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L’éditorial a été divulgué à une date indiquée 2023-09-25 18:10:00.
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Remarkable drama does justice to victims and dedicated police: ROLAND WHITE reviews last night’s TV
The Long Shadow
Pete Doherty, Who Killed My Son?
The opening scenes of The Long Shadow (ITV1) seemed remarkably familiar: strikes, an energy crisis, and bitter debate about Europe. How depressing that it was introducing us to the UK in 1975.
That was the year when Peter Sutcliffe, the so-called Yorkshire Ripper, claimed his first victim, Wilma McCann. We watched as she tucked her four children into bed before heading out into the night, never to return.
Thankfully, we were spared the grisly details of her death.
Television plays its part in recreating the atmosphere of the 1970s, writes Roland White
The trouble with real-life crime on television is that it so often glamourises criminals. But you won’t be seeing much of Sutcliffe in this remarkable and sensitive drama, which concentrates instead on the victims, their families, and the unfolding police investigation.
Toby Jones is excellent as Detective Chief Superintendent Dennis Hoban, who initially led the hunt for Wilma’s killer. Of course he is. He’s excellent in pretty much everything. He gets most of the best lines too.
‘It starts now and it doesn’t end until one of us catches the bastard,’ he tells his officers in a rousing speech. Part detective, part Henry V.
This is a man so dedicated to his work that he gets an officer to call him into the station on Christmas Day, even though – as it’s pointed out to him – he might miss Morecambe and Wise.
Television plays its part in recreating the atmosphere of the 1970s. When DCS Hoban gets a call at home, his wife asks: ‘Shall I tell him to ring back?’
‘Because it’s Emmerdale Farm’.
You’d think Alan Bennett helped with the script.
The story of Emily Jackson, the second victim, was particularly poignant. She moved reluctantly into the sex business because her family was struggling financially, promising her guilt-ridden husband that she’d do just three more jobs – at £5 a time. She needed £15 to buy her daughter a bridesmaid’s dress.
By this time, police knew that the killer drove a green Land Rover or a Corsair. As detectives stopped a Land Rover in the Leeds red light district, confident they’d got their man, Emily was climbing into a Corsair. As the lights disappeared into the distance, we knew she wouldn’t live to buy that dress.
Pete Doherty, Who Killed My Son? (Ch4) was another real-life murder investigation, and it surely made uncomfortable viewing for the Metropolitan Police.
Michael Cockerell’s 1996 portrait of Roy Jenkins, A Very Social Democrat (BBC4), featured Labour MP Leo Abse, a fellow Welshman, who praised the former Chancellor as ‘wonderful at a dinner table, marvellous at high table’.
In Labour circles, could anything be more damning?
They are accused of bungling their inquiry into the 2006 death of Mark Blanco, who fell from the balcony of a flat where Pete Doherty, rock star and former boyfriend of Kate Moss, was attending a party.
It’s been left to Mark’s mother, Sheila Blanco, to pursue what she says is a case of murder. CCTV evidence presented last night looked damning.
An American forensic investigator is certain that somebody else was on the balcony, and probably threw Mark to his death. One of Doherty’s so-called minders, known as Johnny Headlock, admitted murder, but later withdrew his confession and was never charged. Both he and Doherty maintain they have no idea how Blanco came to fall to his death.
Perhaps the police were mesmerised by Doherty’s celebrity. In an interview with Jonathan Ross, he boasted that an officer once asked for his autograph while arresting him on a drugs offence.
I fear little will happen after this programme, but at least it was a reminder of the collateral damage that can be caused by a huge, apparently untouchable celebrity, who lives a rackety lifestyle. Sound familiar at all?
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