ITV has announced a star-studded cast for the upcoming true crime drama The Long Shadow – with Detectorists star Toby Jones, Sherwood's David Morrissey, and Line of Duty's Daniel Mays among those with key roles.


The seven-part series is penned by Hijack and Lupin screenwriter George Kay and directed by Des and Sherwood's Lewis Arnold, and tells the story of the desperate five-year hunt for serial killer Peter Sutcliffe – commonly referred to as The Yorkshire Ripper.

It arrives on ITV1 and ITVX in September, with the broadcaster promising that the show sensitively focuses "on the lives of the victims who crossed his path and those of the officers at the heart of the police investigation".

The description continues: "With the victims, their families, and the survivors at the heart of this series, The Long Shadow brings a new perspective to a well-documented story."

One of the main sources for the drama is Michael Bilton’s critically acclaimed 2003 book Wicked Beyond Belief, while Kay also used hundreds of case files, interview transcripts, and police reports to craft the series.

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David Morrissey in The Long Shadow, stood up and wearing a suit.
David Morrissey in The Long Shadow. ITV

The key role of DCS Dennis Hoban – who initially led the inquiry – is played by Jones, with Morrissey starring as DCS George Oldfield, who famously took on the investigation.

Other key cast members include Lee Ingleby (The Hunt For Raoul Moat) as DCS Jim Hobson, Katherine Kelly (Coronation Street) as victim Emily Jackson, and Daniel Mays as her husband Sydney Jackson.

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Meanwhile, Daisy Waterstone (The Durrells) stars as Jacqueline Hill, another victim, Jill Halfpenny (EastEnders) plays her mother Doreen Hill, Jasmine Lee-Jones (Dead Pixels) plays Marcella Claxton, Molly Wright (The A Word) takes on the role of Donna Deangelo, Liz White (Ackley Bridge) stars as PS Meg Winterburn and Shaun Dooley (It's a Sin) plays DCS Chris Gregg.

Plus, there are also roles for Alexa Davies (White House Farm), Chloe Harris (Sherwood), Stephen Tompkinson (Trollied), Jack Deam (Father Brown), Michael McElhatton (Dangerous Liaisons), Adam Long (Happy Valley), Ruth Madeley (Years and Years), Dorothy Atkinson (Mum), Rob James-Collier (Downton Abbey), Charley Webb (Emmerdale), Steven Waddington (Slow Horses) and Kris Hitchen (Trigger Point).

Daniel Mays in The Long Shadow, stood in a doorway being spoken to by reporters.
Daniel Mays in The Long Shadow. ITVX

Speaking about the series, ITV's Head of Drama Polly Hill said: "George’s scripts and Lewis’s direction together with this wonderful cast have produced a sensitive and brilliant drama that we are proud to have on ITV.”

Meanwhile, executive producer Willow Grylls added: “George Kay, Lewis Arnold and an exceptional cast have bought to life an important event drama that is as tragically resonant today as it was over 40 years ago."

A synopsis of the series reads: "One murder has the power to cast a long shadow and this case plunged a whole society into darkness. For every victim, there were friends and loved ones. For every police officer, there was the burden of failure - of near misses and guilt – and the knowledge that as they failed to find their man, more women continued to suffer.

Katherine Kelly in The Long Shadow, wearing a yellow dress and holding a glass. She is looking behind her shoulder at a man.
Katherine Kelly in The Long Shadow. ITV

"The impact on the lives of those who live on after the death of their loved one remains to this day. Those who cannot escape what happened, who must sit with their incomprehensible trauma for decades after, enduring their own life sentences."

It continues: "With people today holding to account the institutional foundations that foster misogyny, racism, and violence against women, The Long Shadow will speak to the societal issues of the past whilst highlighting alarming parallels between these terrible crimes and tragic events in our more recent history."

The Long Shadow will air on ITV1 and ITVX in September 2023. Check out more of our Drama coverage or visit our TV Guide and Streaming Guide to find out what's on.


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