Victorian Intrigue Finds Modern Twist in BBC America's 'Whitechapel'

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October 4th, 2011

via press release:

VICTORIAN INTRIGUE FINDS MODERN TWIST IN BBC AMERICA’S WHITECHAPEL

A modern day police force faces age-old adversaries this October on weekly slot Dramaville


Is it possible that the world’s most notorious serial killer is back? This October, Dramaville, the home of groundbreaking British drama including Luther and The Hour, presents the U.S. premiere of the acclaimed series Whitechapel on BBC AMERICA. Set in modern day East London, the police force is faced with the brutal and bloody history of their streets – from echoes of the 19th century and Jack the Ripper to the Infamous 1960s crime twins Ronnie and Reggie Kray. From the producers of Downton Abbey and starring Rupert Penry-Jones (MI-5, Persuasion), Phil Davis (Sherlock, Bleak House) and Steve Pemberton (The League of Gentlemen), the six part series focuses on two internationally resonant crime stories with a stylish, cinematic and contemporary spin. Whitechapel premieres Wednesday, October 26, 10:00pm ET on Dramaville.

 

As the murder rate rises and clues are scarce, an unlikely trio sets out to solve the most famous unsolved murder case in history - Jack the Ripper - the first internationally known serial killer. Assigned to the case is fast-tracked Detective Inspector Joseph Chandler (Rupert Penry-Jones) a novice in the business of murder but an expert in the politics of policing and three day training. His fellow officers, however, are anything but. Chief among them is Detective Sergeant Miles (Phil Davis), the archetypal cynical, seen-it-all detective. Tipped-off by ‘Ripperologist’ Edward Buchan (Steve Pemberton) an expert in the myths and legends behind unexplained or violent deaths, Chandler realizes this modern day killer is copying Jack the Ripper’s Infamous murders in the Whitechapel section of London, down to the very last detail. Will the unlikely team succeed where 120 years ago others failed, and solve the most famous unsolved murder case in history?

 

Ambitious DI Chandler is assigned an open-and-shut case, the killing of a woman in the East End of London. Get a quick result, he is told, and you will get the promotion you have been waiting for. Unfortunately for him, however, things don’t turn out to be so straight forward. The investigation quickly runs out of suspects until Edward Buchan, a renowned Ripperologist, draws the police’s attention to the similarities between the Jack the Ripper killings in 1888 and the modern-day murder that Chandler is investigating. The race begins to catch the copycat killer before he strikes again.

 

To complicate matters further, there is an emergence of a series of horrific attacks—attacks which appear to echo the Kray twins Infamous crimes of the 1960s. Leading the case is the smarmy and potentially suspect Detective Chief Inspector Torbin Cazenove (Peter Serafinowicz. Running Wilde, Shaun of the Dead). Despite the fact that the case has been handed over to the Organized Crime Division - run by Cazenove - an undeterred Chandler continues his own investigation. It soon becomes apparent those responsible for these heinous crimes are prepared to kill anyone who gets in their way– including DI Chandler and his colleagues DS Miles, Detective Constable McCormack and Detective Constable Kent.

 

Whitechapel follows the critically acclaimed psychological crime drama, Luther, continuing BBC AMERICA’s weekly British drama slot Dramaville, airing Wednesdays at 10:00pm ET and hosted by Luther star Idris Elba. Following Whitechapel, Dramaville presents an encore broadcast of the award-winning conspiracy drama, State of Play, on December 7.

 

Note to editors

Twitter: @BBCAMERICA Hashtags: #Whitechapel #Dramaville

Photos: http://press.bbcamerica.com/program.jsp?id=34047#program_images

 

BBC AMERICA delivers U.S. audiences high-quality, innovative and intelligent programming. Established in 1998, it has been the launch pad for talent embraced by American mainstream pop culture, including Ricky Gervais, Gordon Ramsay, Graham Norton, and successful programming formats including ground-breaking non-scripted television like Top Gear and top-rated science-fiction like Doctor Who. Owned by BBC Worldwide, the commercial arm of the BBC, BBC AMERICA has attracted both critical acclaim and major awards including an Emmy, four Golden Globes and ten Peabody Awards. The channel attracts one of cable’s most affluent and educated audiences and is available on digital cable and satellite TV in more than 70.1 million homes. It broadcasts in both standard and high-definition, with content available On Demand across all major digital platforms. Online, www.bbcamerica.com is the place to go to dig deeper into pop culture with a British twist.

 

CAST AND PRODUCTION CREDITS

 

DI Joseph Chandler                  Rupert Penry-Jones (MI-5, Persuasion, Burn Up)

DS Miles                                   Phil Davis (Sherlock, Bleak House, Vera Drake)

Edward Buchan                        Steve Pemberton (The League of Gentelmen, Benidorm)

Dr. Llewellyn                            Clarie Rushbrook (Linda Green, The Sins, Doctor Who)

Commander Anderson            Alex Jennings (Cranford, The State Within, The Queen)

Jimmy / Johnny Kray                 Craig Parkinson (Misfits, Brighton Rock, Control)

DCI Torbin Cazenove              Peter Serafinowicz (Running Wilde, Shaun of the Dead)

DC McCormack                       George Rossi (Hustle, Hotel Babylon)

DC Kent                                  Sam Stockman (Wire in the Blood, Holby City)

 

Creator and Writer                  Ben Court and Caroline Ip (Primeval)

 

Director                                   SJ Clarkson (Mistresses, Hustle, Life on Mars)

(Episodes 1-3)   

 

Director                                   David Evans (Unforgiven, Survivors, The Children)

(Episodes 4-6)   

 

Executive Producer                  Sally Woodward Gentle (Any Human Heart, Enid, Waking the Dead)

 

Whitechapel is a Carnival Films production for ITV

 

EPISODE SYNOPSES

 

Episode 1

Ambitious DI Joseph Chandler is assigned an open-and-shut case, the killing of a woman in the East End of London. Get a quick result, he is told, and you will get the promotion you have been waiting for. Unfortunately for him, however, things don’t turn out to be so straight forward. The investigation quickly runs out of suspects until Edward Buchan, a renowned Ripperologist, draws the police’s attention to the similarities between the Jack the Ripper killings in 1888 and the modern-day murder that Chandler is investigating. The race begins to catch the copycat killer before he strikes again. Episode 1 premieres Wednesday, October 26, 10:00p.m. ET.

