Is Suspicion Based on a True Story?

With BAFTA Award nominee Rob Williams serving as the showrunner, the British series ‘Suspicion’ revolves around four British individuals, who are accused of the abduction of Leo Newman, the son of influential businesswoman Katherine Newman. The thriller series progresses through the trajectory of the kidnapping and the suspects’ attempts to prove their innocence, which unravel secrets of their own.

Since the Apple TV+ original series centers around a high-profile kidnapping case in a realistic premise, the viewers must be wondering whether Leo Newman’s story is real. Intrigued by its sense of reality, we have dived into the origins of the series. Let us share our findings!

Is Suspicion Based on a True Story?

‘Suspicion’ is partially based on a true story. The series is the English language remake of the award-winning Israeli thriller series ‘False Flag,’ which is loosely based on the assassination of Mahmoud al-Mabhouh, who was the chief of logistics and weapons procurement for Palestinian organization Hamas’ military wing. Even though the premise of ‘Suspicion,’ like its original show, is inspired by the background of the assassination, the series is conceived with fictional characters and their storylines.

Mahmoud al-Mabhouh, the co-founder of Hamas’ military wing Izz ad-Din al-Qassam Brigades, was allegedly killed by the agents of Mossad, the national intelligence agency of Israel. The suspected agents used several falsified passports of ordinary citizens of different nationalities, prominently the passports of the citizens of the United Kingdom. Following the assassination, pictures and names of several ordinary civilians were dragged and connected to the case based on the false passports.

Amit Cohen and Maria Feldman, the creators of ‘False Flag,’ used the premise of ordinary citizens getting entwined in a high-profile case for their series upon getting inspired by Mahmoud’s case. The creator duo changed the central character from a senior Hamas official to the Iranian minister of defense and introduced fictional characters and their individual narratives to form the show. The series succeeds in depicting the horrors of identity theft that allegedly happened during the Mahmoud al-Mabhouh assassination, which reportedly involved around 33 falsified passports.

The premise of ‘Suspicion’ is an enhanced version of ‘False Flag.’ Instead of the Chief Logistics Officer
or the Iranian minister, the series centers around the abduction of the son of a famous media mogul. Instead of five ordinary Israeli citizens, the series follows four ordinary British nationals. The setting also changes from Moscow to New York City. However, the central core of the original show — ordinary citizens suspected of the case — remains the same in the English version as well.

Showrunner and writer Rob Williams placed the fictional characters and their individual storylines in the real-life inspired premise to wholly conceive ‘Suspicion.’ Even though the inspiration stands, the show does not explicitly touch on Mahmoud al-Mabhouh’s assassination or Mossad’s alleged involvement. Instead, ‘Suspicion’ focuses on following a fictional saga within the framework of a real-life crime.

Read More: Where is Apple TV+’s Suspicion Filmed?