers, and the core cast is generally quite good."[9] Ben Travers of IndieWire found the series entertaining and graded it a B, writing, "Safe leans into most of its increasingly preposterous moments, including Hall's accent. It's not that the show or its star's elocution are bad, per se; they just don't overwork themselves trying to convince you of their grand importance. Safe is a soap, and it's a fun diversion as such."[10]

Daniel Fienberg of The Hollywood Reporter, who based his review on the first two episodes sent to critics, criticised Hall's accent and performance, the depiction of teens and other elements of the series as all off-tone. Fienberg wrote, "It could take watching the six additional episodes to know if there's a cliché-upending payoff or if Safe is just a muddle."[11]


  1. ^ Jeffery, Morgan (10 May 2018). "Michael C Hall on playing British in new Netflix thriller Safe and being part of two TV game-changers". Digital Spy. Retrieved 29 August 2018.
  2. ^ Clarke, Stewart (11 July 2017). "Netflix, Canal+ Order Harlan Coben Series With 'Dexter' Star Michael C. Hall". Variety. Retrieved 11 July 2017.
  3. ^ a b c Tartaglione, Nancy (11 July 2017). "Michael C Hall To Play It 'Safe' In Netflix, Canal+ Drama From Harlan Coben". Deadline. Retrieved 11 July 2017.
  4. ^ Ryan, Maureen (11 April 2018). "TV Review: Harlan Coben's 'Safe' on Netflix". Variety. Retrieved 12 April 2018.
  5. ^ a b c d e "Audrey Fleurot, Emmett J Scanlan & Marc Warren join Michael C. Hall and Amanda Abbington in Harlan Coben's 'SAFE' written by Danny Brocklehurst". Netflix Media Center.
  6. ^ "Safe: Season 1". Rotten Tomatoes. Retrieved 3 June 2019.
  7. ^ Power, Ed (10 May 2018). "Safe, Netflix review: American take on British crime thriller is less Agatha Christie more Murder She Wrote". The Daily Telegraph. Archived from the original on 12 January 2022. Retrieved 13 May 2018.
  8. ^ Wollaston, Sam (11 May 2018). "Safe review – Michael C Hall's odd, synthetic British accent is symptomatic of this Netflix drama". The Guardian. Retrieved 13 May 2018.
  9. ^ Ryan, Maureen (11 April 2018). "TV Review: Harlan Coben's 'Safe' on Netflix". Variety. Retrieved 13 May 2018.
  10. ^ Travers, Ben (11 May 2018). "'Safe' Review: Michael C. Hall's Netflix Murder-Mystery Is Like His British Accent — It'll Win You Over". IndieWire. Retrieved 13 May 2018.
  11. ^ Fienberg, Daniel (3 May 2018). "'Safe': TV Review". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved 13 May 2018.