How Apples Never Fall Creator Kept The Audience (And The Cast) Guessing

While Moriarty’s book is filled to the brim with twists and red herrings, Marnich told IndieWire the show’s writing team had to come up with added impetus for characters to be potential suspects, as it helped underline the complicated familial dynamic of the Delaneys and evoke “a sense of progress”:

“You didn’t want to just go, ‘Oh, it’s Stan,’ or ‘Oh, it’s Savannah’ […] We needed to always offer alternate theories, alternate suspects, alternate reasons, in the writing of the show. There was a really fun narrative sleight of hand that had to keep working at all times to keep that lens of suspicion moving to have a sense of progress.”

The intention here is to ensure that the mystery never feels stale; just when audiences think they have it figured out, “there is a surprise” that challenges their assumptions and deepens the web of mysteries. “The pacing of those kinds of moments was to make the show have the same page-turner energy of the book,” Marnich added, and this complex ambiguity regarding character motivations was also shared by cast members. Sam Neill spoke with IndieWire about Stan’s contrarian impulses:

“The thing about Stan is he means well. He’s not all together volatile and he can be really stupid. But he can also be quite funny, actually. The problem with people like Stan, the sort of alpha males, is that anything can happen. All of his children are damaged in one way or another by Stan, but Stan would say that he’s done the best he can, which is sort of true.”

This “anything can happen” sentiment elevates “Apples Never Fall” into a tense whodunnit with profound emotional layers. You can stream it on Peacock, where the series premiered on March 14, 2024.

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