Ray Winstone stars as the sinister 'demon barber of Fleet Street' in this BBC dramatisation of the legend. In 18th century London, the emotionally damaged Sweeney Todd has managed to put his brutal upbringing behind him, including a spell in the notorious Newgate prison, in order to open a well-appointed barber-surgeon's shop. When Todd develops an unusual and intense relationship with promiscuous local girl Nellie Lovett (Essie Davis), he helps to set her up in business in a pie shop next door to his premises. Nellie soon discovers that Todd has a murderous secret though, and has been killing his customers, butchering them, and passing on their meat to be used in Nellie's pies. As Nellie becomes complicit in Todd's actions, sending him unpleasant or rich customers for him to dispose of, the spate of disappearances begins to attract the attention of Fielding's (David Warner) new Bow Street Runners, and before long the trail is discovered that leads to Todd's barber's chair.