ITV recommissions The Suspicions of Mr Whicher
“I don’t judge, Sir. Which of us is free from weakness?” Jack Whicher
Tenacious ‘private inquiry agent’ Jack Whicher, played by Paddy Considine, is to return to ITV with two new stories in The Suspicions of Mr Whicher series from Hat Trick Productions.
Principal photography runs throughout April and May in central London, Kent, Wiltshire and Hertfordshire.
With the backdrop of mid Victorian England and inspired by the real life career of celebrated 19th century detective Jonathan ‘Jack’ Whicher, the (2 x 120’) films – Beyond the Pale and ‘Til Death Do Us Part – will be directed by David Blair (Accused, Bert & Dickie, Best Laid Plans,) and Geoff Sax (Endeavour, Christopher and His Kind and Tipping the Velvet) and written by award-winning playwright Helen Edmundson, celebrated for her work - including Coram Boy, Mary Shelley, War and Peace - with the National Theatre, the RSC and Shared Experience.
The two films see Jack Whicher pursuing his new found role as a private inquiry agent.
In the first story, Whicher is hired by a distinguished and powerful political grandee, Sir Edward Shore, to investigate threats that have been made against his son Charles, who is recently returned from India with his young family. Sir Edward fears entanglement in a scandal with potentially devastating repercussions for his family and career. Whicher is deeply torn when, even after a murder occurs, Sir Edward is determined that Whicher should pursue his investigation without involving his former colleagues in the Metropolitan Police. Whicher’s pursuit of justice takes him into the most dangerous corners of London’s Docklands as he unearths the darkest secrets, which involve him in a maelstrom of betrayal and passion by which he is not left unscathed.
The second story finds Whicher taking on the tawdry bread and butter of the private inquiry agent, divorce work. The divorce act has recently been passed and Whicher reluctantly finds himself investigating the adulterous behaviour of Jane, the unhappy wife of a wealthy country landowner Henry Coverley, the owner of a string of racehorses. What seems a fairly straight-forward, if sordid case spins into something deeply disquieting and complex, which divides a small and claustrophobic West Country town, when one of the key witnesses fails to attend court and is found dead in highly suspicious circumstances.
Based on detailed research into the crimes and passions of Victorian England, The Suspicions of Mr Whicher takes the audience into emotionally deep and psychologically intriguing territory, in the company of a complex and flawed hero who is on his own journey of escape and discovery.
ITV Director of Drama, Steve November, has commissioned The Suspicions of Mr Whicher films.
“We’re delighted with the new Whicher scripts from Helen Edmundson ” said Steve. “Paddy Considine is an extraordinary actor who brilliantly portrays Whicher’s complexities, depth and vulnerability.”
The new films will be produced by David Boulter (Poirot, Whitechapel, He Kills Coppers) and executive produced by Hat Trick Productions’ Head of Drama Mark Redhead (Case Sensitive, The Murder of Stephen Lawrence, Bloody Sunday) who has overseen both previous Whicher films, The Murder at Road Hill House and The Murder in Angel Lane.
“Jack Whicher left the Metropolitan Police under a cloud,” said Mark. “These films see him on a fascinating personal journey as he rebuilds himself both professionally and psychologically, handling the kind of cases the police would not take, cases that are highly sensitive and personal and which touch him very deeply. This is a fascinating grey area far away from the black and white world of the Metropolitan Police, and a rich territory for drama. ”
The original film was based on the best-selling book by Kate Summerscale, which brought to light Inspector Whicher’s groundbreaking career as one of the world’s first detectives.
Note to Editors:
Hat Trick is one of the UK's most successful independent production companies. The company’s output is immediately identified with popular and award-winning programming, light entertainment, comedy, drama and digital media. Hat Trick’s programmes have been nominated for every major award in the industry and the company has won more awards for its comedy and entertainment output than any other producer in the history of British broadcasting, except for the BBC. For more than 25 years the Company has been working with some of the best writers, producers, performers and crew - not to mention a superb back-up team - who in turn attract the best on-screen talent. Hat Trick remains at the forefront of the creation of new television. Some of the brightest names in British television began their careers and continue to build them under the Hat Trick brand.