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Whitechapel (TV series)

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Title: Whitechapel (TV series)  
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Language: English
Subject: Prospect of Whitby, Kray twins, London After Midnight (film), List of police television dramas, Whitehall Mystery, Peter Serafinowicz, Carnival Films, James Dreyfus, David Schneider (actor), Steve Pemberton
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Whitechapel (TV series)

Alt=Series title over a victorian police poster
First series titlecard
Genre Dramatic television series
Written by Ben Court
Caroline Ip
Directed by S.J. Clarkson (series 1)
David Evans (series 2)
Starring Rupert Penry-Jones
Phil Davis
Steve Pemberton
Composer(s) Ruth Barrett
Country of origin UK
Original language(s) English
No. of series 4
No. of episodes 18 (List of episodes)
Executive producer(s) Sally Woodward Gentle
Producer(s) Marcus Wilson
David Boulter
Editor(s) Liana Del Giudice
Anthony Combes
Cinematography Balazs Bolygo
Kieran McGuigan
Running time 45 minutes
Production companies Carnival Films
Original channel ITV, STV, UTV
Original run 2 February 2009 (2009-02-02) – 9 October 2013 (2013-10-09)
External links

Whitechapel was a British television drama series produced by Carnival Films,[1] in which detectives in London's Whitechapel district dealt with murders which replicated historical crimes. The first series was first broadcast in the UK on 2 February 2009 and depicted the search for a modern copycat killer replicating the murders of Jack the Ripper.

A second series was commissioned by ITV in September 2009 with the focus on the Kray twins. The first episode of this second series was broadcast on 11 October 2010.[2]

A third series was commissioned by ITV in March 2011, which was extended to six episodes as three two-part stories.[3]

The first and second series were broadcast in the United States on six consecutive Wednesday evenings beginning 26 October 2011 on the BBC America cable network. The third was broadcast in the US starting on Wednesday 28 March 2012, also on BBC America.[4]

On 24 September 2012, ITV renewed Whitechapel for a fourth series consisting of six episodes. The first episode was broadcast on 4 September 2013.[5]

On 16 November 2013, Rupert Penry Jones confirmed that ITV had decided not to recommission the show and cancelled it.[6]


The first season was written by Ben Court and Caroline Ip. ITV Director of Drama Laura Mackie said "Whitechapel is a very modern take on the detective genre which combines the Victorian intrigue of the original case with the atmospheric backdrop of a contemporary East End of London. This is not simply about bloodthirstily recreating the Ripper murders, but rather focusing on the three main characters at the heart of the story and the black humour that binds the team together."[7]


Whitechapel debuted on 2 February 2009 at 9pm with 8.13 million viewers on the overnight ratings.[8] Series one received positive reviews, and holds a Metacritic score of 75 out of 100, indicating "generally favourable" reviews.[9]

A review in the Leicester Mercury said that it was "Life on Mars, without the time-travel" adding "what Whitechapel lacked in originality, it more than made up for with atmosphere and enthusiasm."[10] After Episode 2 was broadcast on 9 February, Andrew Billen in The Times said that he had warmed to it more and more, adding, "slowly, the show is making Ripperologists of us all, as Jack's 'canonical' murders are separated from the ones he actually committed. It is all in the worst possible taste and bloody good fun."[11] However, The Daily Telegraph was less impressed, writing "The premise was feeble, the script imbecilic, the acting on autopilot, the direction lacking in any glimmer of tension."[12]

Series two received favourable reviews, and holds a Metacritic score of 69 out of 100, indicating "generally favourable" reviews.[13]

