Is The CW’s The Rising Based on a True Story?

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The CW’s ‘The Rising’ is a supernatural thriller television series that revolves around the murder of Neve Kelly, a teenager, and her attempts to catch the killer — as a ghost. With new paranormal abilities and a new perspective on life and everything in between, Neve goes into places she would never have when alive. As she observes people from the outside, the newly minted ghost soon discovers that those closest to her have the most to hide. With so many revelations spilling out not only about her ethereal condition but also about the people she loves, will Neve be able to solve the mystery of her own death?

Produced by Sky Studios and created by Pete McTighe, Sanne Nuyens, Bert Van Dael, Charlotte Wolf, the series features the talents of Clara Rugaard, Nicholas Gleaves, William Ash, Matthew McNulty, Rebecca Root, Emily Taaffe, Alex Lanipekun, and Ann Ogbomo. While yet to be proven as fact, there have been many instances reported around the world where the ghost of a murder victim has been seen. But is ‘The Rising’ based on one such event? Let’s dive in together and find out!

Is The Rising a True Story?

No, ‘The Rising’ is not based on a true story. Written by Peter McTighe, Roanne Bardsley, Gemma Hurley, Charlene James, Charlotte Wolf, and Laura Grace, the series is based on the Flemish-language supernatural thriller television series ‘Beau Séjour’ (or ‘Hotel Beau Séjour’), created by Bert Van Dael and Sanne Nuyens. The first season has a similar storyline to ‘The Rising,’ with a teenage girl named Kato Hoeven waking up to find her own body lying in a bathtub in a Belgian village. Having no memories of the past few days prior to becoming a ghost, Hoeven tries to find the ones responsible for her death.

A different take on a whodunnit, ‘The Rising’ is as much about the “who” and the “why” of the murder as much as it is about the victim herself. Peter McTigh, one of the writers, spoke about these elements in an interview with SciFiNow. “That’s where her quest begins, to understand what’s happened to her, why it’s happened, and who’s responsible. [But] for me, the really important thing about the show is that it’s giving voice to a character who traditionally would just be a body on a slab, a MacGuffin for someone else’s story, for the police officer or whatever,” he said.

Peter added, “This is about putting a victim of a terrible crime front and center in her own show and giving them the agency that they wouldn’t normally have in a traditional crime show. That’s the beauty of being able to blend crime and genre I think,” he said. He also stated that while co-writing the screenplay, he was influenced by iconic shows like ‘Twin Peaks,’ ‘Les Revenants,’ ‘The Returned,’ and ‘Dark.’ He then went on to talk about how setting the story in a small town allows the focus to be on the characters at all times.

The complexity with which Neve has been written in the show is one of its biggest appeals, and it is also what drew Clara Rugaard to portray it on screen. “I think all the characters are really complex, but Neve especially. It’s quite hard to not empathize with a character that’s fleshed out to the extent because you can really understand her flaws. It’s never black and white,” the actress said in an interview with Notion. Explaining more about Neve’s particular characteristics in ‘The Rising,’ Clara continued, “Overall, I think Neve is one of the most complex, tangible, raw, and real characters I’ve ever seen on page.”

Clara concluded, “You can see that she’s insecure, but she’s also super confident. She’s resilient and determined, but also at a confusing age where she’s trying to figure out who she is and where she belongs. I thought that was very easy to connect to and could relate, and I think most people can.” A fictional tale of a murder victim and her quest for justice, ‘The Rising’ is a wonderful blend of the supernatural with mystery elements that are sure to appeal to a wide range of people. The emotions that are in play within the story also balance out the heavy themes so that the series remains anything but dull from beginning to its end.

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