ITV has confirmed that it will be picking up 2 more instalments of The Suspicions of Mr Whicher, bringing Paddy Consadine back to the role, following on from the success of the 2011 television film debut and the 2013 sequel, The Suspicions of Mr Whicher: The Murder In Angel Lane. The two new films are clear indications that the show will be ITV’s ongoing competition to BBC’s Sherlock, especially with the news that the central character will now be pursuing a new found career as a 19th century private inquiry agent.
While Consadine is probably better known for his parts in comedy films like The World’s End or Submarine, as well as his first forays in the writer director’s chair with Tyrannosaur in 2011, The Suspicions of Mr Whicher sees him taking on more of a deadpan, serious role as the relentless, old school private investigator.
If you missed the previous two crime thrillers, the concept is founded on a similar “who dunnit” plot development to Sherlock Holmes, but with more of a footing in reality than the Arthur Conan Doyle stories. Consadine plays the title character, Jack Whicher, who’s inspired by the real life career of celebrated 19th century detective Jonathan ‘Jack’ Whicher, on the back of the 2008 Kate Summerscale novel, The Suspicions of Mr Whicher or The Murder at Road Hill House.
The first of the two 2 hour films, Beyond the Pale, sees Jack getting hired by Sir Edward Shore, a member of the political elitem to investigate threats that have been made against his son Charles. However, when threats turn to murder, Sir Edward remains determined to keep things as quiet as possible, leaving Jack to decide between his new role and his previous law enforcing colleagues investigating the murder.
The second film’s title has been confirmed to be ‘Til Death Do Us Part and it sees Jack taking on a more hum drum case of divorce out in the country as wealthy landowner, Henry Coverley, sets about to take advantage of the recently passed Divorce Act. Jack is charged with gathering evidence of the adulterous behaviour of Coverley’s wife Jane, but as you’d expect things get a whole lot more complex and sinister for the private inquiry agent.
Principal photography for the films is underway, running throughout April and May, so an air date shouldn’t be too far away from being confirmed. Directed by David Blair (Best Laid Plans) and Geoff Sax (Tipping the Velvet) and written by Helen Edmundson (Mary Shelley), we’re anticipating the two new The Suspicions of Mr Whicher TV films to air towards the end of 2014 and possible into early 2015.
With meticulous research into the crimes and passions of Victorian England, The Suspicions of Mr Whicher should be another impressive portrayal of the underbelly of Victorian England with everything from the story and characters to the set, costumes and make-up evoking the reality of the past.
We’re looking forward to the possibilities of the two new films and to Paddy Consadine taking the role of Jack Whicher in new directions. It’ll be interesting to see how they compare with Sherlock, but our initial take is that there will be enough variation to differentiate the two.