Whitechapel ITV1 British Crime DramaOh very dear. Alarm bells should have sounded when last week I spotted Shaun Evans’s unfeasibly small part. It’s happened a number of times in British crime dramas – a well known actor (or at least one who was previously the lead) pops up in a very minor role. Aye, aye, you say to yourself – something’s afoot. And sure enough, before the 90 minutes are up they’ve confessed to every last one of the serial murders. Or come to a particularly gruesome end – and instant justice. And here it was again, the suspect eliminated from police enquiries early on, Sly Driscoll, lived up to his name – he was the man with the limp. Note to casting directors: Make sure the WHOLE cast is star-studded or all the suspects are played by unknown actors. Crime fans are a shrewd bunch – don’t get lazy with us. It spoils the fun of detection.

Unfortunately what the writers did get a bit lax with the conclusion to the two-part Whitechapel arc. It felt as if they’d spent all their money and only had one weekend to come up with a script. Cliches? You couldn’t go two minutes without another one cropping up – whether in the dialogue, the plot or characterisation. It got so bad, I started looking forward to the Magnum Mini ads. What a great example of fine cinematography that is – the lighting, the mise en scene – and ultimately, the chocolate covered ice cream. On a stick! Didn’t find much of that in Whitechapel.

Still worth watching the opening credits though…



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