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Even Darker - Still Great Entertainment!,
This review is from: Whitechapel - Series 4 [DVD]  (DVD)
If ever a successful TV programme had to keep reinventing itself it is Whitechapel as anyone who has seen the previous seasons will appreciate. To its credit, we are now on the fourth series and each has been fascinating as a study in the dark side of human behaviour. The first two series were about Jack the Ripper and the Kray Twins respectively, which are the only two crimes which most would associate with the Whitechapel area of London. We then moved on to two part stories for the third series, based on historical crimes which would not be widely known, but nonetheless were true crimes, details of which could easily be googled.
This series, however, again consists of 3 two part stories but these are based on rather gruesome crimes with medieval overtones of torture, rather than specific historical crimes, although Buchan usually manages to come up with some precedents. For example, the second tale which was probably the grisliest, involved a series of murders where the murderer specialised in flaying the faces from the bodies of his victims. This series is, on balance, probably a little more gruesome than what went before and there are definite supernatural overtones which were not present in previous series. It certainly retains the ability to shock and makes for dark but absorbing viewing.
Rupert Penry-Jones and Philip Davis are convincing DI Chandler and DS Miles, although their relationship remains less than harmonious on occasion since they are often not on the same wavelength. However, in many ways they do complement each other. Chandler himself often appears on the edge and at times close to a breakdown. Edward Buchan, played by Steve Pemberton, is the expert in historical crimes who is usually able to come up with the historical parallels which help to solve the crimes.
I imagine that Whitechapel is set to be with us for some while which is really good news. Dark it certainly is and probably not for the squeamish, but it all makes for great entertainment.