The fourth series of ITV’s dark crime series Whitechapel is well under way and the demon in the police station is drawing viewers onto a spectacular season finale.
Each member of Detective Inspector Chandler’s team is battling their own unsettling experience – from a fear of dying to the sound of footsteps around empty parts of the Whitechapel police station.
Rupert Penry-Jones, who plays DI Chandler, explains:
“The new series has three separate stories like the last one did, but this time we also have this kind of dark, psychological thing that each character has to deal with across the entire series. Everyone is being spooked in one way or another and we don’t know whether it can be explained logically or whether there’s something else going on.”
The plotline first started at Edward Buchan’s book launch party. A little old lady in a red hat speaks separately with the members of the team, whispering a concern in the ear of each. Mysterious phone calls plague DC Finley Mansell and it seems that the suggestion of a grand demonic haunting of Whitechapel, mooted by Wingfield, is going to tip the team over the edge.
Matters reach a head in episode six – the season finale – when DS Miles goes in search of hard evidence. Will Miles find proof of the supernatural or reveal a spell cast over the minds of his team?
The series is based on true stories and has had fresh impetus from Steve Pemberton (League of Gentlemen), who also appears in the show as the crime expert Edward Buchan. He wrote the episodes about flaying and said of the process:
“All the historical research, certainly all the information my character, Buchan comes up with is true, it always has been in Whitechapel. So I knew I had to do a lot of work to make sure it was authentic and felt right.”
Despite the heavy subject matter, Pemberton, who has also written for Benidorm, admits he couldn’t resist inserting a little humour into the script:
“Rupert’s character isn’t laugh a minute, jokey character but I’ve given him a few moments where he tries to make a joke and nobody laughs and he has to say ‘that was a joke’, stuff like that in itself is quite amusing. If they’re going to ask me to write they have to expect a certain degree of humour in there and hopefully that comes out.”
Series Four of Whitechapel is not only stylistically very dark, but as Phil Davis (Detective Sergeant Ray Miles) explains, particularly gruesome:
“On a serious note, this is fiction obviously, but there are references made to past crimes and there’s nothing that we are doing in this show that hasn’t been inflicted on some poor soul. They make your flesh crawl when you think of what human beings can inflict on one another. So you say it doesn’t affect you but every so often it does bring you up short when you imagine it.”
Not for the faint hearted, Whitechapel airs for UK viewers on ITV at 9pm on Wednesdays.
DI Joseph Chandler played by Rupert Penry-Jones
DS Ray Miles played by Phil Davis
Edward Buchan played by Steve Pemberton
DC Emerson Kent played by Sam Stockman
DC Finley Mansell played by Ben Bishop
DC Megan Riley played by Hannah Walters
Dr Llewellyn played by Claire Rushbrook