This is a dramatisation of the real-life investigation into the notorious Yorkshire Ripper murders of the late 1970s, showing the effect that it had on the health and career of Assistant Chief Constable George Oldfield who led the enquiry
This is a dramatisation of the real-life investigation into the notorious Yorkshire Ripper murders of the late 1970s, showing the effect that it had on the health and career of Assistant Chief Constable George Oldfield who led the enquiry.Written by
Martin Underwood <email@example.com>
ITV managed to scoop itself with this two part drama by broadcasting a brilliant two part documentary on the case a month or two earlier, and one which gained far more recognition at the BAFTAs.
There's something pleasantly old-fashioned about this attempt at telling a very simple but tragic story: the (rather tacky) music picking up when people walk down corridors after making key discoveries, the lack of big name actors and so on, but it just feels rather flat. The period detail is very iffy: why does everyone own brand new 1979 model televisions? A small point but irritating. The drama also gets in a bit of a mess by beginning with the death of Jayne MacDonald, the first victim who wasn't a prostitute and the first one that really provoked much interest from the uncaring public and press. Yet despite the fact that after this it was acknowledged that no-one was safe, characters constantly reassure people that "he only kills pros...". While this is partly an attempt to illustrate police incomptentence, it seems bizarre a policeman would say that when he's just killed two women who aren't. The incident when the Geordie hoaxer telephoned the police to admit he was a hoaxer isn't included either, and after all the build up, it was probably a mistake to finally show Sutcliffe at all, as the shadowy figure that hovers in the background is very effective.
I wasn't that keen on Armstrong's performance, but I feel a lot of this is the fault of the writing. The dioalogue feels very clichéd in places and determined to not point any fingers of blame at anyone.
This is Personal is very watchable but far too innocuous. It was a shocking case and the is very little sympathy, fear or anger on display here.
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