The Long Shadow Is The New Bingeworthy True Crime Drama To Watch

By Rufus Punt | 9th April 2024
the long shadow

If you’re a true crime buff and you haven’t been watching ITV’s new drama, The Long Shadow, then you’re missing out. The Leeds set series, starring Toby Jones (The Pale Blue Eye) and David Morrissey (Good Omens), takes place during the five-year-long manhunt for Peter Sutcliffe, dubbed The Yorkshire Ripper.

It’s a compelling drama that focuses first and foremost on the victims and their families, rather than the killer himself. The first two episodes have already aired, so here’s all you need to know to get you up to speed.

What is The Long Shadow about?

Created by George Kay (creator of Hijack and Lupin), the seven-part miniseries takes on one of the most infamous murder cases in modern British history.

It begins in 1975, focusing on the aftermath of Sutcliffe’s first victim, Wilma Mary McCann, with police led by DCS Dennis Hoban (Jones) and DCS George Oldfield investigating the murder. Emily Jackson, who would become his second victim appears, is played by Katherine Kelly (Happy Valley). It follows her life as she has been persuaded into sex work by her husband (Daniel Mays ) and it’s during this time she becomes Sutcliffe’s next target.

the long shadow

What else do we know?

The murders continue, as does the investigation, with the police interviewing Sutcliffe nine times over the years before finally being apprehended in the early 80s. More police come in to assist the investigation, including DCS Jim Hobson (Lee Ingleby ) and DCS Chris Gregg (Shaun Dooley ), but dissatisfaction with their lack of catching the killer and increasing fear of women in the Yorkshire area late at night begins to become prevalent.

The rest of the series tells the story of how the police eventually caught Sutcliffe, as his crimes continued to destroy the lives of dozens of families.

the long shadow

Is there a trailer and where can I watch it?

The series’ official trailer gives us more insight into what to expect, with Jones and Morrisey’s detectives trying to piece together a quickly escalating case, and it ends with a policewoman pointing out that the trauma and damage inflicted on the victims will continue “long after” the killer has been caught.

The Long Shadow also stars Daisy Waterstone (The Durrells), Jill Halfpenny (The Drowning), Alexa Davies (Dead Pixels) and Molly Wright (The A Word). The series is airing weekly on Monday nights on ITV1 and is also available to stream on ITVX.

Watch the trailer

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