The Long Shadow looks at the case regarding the Yorkshire Ripper, Peter Sutcliffe, in the ’70s. I was only a child at the time, but I still remember it being in the news.
The opener sees a young woman, Wilma McCann (Gemma Laurie), putting her children to bed for the night, then heading out, and is murdered, stabbed 15 times. She became the monster’s first victim. But if that’s not bad enough, events then get quite harrowing as the police are interviewing her four children, and without any appropriate adult to sit with them.
The investigation is led by DCS Dennis Hoban (Toby Jones – Indiana Jones And The Dial Of Destiny) and DCS Jim Hobson (Lee Ingleby – Screw Series 2), the former of whom attemps to soften the blow by telling the kids that mummy’s up in heaven and she’s waiting for them.
This series runs for seven episodes, and since I’ve only seen the first one so far, this slow start to The Long Shadow just scratches the tip of the iceberg, showing cops making a fingertip search out in the open, for example, plus one of the couples who will become important in the story – Sydney Jackson (Daniel Mays – Des), and his wife, Emily (Katherine Kelly – Innocent), who gets an indecent proposal from someone she knows, while looking to make her money go further, especially at Christmas time.
I will certainly check out more of this, and I do have access to the others for review, but there’s some dodgy Yorkshire accents in this – which aren’t exactly easy to make out on the preview which doesn’t have subtitles, but then the great ’70s music makes up for it, such as Tina Marie’s I Love To Love and Kool & the Gang’s Jungle Boogie.
Plus, although the year isn’t specified onscreen, I worked out it took place in 1974 because it’s referenced that it was the year when there was no Morecambe & Wise Christmas Special… and I Love To Love wasn’t released until 1976. Okay, artistic licence…
And yes, I am aware that it may seem odd to champion an element in this drama (the music), when it’s dealing with a very sensitive subject, since while this centres around the hunt for Peter Sutcliffe, in order to get to that part, it first has to introduce his victims and what led to their murders, which does seem rather grim.
The Long Shadow continues next Monday on ITV at 9pm. Once aired, each episode will also be on ITVX, but they’re only being added weekly, unfortunately. You can pre-order it on Blu-ray and DVD, ahead of its release on November 13th.
It’s not yet available to pre-order on Blu-ray or DVD.
Director: Lewis Arnold
Producer: Matt Sandford
Writer: George Kay
Music: Sarah Warne
DCS Dennis Hoban: Toby Jones
DCS Jim Hobson: Lee Ingleby
DI Les Hanley: Jack Deam
CC Ronald Gregory: Michael McElhatton
DC John Nunn: Kris Hitchen
ACC George Oldfield: David Morrissey
DSI Dick Holland: Steven Waddington
WPC Jenny Bush: Chloe Harris
Sydney Jackson: Daniel Mays
Emily Jackson: Katherine Kelly
Marcella Claxton: Jasmine Lee-Jones
PS Bob Blake: Liam Garrigan
David Gee: Stephen Tompkinson
Mike Dugdale: John Henshaw
WPC Sue Neave: Victoria Myers
DCS John Domaille: Christopher Hatherall
Neil Jackson: Shaun Thomas
PS Meg Winterburn: Liz White
Margaret Oldfield: Emma Cunniffe
DC Andrew Laptew: Adam Long
WPC Anna Lawson: Charley Webb
Irene MacDonald: Kate Rutter
Doreen Hill: Jill Halfpenny
Betty Hoban: Dorothy Atkinson
Nicola Briggs: Sorcha Groundsell
Ruth Bundey: Alexa Davies
Olive Smelt: Nicola Stephenson
Jack Hill: Paul Brennen
Ken Dwyer: James Clay
Caroline Armstrong: Charlotte Tyree
Calvin Thompson: Marcus Fraser
Harry Smelt: Colin R Campbell
DCS Jack Ridgeway: Robert James-Collier
Jacqueline Hill: Daisy Waterstone
Peter Sutcliffe: Mark Stobbart
Commander Jim Nevill: Jamie Parker
Sonia Sutcliffe: Sammy Winward
PC Ian Rudge: Kris Mochrie
WPC June Sinclair: Emma Williams
Wilf MacDonald: Roger Ringrose
Greg Clitheroe: Luke Roskell
Maureen Long: Clare Burt
DI David Zackrisson: Stevie Raine
Linda Arrowcroft: Melissa Parker
Donna DeAngelo: Molly Wright
Steve Rawton: Brian McCardie
Pat Jackson: Rebecca Hanssen
Paul: Michael James Parr
Auntie Win: Melanie Kilburn
Michael Baxter: Ben Cartwright
Wilma McCann: Gemma Laurie
Sonia McCann: Alexa Goodall
Richard McCann: Dylan Hall
DCS Chris Gregg: Shaun Dooley
WPC Judy Womack: Ruth Madeley
Nick Clarke: Mark Frost
Dr. Alan Caplin: Nigel Betts
Reviewer of movies, videogames and music since 1994. Aortic valve operation survivor from the same year. Running DVDfever.co.uk since 2000. Nobel Peace Prize winner 2021.