ITV Recommissions The Suspicions of Mr Whicher
“I don’t judge, Sir. Which of us is free from weakness?”
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.
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.
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.
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.