Des: dubbing and subtitling the true-crime series


About the client

STARZ, a division of Lions Gate Entertainment, is a premium American cable and satellite network. The company owns six 24-hour channels, a subscription video-on-demand service and both a domestic (STARZ) and international (STARZPLAY) OTT streaming platform, offering entertainment for consumers on the go. Their content includes thousands of film releases and television shows, including Des, the British miniseries starring David Tennant. VSI partnered with STARZ to bring multilingual dubs of the hit TV series to life, in addition to subtitles for European and Japanese audiences.

The project

Dubbing and Subtitling

German, French, Castilian Spanish and Japanese

Des is a British true-crime drama depicting the killings of boys and men by Dennis Nilsen, the infamous Scottish serial killer. The chilling three-part series depicts Nilsen’s 1983 arrest following the unearthing of human remains close to his home, after a five-year reign of terror on the streets of London. David Tennant was praised for his convincing transformation into Nilsen and his portrayal of the sadistic murderer when the drama first aired on TV back in September. He scooped the Favourite Actor accolade at the 2020 TV Times Awards, and Des was nominated for Best Miniseries at the C21 International Drama Awards in the same year.

VSI was contacted by STARZ, who requested dubbed and subtitled versions of the three 60-minute English episodes of Des. The target languages were German, French, Castilian Spanish and Japanese, and the project was assigned a fast turnaround for all languages.

Our approach

Prior to receiving the final materials from the client, VSI planned each step of the production process, assigning accredited and vetted subtitlers, actors and directors to the project. The workflow was coordinated by staff at our facility in Los Angeles, but included a combined effort from our teams in Berlin, Paris, Barcelona and Tokyo. 

The dubbing and subtitling work for Des went smoothly and without any challenges. Our teams worked together, despite the distance, maintaining regular communication. To ensure consistency in all four languages, creative decisions were shared and adapted to each territory, producing a united viewer experience across the target audiences.   


Our teams delivered the final dubbed and subtitled versions to the client, without any delays and with full approval from STARZ. Due to VSI’s efficiency in localising Des, in addition to the strict creative, quality and technical standards we apply to all projects, no changes or re-deliveries were requested by the client.

We are pleased that our long-standing client STARZ was happy with the multilingual dubs and subtitles for Des, and we congratulate them on the critical acclaim that the show has received. Our teams enjoyed partnering with STARZ on their award-winning miniseries, and we look forward to many more collaborations with them in the coming year.