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Wednesday, November 23, 2011


If you’re in the states and aren’t looking forward to parades and football on the tube this Thanksgiving, let me suggest catching the first season of WHITECHAPEL on BBC America On-Demand. What does it bring to the table that you haven’t sampled before? A heapin’-helpin’ of freshness that examines what is probably the most notorious serial killer crime fiction aficionados like me still like to explore: Jack the Ripper.
Now there’s a holiday treat to whet the appetite of the most seasoned viewers of dark dramas.
Set in modern day London, a new series of Ripper copy-cat murders begins to plague the beleaguered detectives of the Whitechapel district. There is the requisite denial of a theory presented by a Ripperologist, played with a creepy and yet heartwarming temerity by Steve Pemberton, until newly appointed golden-boy DI Chandler begins to listen more closely to the theory. Embroiled with his own subplot, Chandler must develop the theory while trying to establish himself in front of his men. Pretty hard for a detective who was textbook trained at solving crimes instead of being out in the fields like his seasoned detectives. Nowhere is this more apparent then when Chandler and his Detective Sergeant view the first victim. Neither man can conceal his poker face. Chandler is completely repulsed when he stares at the body as much as his DS is repulsed at his boss’s reaction.
Okay- pretty standard fare at this point, I agree. So now check out the cinematography. Quirky, dark, electric, as much so as the rest of the post-production work. On a degree of difficulty scale, the technical team of WHITECHAPEL scores 10.0. The editing is frantic at times, intentionally so, to put the viewer on the edge of his or her seat. This is good old fashion, late night, lights off, scare the ju-ju-bees out of you entertainment.
Last thing I’ll say is the dynamic between seasoned Detective Sergeant Miles (Philip Davis) and rookie Detective Inspector Chandler (Rupert Penry-Jones) is one of those love-hate-can’t-do-my-job-without-you-doing-yours-eventually-I-will-trust-you kinds of relationships. At times it’s awkward, even bordering on violent, but eventually becomes a partnership that will make these two like Holmes and Watson, McGarret and Dano, Bond and Q.
BLATANT SELF PROMOTION CORNER: Monkey See, Monkey Murder just wrapped its final line edits. Untreed Reads should be releasing it before Christmas. Just in time for the electronic shopping days.
COMING UP NEXT: Flash Jab Challenge #8 is up at Flash Jab Fiction. You’ve got the time. Start doing some writing. Check it out:

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