ITV drops 'Yorkshire Ripper' from title of new series after complaints from families
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ITV changed the name of their upcoming crime drama about the manhunt for serial killer Peter Sutcliffe after families of the victims claimed that it was disrespectful.
The Long Shadow is a seven-part true crime drama coming to ITV later this month, which will focus on the lives of the serial killer's victims and the officers who spent five years searching for Sutcliffe.
The broadcaster says they have produced the 'definitive depiction' of the five year manhunt for the serial killer and that the drama series will bring a 'new perspective' to the story.
They said that research on the show involved going through hundreds of case files, interview transcripts and police reports, as well as The Long Shadow being based on the book Wicked Beyond Belief by Michael Bilton.
During production, the show's name was changed from The Yorkshire Ripper to The Long Shadow after criticism from families of the victims.
According to the Daily Telegraph, screenwriter George Kay explained that they changed the title of the ITV drama after learning more about the view the families of Sutcliffe's victims had of that name.
He said: "We started by calling it The Yorkshire Ripper but in the beginning we hadn’t learnt, as we did when making the show, that the moniker used to describe Peter Sutcliffe - which obviously began before anyone knew his real name, but continued after - was disrespectful in many ways.
"The victims’ families certainly don’t want that name being applied to Peter Sutcliffe because it creates a dark brand around a man who doesn’t deserve that sort of attention, and especially not that verb.
"That was one of our lessons. We’ve been working on this for four years and in that time we’ve met lots of people in all parts of this story."
“We’ve tried to learn and change and understand their stories and their opinions, and so because of that the title changed from The Yorkshire Ripper."
The true crime drama stars Toby Jones as DCS Dennis Hoban, the detective who investigated the first two murders and believed they were the work of a serial killer, while David Morrissey plays DCS George Oldfield who took over the investigation.
Katherine Kelly plays Emily Jackson, Sutcliffe's second murder victim, while Daniel Mays plays her husband Sydney.
Jill Halfpenny plays Doreen Hill and Daisy Waterstone portrays her daughter Jacqueline, another of Sutcliffe's victims who was murdered while she walked home.
The Long Shadow was directed by Lewis Arnold, who worked on critically acclaimed series Time as well as true crime dramas Sherwood which was based on another major police manhunt and David Tennant-led series Des, about notorious serial killer Dennis Nilsen.
The Long Shadow begins on ITV1 and ITVX later this month with seven episodes.