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on June 9, 2016
I wanted so much to like this 3 part show. I do love my BBC stuff. I did like the story very much and I did like the idea of the story and The brand new man in charge Detective Inspector played very well by Rupert Penny-Jones. I loved his change from the "Posh" new guy just waiting for his promotion to someone who really cared. The settings were wonderful and I enjoyed a few of the support cast too. Particularly, young Kent. So why only 2 stars??? Here it comes. The "detectives" working for the new DI are such clowns and children (Except the youngest, Kent) that I was so annoyed by their juvenile antics. The I know who did it mentality was annoying too. Whatever happened to innocent until proven guilty. In particular the so-called detective played by Philip Davis was so aggravating that I only watched 2 of the 3 episodes. He was such an ass that I could not finish it or watch any other of this series.
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on March 4, 2017
Sent this to my son, who enjoys dark dramas. Casting is great, stories are well written, and the main character is definitely easy on the eyes no matter what your age. I would not want to visit or work in that area of London, but have to remember it is a work of fiction.
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on August 16, 2013
The three-part series titled White Chapel: The Ripper Returns justifies more than the cursory post-screening comment generally dashed off after a quick look-see. White Chapel is stylistically sophisticated in its revisiting of the Ripper's story and the modern-day copycat haunting the same territory in 2008 where the original predator murdered his victims in 1888. The images are deeply layered and simultaneously evocative of both eras.

Interviews presented in Peeling Back the Layers with producer Marcus Wilson and executive producer Sally Woodward Gentile, director S. J. Clarkson, production designer Martyn John, and others on the production team make no reference to the key of the underlying logic establishing the noir style, which is quite simply in the way the hunter's mind works and subsequent method of seeking his prey to success—killing. Nor is there but a mention of a "hunting knife" although plenty of visuals for blades: steak knives, scalpels, scissors, and the copycat's unsheathed weapon.

Detectives hunting the copycat use his same methods, stalking their prey from behind barriers and partitions, moving through doorways, upstairs and downstairs like large cats climb in and out of trees. The maze of the city simulates the mind's labyrinth—elevated trains and street traffic below zip back and forth as if sending signals to the city's cerebral cortex and brain stem demanding action.

The opening moment is a flash of the copycat. Like animals with binocular vision, the film's hunter (with the viewer doubling his action) blink-sees, blinks again, adjusts focus, scans, adjusts again, and then zeros in on a target and lingers evaluating risk. Motivated by opportunity, the hunter moves in to seize the moment. Even foreshadowing his own death, his mind dwells on possible failure (sinking into the depths of the Thames from suicide). The non-diegetic music in the opening sequence suggests his fall from the bridge tower to the icy darkness from whence he came and eventually returned at film's end.

The brilliance of the human mind is its gift of consciousness and introspection, projecting and elaborating possible scenarios—planning—to achieve. And so I imagine the filmmakers constructed their film to work on many levels to satisfy different tastes for appreciating the distinctions they made obvious as well as those left subtle for viewers more willing to explore mysterious forests of the night and swim currents of complexity.

The noir effect is compellingly done with shadows, reflections, and even color coding to quantify the impact accompanied by the strident sounds and the wistful undercurrent of a longing composition from Ruth Barrett. The aesthetic gestalt delivers its emotional power from this synergy—in this case, quantity does deliver quality. Two team members whose contributions overlooked in the interviews were editor Liana Del Giudice and director of photography Balazs Bolygo, and clearly the desired style was greatly enhanced by their expertise. Editor Giudice joined the pieces Clarkson shot with an understanding of the aesthetic map just as DP Bolygo lit the shots throughout the map's terrain. No mystery there, as one of the characters might say.

