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The Long Shadow | Preview (ITV1)

The Long Shadow, written by award-winning screenwriter, George Kay (Hijack, Criminal: UK) and directed by BAFTA-winning director Lewis Arnold (Sherwood, Time, Des) is the definitive depiction of the desperate five-year hunt for serial killer Peter Sutcliffe.

Sensitively focussing on the lives of the victims who crossed his path and those of the officers at the heart of the police investigation. With the victims, their families and the survivors at the heart of this series, The Long Shadow brings a new perspective to a well-documented story.

Meticulously researched and drawing upon the most extensive archive of the investigation, comprising of hundreds of case files, interview transcripts and police reports, the series is also based on Wicked Beyond Belief, Michael Bilton’s critically acclaimed account of the case, published by William Collins.

Award-winning actor Toby Jones will play DCS Dennis Hoban, who initially led the enquiry, with David Morrissey taking the role of DCS George Oldfield, who famously took on the investigation.

Lee Ingleby is DCS Jim Hobson, whilst Katherine Kelly plays Emily Jackson with Daniel Mays as her husband, Sydney Jackson and Shaun Thomas as their son, Neil Jackson.

Jill Halfpenny plays Doreen Hill, with Daisy Waterstone as her daughter, Jacqueline Hill. Jasmine Lee-Jones plays Marcella Claxton, Molly Wright as Donna Deangelo, Liz White as PS Meg Winterburn and Shaun Dooley as DCS Chris Gregg.

The cast also includes Alexa Davies, Chloe Harris, Stephen Tompkinson, Jack Deam, Michael McElhatton, Adam Long, Ruth Madeley, Dorothy Atkinson, Rob James-Collier, Charley Webb, Steven Waddington and Kris Hitchen.

One murder has the power to cast a long shadow and this case plunged a whole society into darkness. For every victim, there were friends and loved ones. For every police officer, there was the burden of failure - of near misses and guilt – and the knowledge that as they failed to find their man, more women continued to suffer.

The impact on the lives of those who live on after the death of their loved one remains to this day. Those who cannot escape what happened, who must sit with their incomprehensible trauma for decades after, enduring their own life sentences.

In the first episode, Wilma McCann’s four young children wake up to find their mother missing. After her body is found not far from her house, DCS Dennis Hoban takes charge of the investigation.

Conscious that young women, of what the police would term ‘loose morals’, do not often inspire public sympathy, Hoban directs media attention onto her role as a mother, and on her children who have been taken into care. Meanwhile, across the city: Emily and Sydney Jackson’s marriage is faltering in the face of financial hardship.

With Christmas looming, Emily is desperate to scrape enough income to see them through to New Year. She is upset and disturbed when a man mistakes her for a sex worker in a pub, but as their financial situation deteriorates, she sees no other way to keep the family afloat.

As Hoban continues to be frustrated in his efforts to find Wilma’s murderer, Emily tentatively begins sex work on Spencer Place. An arrest is made and we end the episode with Emily standing on Spencer Place, getting into an unknown car that drives into the darkness.

The Long Shadow returns Monday 25th September at 9pm on ITV1.


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