Lucy Boynton’s New Powerful Netflix Drama, Ruth, Is Not One To Miss

By Rufus Punt | 21st June 2023
ruth lucy boynton

ITVX has been one of the best places to find binge-able miniseries this year, from Tom Jones and You & Me, to being home of HBO’s Love & Death. And the channel is continuing its hot streak with a compelling new four-part drama, Ruth, which stars Lucy Boynton (Bohemian Rhapsody, Why Don’t They Ask Evans?) as Ruth Ellis, the last woman to be hanged in the UK.

Is ITV’s Ruth based on a true story?

Much like ITV’s other upcoming drama, Joan, Ruth dramatises real events and gives new insight into a forgotten story. It shows how a woman once living a happy glamourous life in London becomes known as a murderer and one of the last people executed in the UK.

Taking a job as a nightclub manager and working her way into upper-class London, Ruth Ellis fell in love with David Blakely, eventually shooting him when their relationship turned abusive. The miniseries is set both before and after the murder, and ponders what really happened in the lead-up to the shooting and how she was treated by the media and courts before her execution at age 28.


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Boynton commented how she took the role saying, “Ruth Ellis’ story is a fascinating one. Both she and this complex case have always evoked a strong reaction… …I’ m looking forward to bringing a new perspective to both familiar audiences as well as those who are unaware of her mark on British history.”

Ruth is being written by Kelly Jones (The Long Call, Call The Midwife) and is described by ITV as “a compelling legal and emotional rollercoaster which explores Ruth’s arrest and trial and the subsequent race against the clock to reprieve her.” The series is also adapted from the biography A Fine Day for Hanging: The Real Ruth Ellis Story, by Carol Ann Lee.

Though ITV has yet to announce other cast members aside from Boynton, they have given some more detail on other characters set to play a prominent role:

Ruth’s lover, David Blakely, is a dashing racing driver who was emotionally and physically abusive, but ITV’s synopsis suggests that there was more to the case than a crime of passion.

Ruth is represented in court by her solicitor Joan Bickford, who uncovers what the troubled woman had been through- but faces stiff resistance from the establishment and legal world.

When is Ruth due to be released?

The powerful story is coming to ITV1 and ITVX next year, and takes place across two parallel timelines. ITV will release more details in the coming months but, for now, Ruth certainly sounds like a truly compelling miniseries that we won’t want to miss.

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