Truly the characters as written by Caroline Ip and Ben Court come to life through their portrayal by Rupert Penry-Jones (of Joseph Chandler), Phil Davis (Ray Miles), Steve Pemberton (Edward Buchan, the Ripperologist), Alex Jennings (Command Anderson, politician), and detectives George Rossi (McCormack), Christopher Fulford (Fitzgerald, the leak), Johnny Harris (Sanders), and Sam Stockman (Kent). Paul Hickey's characterization of copycat Ripper Dr. David Cohen, flat and unemotional like the beige scrubs he wears for his final murder, pays off the emotional and visual contrapunality building from the detectives increasingly frenzy to catch him: two orchestrated lines—the back-forth and up-down counterpoint—converging in the denouement. [(Is this the same Paul Hickey credited with Sound Maintenance? If so, you can give up your day job.) Yeah, some people actually read all the credits.]

Film is a composition of many elements and justifiably must always be thought of as such or the essence of its meaning is lost, at least, obscured. That film (and its aesthetic cousins) is a cultural product must also bear weight in the discussion as the interviews revealed. Several actors spoke about their revulsion to the Ripper's deeds and his reign of terror and their lack of awareness prior to production. The education of the production team to the history told by the series expresses more about our present cultural knowledge and what is taught in schools, even in higher education, than can be written here. Generally though the Ripper mythology is global knowledge. Largely because of Jack the Ripper's crime spree, White Chapel's criminal culture was minimized and the East End became a location for corporate enterprise.

The infamy of Jack the Ripper in London's East End is disproportionate to the number of people killed, whereas the West End Ripper or Blackout Ripper of 1942 was far more prolific for the killing period but less well-known. In fact today few have probably even heard of him. Maybe because Scotland Yard detectives caught him. Therefore, there are no theories to his identity or conspiracy theories growing in the dark.

To this day the Ripper's infamy in criminal culture inspires other killers to feats of unspeakable violence. One notable case is that of the Jacksonville Ripper in Florida. But the police caught him too. Because people are more aware today through media programming about the spectrum of miscreants, citizens better able to identify deviant behavior, and police more willing to act in prevention of crime, not because of it, life for most is relatively free from fear. In this sense, knowledge does make us free.
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on January 31, 2012
Initially, an elite college man is selected to get his feet wet by working with regular college homicide detectives on one case; before this experience level can be checked off, and he moved up the ladder toward a cushy top administrative position. Unfortunately for all concerned, this one case turns out to be a highly astute Jack-the-Ripper copy cat.
The elite copper wants his detectives to wear ties and bathe so they will have professional credibility with the public (interviewing witnesses and experts). They tease him and give him a hard time, but slowly yield to his demands. After viewing the gruesome slaughtered bodies, the elite copper begins to have one all-pervasive need - find this sociopath before he murders again. He stays at his desk and goes out late at night combing White Chapel for clues. Eating, sleeping, bathing is nothing compared to stopping this fiend. The working detectives begin to see his degree of dedication (they had it from the beginning). They see him on their level as a team mate, and cooperation begins.
The case begins to madden all concerned from the higher ups who demand a quick solution (preferably non-messy), but the copy cat murderer is on his mission and will not be stopped.
The movie commences with ease over the traditional battle between the silver spoons and the stainless steels. About one-quarter through; you find yourself panting and sitting on the edge of your seat, as the tension bills.You find yourself in White Chapel looking over your shoulder and around the next corner. It is so dark....
A Ripperologist adds to the tension throughout the movie. There is nothing he does not know about the original Ripper.
Could he BE the Ripper?
No one knows who Jack number two is, or where he is... but you know he is close - waiting to strike. Technology can't find him. The task force can't find him. He kills when he is supposed to kill, exactly where he is supposed to kill, and no one can stop him.
Than, Jack sends a detective one of his victim's kidneys. He ate the other half.
An intelligent movie which will keep everyone on the edge of their seat. The police couldn't catch him in the late 1800's and nothing has improved in the 21st century. If you loved the new SHERLOCK with Benedict Cumberbatch and Martin Freeman - you will love White Chapel!
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on January 18, 2012
Being an extreme fan of the acting of Rupert Perry-Jones in the series "MI5" and being extremely impressed with the acting of Phil Davis in Dickens' "Bleak House". I readily purchased this BBC Mini-series in three (3) parts on one (1) disc of "White Chapel, the Ripper Returns".

In this superbly written and directed "Mystery" the actors, named above, do not let me down with their "acting skills". In fact, all of the acting in this "mini-series" is superb. Rupert Perry-Jones is superb as the very sincere but less than dashing hero, thought to be gay, whole grain eating new head of the White Chapel area of London detectives investigating team who has to "prove himself" to the "higher up" powers as well as the "pavement beating" "everyday" cops/detectives on the beat. The leader of this team is led by rough and almost cynical Phil Davis turning in a very fine performance as the not so easily "taken in" by this very green head of his department. After all he and "his" detectives "on the street" have been doing very fine investigating crimes in the White Chapel area of London for years.

The case that Rupert has to "prove himself" in "White Chapel" is a case of trying to solve who is committing some horrendous murders of women that really appear as if Jack the Ripper has come back "from the grave" to do his nasty deeds again.

Believe me, I was kept "on the edge of my chair" until all was revealed--there are many suspects and many twists and turns in this Mystery. "White Chapel" is some superb entertainment that I enjoyed very much.
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on July 4, 2013
I got really into the BBC shows and decided to try this one. When I watched the first episode I was hooked. I ended up watching all three. Then I wanted to get the other seasons, but they are not available on dvd. The show is awesome. I just wish I could get the rest of the seasons.
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on November 27, 2011
My husband and I both found this series to be surprisingly good. We have previously enjoyed the performances of Rupert Penry-Jones, particularly in MI5 and The 39 Steps, and so we thought to give Whitechapel:The Ripper Returns a try. However, there were a few trepidations on my part. As it is obviously about Jack the Ripper in some guise, I felt it would likely be predictable (after all, how many times have mystery novelists and film makers returned to this subject?), cliche-ridden, and just plain grisly. Admittedly, this is still pretty grisly in parts, but it is not predictable. Neither is it riddled with cliches. Rather like the outstanding new Sherlock Holmes series with Benedict Cumberbatch, Whitechapel: The Ripper Returns boasts a modern setting with innovative twists, a complex and intelligent plot, intriguing sub-plots and interesting characters. It was fascinating to me to see how the various characters developed and interacted, buoyed by some fine acting. All in all, a very good production.
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on May 17, 2012
This is an average to good quality BBC production, set in London's presnt but based around the original Whitechapel murders of the 1880's [attributed to Jack the ripper].

It's essentially a copycat murder series, and presented in such a way as to be eminently believable.

There's precious few extras, as per norm for the BBC, but there really doesn't need to be.

Having the advantage of being filmed on location the quality of the sets doesn't get much better, the acting is above average and the storyline quite good.

It's a quality piece in so far as it proves an interesting show that also takes the viewer back in time to the original murders documentary style without actually breaking the quality and frame of the drama.

I'd recommend it if you enjoy the BBC's stuff, the subject or the area.

It was delivered quickly, in good condition and there were no issues with playability.
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on May 17, 2012
This was a great thriller! Could the crimes of Jack the Ripper have been solved if they are set into today's technological society? A copycat killer decides to reprise Jack's crimes to taunt the police. They must race to find him before he stops killing. Tries to get into the psychological mindset of why The Ripper killed and what connection did his victims have to each other. Lots of theories that were posited in the original crimes are now redone for the modern ones. Red herrings galore! This was a lot of fun to watch and for those who are really into the original Jack the Ripper crimes and still trying to figure out whose theory is the closest; you will not be disappointed by this one. Found out that the BBC America channel carries this as a series called WhiteChapel. Wish I could subscribe to it!
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on February 9, 2015
This is a fantastic series and I intend to get a "region free" DVD so I can get the rest of them. I can't imagine why they cut the series so short. The characters are wonderful, the stories are taken off of real cases, and I loved it!
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