Main cast

Character name Actor Profile First appearance Last appearance
DI Joseph Chandler Rupert Penry-Jones A fast-track, media-conscious Detective Inspector. His first big murder case deals with a copycat killer imitating Jack the Ripper. Suffers with OCD which on occasions has hindered and helped him in solving cases. 1.1 4.6
DS Ray Miles Phil Davis Veteran police officer who has a low tolerance for time-wasters. 1.1 4.6
Edward Buchan Steve Pemberton Ripperologist who offers his aid to Chandler. As a young man, he made a documentary about the Kray twins. 1.1 4.6
Fitzgerald Christopher Fulford Miles' right-hand man. Formerly a DC, he leaked case details of the Ripper to the press; in Series 2, we learn that he has been demoted to PC. 1.1 2.2
DC Sanders Johnny Harris Member of Chandler's team. 1.1 1.3
DC Emerson Kent Sam Stockman Youngest member of the team. 1.1 4.6
DC John McCormack George Rossi Member of Chandler's team. He commits suicide during the Kray case after being forced to betray his team. 1.1 2.3
Commander Anderson Alex Jennings Chandler's boss and mentor. 1.1 2.3
Dr Caroline Llewellyn Claire Rushbrook Police pathologist. 1.1 4.6
DC Finlay Mansell Ben Bishop Joins Chandler's team in Series 2. 2.1 4.6
DC Megan Riley Hannah Walters Experienced member of the team. 3.1 4.6

Episode list

Series 1 (2009)

  • Paul Hickey as Dr David Cohen, a doctor at the local hospital.
  • Sally Leonard as Frances Coles, one of the intended murder victims.
  • Simon Tcherniak as Dr George Phillips, Frances' boyfriend.
  • Branko Tomović as Antoni Pricha, one of the main suspects in the new Jack the Ripper case.
  • Sophie Stanton as Mary Bousefield, a police officer and victim of the new Ripper.
  • Jane Riley as Sarah Smith, a key witness in the enquiry.
  • Ben Loyd-Holmes as Private John Leary, the first suspect in the Ripper case.
Episode Title Directed by Written by Original airdate Viewers (millions)[14]
1 "Part 1" S. J. ClarksonBen Court & Caroline Ip2 February 20099.26
As the final step before promotion, fast-tracker DI Joseph Chandler is posted to Whitechapel by Commander Anderson to lead the investigation into the murder of a woman. However, the case does not turn out as straightforward as Chandler had hoped. The victim, Cathy Lane, is found by CSO Mary Bousfield, bleeding to death with her throat cut in the yard of a Board School, with the killer watching only a short distance away. The Whitechapel squad—front-line, hard-bitten DS Ray Miles and DCs Kent, McCormack, Sanders and Fitzgerald—arrive at the scene after Cathy is pronounced dead and are less than pleased to hear of the imminent arrival of yet another new DI, a 'plastic', a 'paper policeman' who has no idea what he is doing. Chandler arrives, armed with the knowledge of his courses and text books, ready to solve his first murder. 
2 "Part 2" S. J. ClarksonBen Court & Caroline Ip9 February 20098.20
As it is clear this case is no longer a straightforward murder that Chandler can wrap up quickly, he is summoned to see Commander Anderson and his superiors who are very concerned that London may have a Jack the Ripper copycat – especially the impact of this leaking to the press. They tell Chandler he is on his own and that he must solve this case quickly. Having earned a small degree of grudging respect, Chandler leads his squad as they begin researching Jack the Ripper, reading books and looking at DVDs, in an attempt to discover who the new Ripper may be. It is a race against time before he strikes again and they have nothing to go on, except what history tells them, and matters are not helped when one of the team, trying to oust Chandler, leaks details of the case to the press. 
3 "Part 3" S. J. ClarksonBen Court & Caroline Ip16 February 20098.72
Chandler has a close encounter with the murderous impostor but fails to catch or follow him; only the timely appearance of a passer-by allows him to escape with his life. His attacker's home, however contains enough clues for the final hunt to begin after the team find the Ripper's apartment. There, finding out that he assumed numerous disguises throughout their case to undermine them incognito, they deduce his most startling alias: David Cohen. With time running out fast, Chandler and Miles manage to find and stop the Ripper before he completes his recreation of the murder of Mary Jane Kelly. However, Chandler remains to look after a seriously wounded Miles while the Ripper escapes and later commits suicide. 

