Is Witness Number 3 based on a true story?

The 'terrifying' new Netflix thriller is gripping fans as we see if there's a real-life case behind the new drama

Image of two woman in front of a car
Nina Toussaint-White (L) as Jodie and Clare Dunne (R) as Whelan in Witness Number 3
(Image credit: Channel 5)

A 'terrifying' new thriller has landed on Netflix and viewers want to know: is Witness Number 3 based on a true story?

If you love psychological shows about crime and enjoyed The Crowded Room on Apple+ and BBC's The Sixth Commandment - or are looking forward to their much-anticipated release The Woman in the Wall - then this tense drama will be right up your street.

Witness Number 3 first aired on Channel 5 last year but is now reaching a whole new audience on Netflix, with many new viewers now wanting the show's ending explained.

It follows Jodie (played by Bodyguard's Nina Toussaint-White) who in a 'sliding doors' moment finds her life turned upside down after becoming the key witness in a brutal crime. We reveal, is Witness Number 3 based on a true story?

Image of a woman in front of a police car

(Image credit: Channel 5)

Is Witness Number 3 based on a true story?

No, Witness Number 3 is not based on a true story. It's completely fictional and follows the story of single mum Jodie, who is the last person to witness a killer and his victim before a murder.

Image of a policeman

(Image credit: Channel 5)

Jodie's life is turned upside down after becoming a key witness in the crime, forcing her to enter police protection. But when a gang is sent to silence her, will the murderer face justice and will she get out unscathed?

Is Witness Number 3 based on book?

No, Witness Number 3 is not based on book. The four-part series was written for Channel 5 by Thomas Eccleshare, who is better known as a playwright.

It recently dropped on Netflix, winning a whole new audience of fans gripped by the tense crime thriller.

Who is the cast of Witness Number 3?

The Netflix drama has an epic line of stars, including Nina Toussaint-White from Bodyguard, and Susan Johnston, best known for her role in hit BBC comedy The Royle Family.

Nina Toussaint-White told her Instagram followers that filming Witness Number 3 had been a challenge as she was a new mum at the time.

She said: "Thank you so much to the amazing cast and crew who made it possible for me to take on this role. Fresh into mummahood, breastfeeding/pumping round the clock, sleep deprived from baby’s teething and the god awful four month regression, I felt incredibly held and supported by this wonderful team."

The Witness Number 3 cast

  • Nina Toussaint-White as Jodie Packer (previous roles include Bodyguard, Doctor Who and Casualty)
  • Susan Johnstone OBE as Cathy, Jodie's mother (previous roles including Brookside, The Royle Family and Waking the Dead)
  • Sion Daniel Young as PC Ivan Barkas (previous roles include Private Peaceful, The Left Behind, and Keeping Faith)
  • Clare Dunne as Detective Whelan (previous roles include Nice Night For It, The Cherishing and The Donmar Warehouse's All-Female Shakespeare Trilogy)
  • Cole Martin as Jodie's son (previous roles include My Name is Leon)
  • Ruaridh Mollica as Po (previous roles include Too Rough and Tell it to the Bees)

Image of a boy

Cole Martin as Kyle in Witness Number 3

(Image credit: Channel 5)

Witness Number 3 release date

Witness Number 3 was first released on Channel 5 on 18 July 2022. All four episodes are now available to stream on Netflix.

In other TV news, we reveal is The Crowded Room based on a true story, Is The Bear based on a true story and the Pain Hustlers true story too. 

Maddy Biddulph
Freelance parenting writer

Maddy Biddulph is a freelance journalist specialising in lifestyle and family-focused content. With 25 years in consumer media, she has worked as a writer and editor for some of the bestselling newspapers, magazines and websites in the UK and US.  As a mum of two art-obsessed daughters, Daphne and Esther, Maddy is always looking for parenting hacks to make life easier. She is also a Level 3 personal trainer, and creates energising workouts for busy mums who need some me time.