 

Episode 2

Chandler continues to clash with his team, led by the cynical DS Miles. Further suspects lead to dead-ends as the detectives attempt to penetrate the conspiracies and myths that surround the legend of Jack the Ripper. Frustrated, Chandler pins his hopes on trapping their latest suspect, a solider named Leary, but the operation goes horribly, tragically wrong. Episode 2 premieres Wednesday, November 2, 10:00p.m. ET.

 

Episode 3

The final act begins – the Ripper must kill one more victim to complete his re-enactment of the 1888 murders. Chandler is near to breakdown as he struggles to find an answer. Forensics and CCTV (closed-circuit television) are useless, and the team is forced to rely on its instincts, hoping that the past will provide some clue to the killer’s identity. But time is ticking away, and history tells us that Jack the Ripper was never caught… Episode 3 premieres Wednesday, November 9, 10:00p.m. ET.

 

Episode 4

The Organized Crime Division, lead by the dashing DCI Cazenove, seems to have control of London’s streets until a spate of gruesome killings and maimings rocks the East End district of Whitechapel. DI Chandler and his team are tasked with solving them. Buchan claims the crimes replicate those committed by the Infamous Kray twins back in the 1960s. He tells Chandler the victims are chosen from those who gave evidence against the Krays and that they are killed in the manner of their testimony. Chandler suspects gangster Steven Dukes to be the killer, but after former Kray associate Slasher Daneford is murdered while Dukes is under observation, it seems as if a Krays copycat killer is on the loose. Episode 4 premieres Wednesday, November 16, 10:00p.m. ET.

 

Episode 5

With no leads to Go On, a frustrated Miles informs Chandler that the copycat killer has struck again, as a man called Billy Bunhill is shot dead in a former Kray haunt. A barmaid offers up a name – Jimmy Kray. The team is stunned when an interview with Jimmy’s mother, Angie Brooks reveals a former relationship with Ronnie Kray which resulted in identical twins – Jimmy and Johnny. The team focus on the twins, finding that they are genuine criminals, although Cazenove believes them to be nothing but small time thugs. But Chandler insists on pursuing the twins, realizing in the process that he can no longer trust anyone – even his colleagues. Not even informant, Jack Cheshire, seems able to help Chandler and with little to Go On. A suggestion from Buchan to meet the twins results in a massive shoot out – is there any way that Chandler will be able to bring down the Krays? Episode 5 premieres Wednesday, November 23, 10:00p.m. ET.

 

Episode 6

Chandler is under stress after the shoot out and the death of his colleague DC McCormack. With the clock ticking and little to Go On, Buchan reminds Chandler of former Inspector Nipper Read’s mantra, “attention to detail.” The team resumes their investigation, helped in part by the enigmatic Jack Cheshire. But tensions begin to surface, and Buchan is forced to reveal his own investigations – into the disappearance of Miles’ father. The shocking revelations bring some new leads, and when “Blonde Boy,” Jimmy’s partner, is revealed to be a woman, the team question what else could be fake about Jimmy? Chandler challenges Jimmy to a boxing match in order to obtain his DNA and with Buchan deftly stealing Ronnie’s DNA from an old envelope, the team attempt to see if the twins really are Ronnie’s sons as their mother so resolutely claims them to be. Will the DNA prove the twins are real successors to Ronnie, and will Chandler finally get his man? Episode 6 premieres Wednesday, November 30, 10:00p.m. ET.

 

 

CHARACTER GUIDE

 

DI Chandler played by Rupert Penry-Jones

DI Chandler’s career and life have been mapped out for him – first by his high-ranking career police officer father and subsequently by his godfather, Commander Anderson. He is an expert in the politics of policing and three-day courses, but doesn’t know who he is, what he believes in or what he is passionate about. We find Chandler on his first big murder case – the one that should be his final stepping stone to greatness.

 

 

DS Miles played by Phil Davis

Nearing retirement, the hardened DS Miles treats murder as a job. He tolerates the inherent bureaucracy and has learned to live with the eccentricities of the Crown Prosecution Service. He believes in witnesses, confessions and cold hard forensics. He loves his boys, his carp and a decent curry.

 

 

 

Edward Buchan played by Steve Pemberton

Edward Buchan is in love with the romance of detection. Buchan is an expert in the myths and legends behind unexplained or violent deaths, not to mention an eccentrically brilliant Jack the Ripper tour guide.  He is an armchair detective who has a deep love of mystery and is drawn to the allure of the unsolvable crime. The only one who isn’t a cop, Buchan considers murder a game - a fiendish puzzle to be solved with fox-like cunning. A little man more gnomic than heroic, he lives with his deeply glamorous wife, Olga, more Bond girl than suburban housewife in their 1930s semi furnished in deep shag-pile and 60s retro-style. With the Ripper case, Buchan’s dream looks as if it is about to become a reality.

 

 

 
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