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Tuesday 8 August 2023

Casting announed for true crime drama, The Long Shadow

Toby Jones, David Morrissey, Katherine Kelly, Lee Ingleby, Jill Halfpenny, Jasmine Lee-Jones, Liz White and Daniel Mays star in true crime drama, The Long Shadow produced by New Pictures and written by George Kay, coming to ITV1 and ITVX next month.

ITV, in collaboration with ITVX and New Pictures, has unveiled the cast for the upcoming true crime drama titled "The Long Shadow." The distinguished screenwriter George Kay, known for works like "Hijack" and "Criminal: UK," is the sole creator of the series. Adding to the talent, BAFTA-winning director Lewis Arnold, recognized for works such as "Sherwood," "Time," and "Des," will be exclusively helming the project. The show is scheduled to premiere on both ITV1 and ITVX next month.

This 7-episode, 60-minute drama represents a definitive portrayal of the relentless five-year pursuit of serial killer Peter Sutcliffe. The narrative is meticulously crafted to focus on the lives of his victims and the dedicated officers at the core of the police investigation. A central theme of the series is to sensitively highlight the experiences of the victims, their families, and the survivors, offering a fresh perspective on a well-documented story.

Rooted in extensive research and drawing from an exhaustive archive of investigation materials—ranging from case files to interview transcripts and police reports—the series is also inspired by Michael Bilton's acclaimed account of the case, "Wicked Beyond Belief," published by William Collins.

The cast boasts award-winning actor Toby Jones, who will portray DCS Dennis Hoban, the initial lead in the inquiry, and David Morrissey taking on the role of DCS George Oldfield, the investigator famously associated with the case. Lee Ingleby assumes the character of DCS Jim Hobson, while Katherine Kelly embodies Emily Jackson, with Daniel Mays playing her husband, Sydney Jackson, and Shaun Thomas as their son, Neil Jackson.

The ensemble also features Jill Halfpenny as Doreen Hill, alongside Daisy Waterstone as her daughter, Jacqueline Hill. Jasmine Lee-Jones portrays Marcella Claxton, while Molly Wright embodies Donna Deangelo. Liz White takes on the role of PS Meg Winterburn, and Shaun Dooley appears as DCS Chris Gregg.

The extensive cast also includes Alexa Davies, Chloe Harris, Stephen Tompkinson, Jack Deam, Michael McElhatton, Adam Long, Ruth Madeley, Dorothy Atkinson, Rob James-Collier, Charley Webb, Steven Waddington, and Kris Hitchen.

The series delves into the notion that a single murder can cast a long and haunting shadow, plunging an entire society into darkness. With each victim, there are shattered friendships and grieving loved ones. For the police officers, the burden of failure weighs heavily, knowing that while they struggled to apprehend the killer, more innocent lives were devastated. The show underscores the enduring impact on those left behind after a loved one's tragic death, who must grapple with their own traumatic experiences for years, enduring their own personal life sentences.

At a time when society is holding institutions accountable for perpetuating misogyny, racism, and violence against women, "The Long Shadow" resonates with the past, shedding light on alarming parallels between these historical crimes and recent tragic events.

The production of the drama is spearheaded by New Pictures, an award-winning independent production company renowned for critically acclaimed dramas like "Des" and "White House Farm." Polly Hill, ITV's Head of Drama, played a pivotal role in commissioning "The Long Shadow," which was developed in collaboration with Sundance Now, holding exclusive rights in the U.S. and Canada, as well as All3Media International.

Commented Polly Hill:
"George's scripts and Lewis' direction together with this wonderful cast have produced a sensitive and brilliant drama that we are proud to have on ITV."

Commented Willow Grylls:
"George Kay, Lewis Arnold and an exceptional cast have bought to life an important event drama that is as tragically resonant today as it was over 40 years ago."

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