ITV has revealed when its new drama about the Yorkshire Ripper will begin.
The seven-part drama depicts the hunt for Peter Sutcliffe, one of the most notorious and shocking serial killer cases in the world.
Between October 1975 and January 1981, police undertook the biggest manhunt in British criminal history, with the search for Sutcliffe lasting five years, involving over a thousand officers, and changing the way the British police worked forever.
Based on Michael Bilton’s book, Wicked Beyond Belief: The Hunt for the Yorkshire Ripper, The Lost Shadow is written by George Kay, who’s previously scripted episodes of The Hour, Netflix’s Criminal, and ITV’s Litvinenko.
Kay also penned Idris Elba’s new Apple TV+ thriller Hijack, which premiered last month.
“In a story full with eye-watering statistics, one for me has always stood out: Peter Sutcliffe rendered 23 children motherless,” writer George Kay commented.
“That one fact in itself demands that any definitive drama about this case should encompass far more than just the story of a police investigation.
“We will focus not just on the police, therefore, but the victims, their families, those who were attacked but not believed, those who whose lives were permanently changed. This is not the story of a Ripper who hailed from Yorkshire, but the story of how Yorkshire was ripped apart.”
When’s the release date?
ITV has officially announced this week that The Long Shadow will air on ITV1 in September 2023.
An exact date will be revealed later this summer ahead of transmission.
The series will also be streaming on ITVX.
While the full cast hasn’t yet been officially confirmed, we know that it includes Shaun Dooley (Gentleman Jack), Charley Webb (Emmerdale), Michael McElhatton (Chernobyl), Jack Deam (Shameless), Liz White (Life on Mars), Steven Waddington (Medici), and Chloe Harris (The Ipcress File).
The Long Shadow was first announced back in October 2020, when director Paul Whittington (The Moorside) insisted that the subject matter would be handled “sensitively”
“This is a vital story about class prejudice, pervasive and entrenched societal sexism and women simply not being heard that still has relevance today,” Whittington said at the time.
However, the production still ran into trouble last year when Bradford Council banned the crew from filming in its public spaces, due to local concerns that the series “perpetuates the memory of the serial killer.”
Wicked Beyond Belief: The Hunt for the Yorkshire Ripper is available on Amazon.