Yorkshire is set to grace our screens once again as ITV unveils its new drama – The Long Shadow – detailing the tumultuous and painstaking hunt for the infamous Yorkshire Ripper. As anticipation builds, ITV has announced a robust and acclaimed cast list that promises to bring depth and intensity to this harrowing story.
Toby Jones, celebrated for his laudable performances, will step into the pivotal role of DCS Dennis Hoban, the man who initially spearheaded the enquiry into the Ripper’s reign of terror. Alongside Jones, the formidable David Morrissey is responsible for portraying DCS George Oldfield, a figure synonymous with the Ripper investigation.
Lee Ingleby, renowned for his versatile acting, will essay the role of DCS Jim Hobson, and Katherine Kelly, recognised for her compelling performances, will embody Emily Jackson. Adding more heft to this lineup, Daniel Mays plays her husband, Sydney Jackson with Shaun Thomas cast as their son.
The stellar ensemble doesn’t end there. Jill Halfpenny, lauded for her memorable roles, will play Doreen Hill, while Daisy Waterstone has been cast as her daughter, Jacqueline Hill. Other casting decisions see Jasmine Lee-Jones as Marcella Claxton, Molly Wright as Donna Deangelo, Liz White as PS Meg Winterburn, and Shaun Dooley donning the role of DCS Chris Gregg.
The series, subtitled, “One murder has the power to cast a long shadow…” promises to not only revisit the horrific deeds of Peter Sutcliffe, but also to shed light on the profound societal implications of his crimes. The narrative aims to provide a deeper understanding of the lasting impact on the victims, their families, and society at large.
As we live in an era increasingly acknowledging and battling issues of misogyny, racism, and violence against women, The Long Shadow promises to be more than just a recount of events. It seeks to draw harrowing parallels between the tragedies of the past and the present.
Polly Hill, ITV’s Head of Drama, remarked on the significance and timeliness of this series, “George’s scripts and Lewis’ direction together with this wonderful cast have produced a sensitive and brilliant drama that we are proud to have on ITV.” Willow Grylls, co-founder and CEO of New Pictures echoed this sentiment, emphasizing the project’s relevance four decades after the events transpired.
Set to air in September on ITV1 and ITVX, The Long Shadow recounts the desperate five-year manhunt for Peter Sutcliffe, responsible for the deaths of 13 women and the attempted murders of seven more. Directed by the BAFTA-winning Lewis Arnold, this drama seems poised to reinvigorate discussions about the infamous Yorkshire Ripper case, taking into consideration not just the hunt but the people at the heart of it.
Amidst all the news about the show, it’s important to remember the victims and the survivors. Their stories remain paramount, and The Long Shadow aims to shed light on their experiences, offering a fresh perspective on this well-documented and tragic piece of British history.
The show’s foundation lies in the superb cast and crew and the meticulously researched material it’s based on – including Michael Bilton’s authoritative book, Wicked Beyond Belief. The drama is more than just a retelling; it’s a tribute, a remembrance, and perhaps, a cautionary tale.
Keep your eyes out for this in September. ITV’s new offering has an ensemble of talent backing it, and The Long Shadow seems predestined for success.