Series 2 (2010)

  • Peter Serafinowicz as DCI Cazenove, the corrupt Head of the Organised Crime Division.
  • Craig Parkinson as Jimmy and Johnny Kray, the heirs to the legacy of the original Kray twins
  • Chrissie Cotterill as Angie Brooks, mother of the Kray twins.
  • Andrew Tiernan as Steven Dukes, a local gangster who help the Krays rise to power.
Episode Title Directed by Written by Original airdate Viewing Figures (millions)
Sourced by BARB; figures include ITV1 HD
1 "Part 1" David EvansBen Court & Caroline Ip11 October 20107.00
Since the events of the Ripper case, Chandler is now permanently stationed at Whitechapel with Miles, McCormack and Kent. Fitzgerald has been demoted to PC with his position taken over by DC Finley Mansell. Deemed failures as a result of their inability to catch the Ripper, they are low down in the pecking order in comparison to the Organised Crime Division (OCD) run by DCI Cazenove, lauded for reducing street crime to negligible. The team bemoan the fact that there are no murders. Chandler's interest is piqued, however, when Anderson informs him another big case will find him soon. A dead body is soon discovered floating in the Thames, and a series of horrific attacks follow which appear to echo the Kray twins' infamous crimes of the 1960s. Despite Buchan's timely advice, Chandler suspects the local gangster Steven Dukes to be the mastermind, only to realise that he is facing a criminal duo seeking bloody revenge for the Krays' incarceration. 
2 "Part 2" David EvansBen Court & Caroline Ip18 October 20106.52
A man is murdered in an old haunt of the Kray Twins, a pub called 'The Blind Beggar' in Whitechapel, the scene of a similar murder by Ronnie Kray in 1966. The barmaid says that the killer was Jimmy Kray and that he lives down the road with his mother, Angie Brooks. Chandler and Miles interview Angie, who reveals she visited Ronnie Kray in Broadmoor and he provided her with a sperm sample with which she became pregnant with identical twins, Jimmy and Johnny Kray. Dr Llewellyn explains forensics will not show which twin is the killer, so they need to investigate the Krays the old-fashioned way. Chandler's investigations rattle the twins and he's bundled into a car for a meeting, learning that Jimmy is clearly insane and Johnny is finding it hard to control him when he turned down their offer of backing off. The team's perseverance leads them into personal danger; Miles' son is threatened and Kent is terrorized by uniformed officers on the twins' payroll. Mansell receives a wreath delivered at his home, McCormack has a gun pointed at his head and Chandler is beaten before being dumped in Epping Forest. At rock bottom, Chandler asks for Buchan's help and takes his advice to use Jimmy's insanity to separate the twins. However, learning that Fitzgerald is on the twins' payroll, the meeting with Johnny goes awry while he and his brother rake the pub with automatic fire. Inside, Chandler spots a gun and fires back. When their ammunition is spent, the twins leave. Fitzgerald is arrested soon after while warning Chandler that he is the only one trying to stop the twins and is on borrowed time. 
3 "Part 3" David EvansBen Court & Caroline Ip25 October 20106.03
After the shooting, Chandler instructs Miles to drive to Anderson's house. While Anderson and Chandler talk, Miles becomes worried when the only person he can't reach is McCormack. Racing to his house, they find him hanging in his garden shed. Llewellyn rules that the death is a suicide. McCormack's death appears to mark the end of the inquiry, but it's all for show. The investigation moves to a secret location, Buchan's house, which will be the new incident room. Anderson can only hold the Krays off for three days and they are only too aware that they have no witnesses, no evidence and no leads. They link Ronnie Kray's liking for young boys with Jimmy Kray's "Blonde Boy". When the "Blonde Boy" reveals himself as a girl, the team wonder what else is fake about these twins. Managing to obtain DNA of Ronnie and Jimmy, Chandler's group manages to confirm that their Kray twins are not related to the originals. Using this information to coax Dukes' support in exposing their organization, the Krays are arrested while it is revealed that only their mother Angie knew the truth and lied to them about Ronnie being their father. However, the Krays are assassinated while in custody with Anderson taking advantage of the resulting power vacuum within the police department. Soon after, Anderson accepts Chandler's request to set up a special team. 

Series 3 (2012)

Whitechapel was commissioned for a third series in March 2011. Unlike the previous two series, which were each based on a single event, the new series was split into three separate 2-part stories. The new six-episode season was shown in 2012 in its usual ITV time slot. Rupert Penry-Jones, Phil Davis and Steve Pemberton resumed their roles in the programme.

