BBC America’s “Whitechapel” gets Dramaville all bloody — again

It ain’t called Dramaville for nothing. Starting next week, BBC America’s new home for top-shelf British drama heads to the streets of East London for a six-parter that puts a stylish spin on two infamous cases from the area’s past — the unsolved murders of Jack the Ripper and the nefarious doings of 1960s crime twins Ronnie and Reggie Kray. Dramaville: Whitechapel, from the producers of Downton Abbey, premieres Wednesday, Oct. 26 at 10pm ET and stars Rupert Penry-Jones (Persuasion), Phil Davis (Bleak House) and Steve Pemberton (The League of Gentlemen) as a trio working together to solve a brutal string of murders that have struck the Whitechapel district.

In Dramaville: Whitechapel, Penry-Jones plays ambitious Detective Inspector Joseph Chandler. Green to homicide, he’s nonetheless an expert on police politics and looking to go far in his career. To that end, he’s assigned what should be an open-and-shut case — the murder of a woman in East London. With a promotion in the balance for a quick solution to the case, Chandler has plenty of incentive. What he quickly finds that he lacks are suspects — until a “Ripperologist,” Edward Buchan (Pemberton) clues him in that the grisly slaying bears a striking resemblance to the 1888 Ripper murders.

Though Buchan’s observation provides an important clue, making matters worse is the emergence of a series of horrifying attacks in the area that seemingly echo the more recent mayhem of the Kray twins whose racketeering and bloodlust terrorized East London in the ’60s. Though smarmy and possibly suspect Detective Chief Inspector Torbin Cazenove (Peter Serafinowicz, Shaun of the Dead) is put in charge of the case, Chandler continues his investigation on his own — and soon finds himself and his colleagues in danger.


Photo: © carnival film & television