Wednesday, 7 March 2012

Jack the Ripper unmasked? Whitechapel 3 DVD and Justified 4

• Jack the Ripper is unmasked – again – tonight on the Yesterday channel (Wednesday, 7 March, 9pm). Like the Who Killed Kennedy? industry, the Who Was Jack? phenomenon has supported a feverish army of theorists and scribes almost since the crimes were committed. In Prime Suspect: Jack the Ripper the story heads to Australia, where apparently there has been a new development. There lies the skull of Fredrick Bailey Deeming, Down Under's first serial killer. He was executed in 1892, four years after the Whitechapel horrors, but was also a suspect in the London killings. Now DNA has been extracted from his skull. Is there a link to Jack?

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• Speaking of Whitechapel, series 3 of ITV1's spooky drama about the East End cops tracking down ghosts of the criminal past comes out on DVD on 12 March. Having explored the Jack the Ripper and Kray myths, the team including Rupert Penry-Jones, Steve Pemberton and Phil Davis have just finished skulking around in the shadows reliving legendary crimes such as the Thames Torso Murders and the Ratcliffe Highway Murders. 'We're basing this on stuff that really did happen,' says Pemberton in The Psychology of Fear, one of the two short documentaries that make up the extras here. 'So that's unsettling.' The second doc is Whitechapel – The Past Uncovered, which gleefully looks at the horrible crimes that 'inspired' these 'gothic thrillers', as producer David Boulter calls them. This has been a bizarre series, but there's no doubting it oozed a creepy atmosphere.
 • Great news for Justified devotees. Series 3 is yet to hit the UK but is doing well enough in the States for FX to announce it will make another 13-part season and fourth outing for Timothy Olyphant as the Stetson-wearing, gun-toting deputy US marshal. 'Justified is one of television’s best series and this season has reinforced that excellence,' FX’s EVP of original programming Nick Grad said.
• There is a new Inspector Singh novel coming out concerning A Curious Indian Cadaver. This is the latest in the series written by Shamini Flint, who was born in Malaysia and studied law at the University of Kent. Her novels about the portly, dishevelled and wheezing Singh have sold 500,000 copies and are compared to McCall Smith's Precious Ramotswe, while also boasting clever, taut plots. In the latest adventure, Singh grudgingly agrees to attend a family wedding in Mumbai, when the bride disappears. Can it be long before the TV execs come calling on Shamini?