A new series “Whitechapel” is a six-part crime series starting on BBC America on Wednesday night, Oct. 26, 2011.
The show focuses on a rookie detective inspector named Joseph Chandler (Rupert Penry-Jones) who realizes that gruesome murders in the Whitechapel district of London mimic the Jack the Ripper killings of the 1880s: same dates, same area, same number of stab wounds.
Is it possible that the world’s most notorious serial killer is back? As the murder rate in modern day East London rises, a team of detectives set out to solve the most famous unsolved murder case in history – Jack the Ripper. Will the team succeed where others failed 120 years ago?
From the producers of the Emmy Award-winning Downton Abbey and starring Rupert Penry-Jones (MI-5, Cambridge Spies), Phil Davis (Sherlock, Bleak House) and Steve Pemberton (The League of Gentlemen, Viva Blackpool), comes this six-part crime drama focusing on two internationally resonant crime stories.
Fast-tracked Detective Inspector Joseph Chandler (Rupert Penry-Jones), a novice in the business of murder but an expert in the politics of policing, joins Detective Sergeant Miles (Phil Davis) and ‘Ripperologist’ Edward Bunchan (Steve Pemberton) in leading the investigation. They soon realize this modern day killer is copying Jack the Ripper’s infamous murders in the Whitechapel section of London, down to the very last detail, and the race to catch a copycat killer begins…before he strikes again. To complicate matters, a series of horrific attacks occur which appear to echo the Kray twins’ infamous crimes of the 1960s.
The revisiting of Ripper lore, though, is relatively painless, especially since the most interesting character in this series is Edward Buchan (Steve Pemberton), the Ripperologist who tips Chandler to the similarities between the then and the now. Buchan has a delightful way with words, a flourish that is all the more welcome amid the rather drab police-speak employed by everyone else.
“They never caught the Ripper,” he says, trying to sell the police on his theory, “and now time and history have spirited his identity away.”
Chandler is put in charge of a squad of older, cynical veterans who of course resent and reject him, an all-male “Prime Suspect.” Leading the insurrection is a detective sergeant named Miles (Phil Davis), who initially is not a fan of the Ripper copycat theory. (“Every time there’s a stabbing in Whitechapel they come crawling out of the woodwork,” he says. “I hate Ripperologists.”)
Tonight on BBC America (154 on Comcast)