‘Baby Reindeer’: Is the real Martha in prison?
(Credits: Netflix)

Must Watch Series

‘Baby Reindeer’: Is the real Martha in prison?

In the gripping British drama-thriller miniseries Baby Reindeer, created by the talented Richard Gadd, reality and fiction intertwine to create a story that has floored everyone from the audience to critics. Based on Gadd’s own harrowing experience of being stalked and sexually assaulted, the series delves deep into the complexities of obsession, trauma, and the human psyche. 

Baby Reindeer deservingly earns the acclaim of being one of the best shows of the year. As you are drawn into the tumultuous world of protagonist Donny Dunn and his relentless stalker Martha Scott, one question that has plagued viewers is the fate of the real-life counterpart of Martha. Did she end up in prison? Is she still there?

Baby Reindeer unfolds with a chance encounter between struggling comedian Donny and the seemingly harmless Martha in a London pub. What began as casual, flirty banter quickly escalates into a nightmare for Donny. Martha’s relentless obsession with Donny soon spirals out of control as her behaviour becomes increasingly erratic.

Donny desperately attempts to break free from Martha’s clutches. From public outbursts to false accusations, Martha’s actions leave a trail of destruction in her wake, shattering Donny’s personal and professional life. Despite his efforts to escape her grasp, Donny finds himself pulled tighter into Martha’s twisted web. But then, a breakthrough moment turns the tables.

The climax of the series sees Martha’s reign of terror reach its zenith as she launches a violent attack on Donny, leaving him scarred both physically and emotionally. After years, Donny finally finds a threatening message from Martha, which helps him get her behind bars. He is also able to get a restraining order against her so that she can neither contact him nor his near and dear ones.

But what happened to the real-life Martha Scott?

Baby Reindeer ends with Martha pleading guilty to what she did to Donny after he finds a threatening voicemail from her. She receives a nine-month prison sentence, and Donny also gets a five-year restraining order against her. 

His own codependent obsession with Martha’s more human and admiring correspondence is still intact as he keeps rereading and relistening to Martha’s old emails and texts. Despite his lingering emotions about the entire ordeal and the baggage of his past traumas, Gadd was tremendously magnanimous to his stalker. 

Martha’s fate in real life is much more ambiguous. In a candid interview with The Times, Richard Gadd revealed his conflicted feelings about Martha’s fate. While Gadd mentioned that the situation with his stalker was “resolved” in real life, he “didn’t want to throw someone who was that level of mentally unwell in prison.”

While speaking to GQ, Gadd also mentioned how he went to great lengths to hide the identity of “quite an idiosyncratic person” who harassed him in reality. He noted, “We’ve gone to such great lengths to disguise her to the point that I don’t think she would recognise herself. What’s been borrowed is an emotional truth, not a fact-by-fact profile of someone.” 

Gadd’s decision to grant Martha a semblance of empathy in the series underscores the series’ underlying themes of forgiveness and redemption. Despite the trauma inflicted upon him, Donny’s journey towards healing is marked by moments of profound empathy towards his tormentor. Thus, what begins as a far more disturbing tale manages to become a poignant reminder of the power of empathy. 

You can watch Baby Reindeer on Netflix and catch the trailer here: