Welcome to British Isles Friday! British Isles Friday is a weekly event for sharing all things British and Irish — reviews, photos, opinions, trip reports, guides, links, resources, personal stories, interviews, and research posts. Join us each Friday to link your British and Irish themed content and to see what others have to share. The link list is at the bottom of this post. Pour a cup of tea or lift a pint and join our link party!
Last week, I reviewed the first season of The Crown, a series on Netflix about Queen Elizabeth II. Heather reviewed The Wicked + The Divine, a series of fantasy graphic novels, and Colour Bar, the book that inspired last year’s movie, A United Kingdom. Tina reviewed In the Dark Places, #22 in the Inspector Banks series. Becky shared deeper thoughts about Oliver Twist and how it resonates in the modern world. Jean reviewed The Heart of Midlothian by Sir Walter Scott, a look at the country folk of Scotland in the 18th century.
I can’t quite explain my fascination for modern stories with a Jack the Ripper copycat theme, but I really loved The Name of the Star by Maureen Johnson and Now You See Me by S.J. Bolton. When Sim mentioned in a post a couple of weeks ago that the first season of Whitechapel features a Jack the Ripper copycat, I knew that I’d want to see that series. I ended up watching all four seasons in just a few days.
The three main characters are:
D.I. Joseph Chandler, played by Rupert Penry-Jones, a police detective with contacts, a promising career, and OCD that is, at times, nearly debilitating.
D.S. Ray Miles, played by Phil Davis, a sergeant with rough edges who is, at first, skeptical of the slick, well-dressed Chandler. Ultimately, though, the relationship between those two characters is what makes Whitechapel a heart-tugging show.
Edward Buchan, played by Steve Pemberton, a Ripperologist who has written a book and gives regular Ripper tours in Whitechapel. He’s a consultant for the detectives in the first series and stays on as a police archivist, searching out historical precedents to present-day cases. As a librarian, I loved the role that archives and history played in Whitechapel.
My only disappointment was that the series ended too soon. They were in the midst of a long story arc, impacting all three major characters, about why so many ghoulish things happen in Whitechapel but the series was canceled before it was resolved.