Tuesday, 26 October 2010


Tuesday, 26 October 2010

Based on the amount of comments my reviews of Whitechapel has inspired, there seems to have been practically zero interest in this three-part ITV drama (despite how popular series 1 was), and that's understandable. I won't waste my breath dissecting Monday night's concluding part. Suffice to say, I was glad the sorry nonsense came to an end, and the storyline at least moved with more purpose. The whole thing was hobbled from the get-go because the premise was so laughable, and the writers didn't find a way to convince us of anything going on. It started silly and it got sillier, but not in an enjoyable way. It was actually a depressing waste of time and talent.

The sudden appearance of two Kray twins (sons of an original, bred from a sperm bank sample)? Ludicrous. What, did they materialize in the East End overnight? And three episodes weren't enough to make their Federation of Crime agenda feel plausible. The Krays seemed able to corrupt people simply by looking at them, too. Peter Serafinowicz was totally wasted, but at least his character had the decency to blow his brains out. Rupert Penry-Jones and Phil Davies must have known the scripts were terrible, as you could sense their disdain throughout. Supposedly, weighty things were happening, but none of it rang true, so it was hard to care.

The only real positive was seeing the story renege on the idea Jimmy and Johnny were genuine Krays. Instead, they were imposters told of their celebrity heritage by a mother who wanted to give them "the world". And with their status revoked, their empire crumbled to dust almost as quickly as it appeared.

Overall, hopefully Whitechapel will be a warning to other self-contained dramas that ITV insist continue past the point of plausibility. The climax of part 3 leaves the door open for the return of Miles and Chandler, tackling strange cases in a different locale, and I suppose that's a wiser way for ITV to get a third series out of this. But with a name change and, perhaps, a move away from copycats as a USP, you have to ask yourself a question: was it ever the characters and interplay of Miles and Chandler that caught audience's imaginations back in 2009? I have strong doubts. Jack The Ripper was the real star.

Oh well. I await the inevitable announcement of a Dick Turpin copycat that Miles and Chandler get assigned to...

WRITERS: Ben Court & Caroline Ip
DIRECTOR: David Evans
GUEST CAST: Sam Stockman, Ben Bishop, George Rossi, Craig Parkinson, Peter Serafinowicz, Steve Nicolson, Claire Rushbrook, Christopher Fulford, Daniel Percival, Chrissie Cotterill, Robert Putt, Nicholas Blane, Richard Clifford, David Mumeni, Martin Turner, Lacey Bond, Charlie Covell, Luing Andrews & Colin Campbell
TRANSMISSION: 25 October 2010 – ITV1/HD, 9PM