Episode Title Directed by Written by Original airdate Viewing Figures (millions)
Sourced by BARB; includes ITV1 HD and ITV1 +1
1 "Case One (Part 1)" John StricklandBen Court & Caroline Ip30 January 20127.35
DI Chandler and DS Miles investigate the slaughter of four people at a tailor's fortified workshop. Ed Buchan, retained by Chandler as the team's historical adviser, believes that the huge archive at Whitechapel station will provide the necessary insight into this baffling crime that appears to echo the Ratcliff Highway murders 200 years earlier. 
2 "Case One (Part 2)" John StricklandBen Court & Caroline Ip6 February 20126.88
Following on from the incident at the tailor's workshop, a second mass murder occurs, and again there was no obvious break-in and no forensic evidence. 
3 "Case Two (Part 1)" Richard ClarkBen Court & Caroline Ip13 February 20127.12
As Chandler and Miles attend the christening of Miles's daughter, a fox runs through the streets of Whitechapel with a human arm in its mouth. Soon, more body parts from the same victim are washed up by the river, all containing evidence of a fatal poisoning. Buchan believes the crimes echo the Thames torso murders of the 1880s - can the team, with the help of a female DI attractively like Chandler in her habits, crack the gruesome case? 
4 "Case Two (Part 2)" Richard ClarkBen Court & Caroline Ip20 February 20126.95
When traces of the aphrodisiac Spanish fly are found in murder victims, Chandler and Miles question what kind of killer they could be up against. The team are taken to the heart of a dark obsession where romance and love take a sinister turn. 
5 "Case Three (Part 1)" Jon EastBen Court & Caroline Ip27 February 20126.78
When a babysitter is murdered, the only witness thinks she saw the bogeyman do it. Chandler, Miles, and the team suspect a dangerous patient and former Whitechapel resident, obsessed with Lon Chaney and London After Midnight, who's recently escaped from a psychiatric unit. Meanwhile, Buchan, guilt-ridden over his failure in the previous case, is unsure if he should remain a murder-archivist. 
6 "Case Three (Part 2)" Jon EastBen Court & Caroline Ip5 March 20127.11
With the body count rising, Miles and Chandler clash over the direction of the investigation. Having already survived the killer's wrath once, Morgan Lamb is of particular interest to the team - especially Chandler. As the chase escalates, will the detectives be able to put their differences aside in the face of their toughest adversary yet? 

Series 4 (2013)

Episode Title Directed by Written by Original airdate Viewing Figures (millions)
Sourced by BARB and Broadcast magazine; includes ITV HD and ITV +1
1 "Case One (Part 1)" Jon EastBen Court & Caroline Ip4 September 20135.55
Chandler, Miles and the team cross paths with MI6 as they investigate the gruesome murder of an apparent tramp. The murder, they discover, is a 16th-century torture, the peine forte et dure. And after a second body is found, an elderly woman burnt at the stake, they realise that someone has started a Witch Hunt and now killing witches in Whitechapel. 
2 "Case One (Part 2)" Jon EastBen Court & Caroline Ip11 September 20134.71
As the witch-hunt continues, with two corpses (the second burnt at the stake) in the morgue and a third person missing, the team must save the next victim and catch the killer, who they realize has ergot poisoning
3 "Case Two (Part 1)" Daniel NettheimSteve Pemberton18 September 20134.62
The discovery of a flayed face in a Whitechapel gallery leads Chandler and Miles into the art world - but is there also a link to organised crime? 
4 "Case Two (Part 2)" Daniel NettheimSteve Pemberton25 September 20134.26 (excluding ITV HD)
As more flayed bodies turn up, Chandler and Miles question the motives behind these bloody deeds. Buchan's research puts him in danger. 
5 "Case Three (Part 1)" Jon EastBen Court & Caroline Ip2 October 20133.27 (overnight)
6 "Case Three (Part 2)" Jon EastBen Court & Caroline Ip9 October 20134.13


External links

  • Internet Movie Database
  • BBC America

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