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Nicholas Cannon

The Long Shadow: release date, cast, plot and everything we know

The Long Shadow stars Toby Jones and Lee Ingelby as detectives on the hunt for the Yorkshire Ripper.

The Long Shadow is an ITV1 and ITVX drama that goes back to the 1970s to follow the victims and survivors of the Yorkshire Ripper Peter Sutcliffe. It also features a stellar British cast that reads like a who’s who!

From New Pictures, the makers of Des and White House Farm, and starring the likes of Toby Jones, Daniel Mays, David Morrissey and Katherine Kelly, the seven-parter focuses on the victims and the detectives at the heart of the investigation, bringing a fresh perspective to the shocking 1970s murders.

So here’s everything we know so far about The Long Shadow coming to ITV1 and ITVX…

The Long Shadow release date

The Long Shadow will air on ITV1 in September 2023, with all seven hour-long episodes also landing on ITVX. 

As it's co-produced by Sundance Now we're expecting it to arrive on there in the US. We'll update you with the US release date in due course.

The Long Shadow plot

The Long Shadow is based in part on Wicked Beyond Belief by Michael Bilton, a critically acclaimed account of the case. It sensitively tells the stories of the victims who crossed Sutcliffe’s path, as well as their families and survivors. It also highlights alarming parallels between the Yorkshire Ripper’s terrible crimes and tragic events in our more recent history.

The ITV synopsis 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. 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.’

Is there a trailer for The Long Shadow?

Not yet! But you can check out some of the top stars in these first-look pics below, including Katherine Kelly as Sutcliffe’s victim Emily Jackson, Daniel Mays as her husband, and David Morrissey, Lee Ingleby and Toby Jones as the detectives at the heart of the inquiry. 

The Ripper victim Emily Jackson (played by Katherine Kelly). (Image credit: ITV)

The Long Shadow cast — Toby Jones as DCS Dennis Hoban

In The Long Shadow, Toby Jones stars as DCS Dennis Hoban, who initially led the investigation into the killings. He’s known for his roles in Detectorists and Sherlock, plus upcoming Mr Bates vs The Post Office as well as films like Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy, Captain America, Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom and, most recently, Indiana Jones and the Dial of Destiny

Toby Jones playing DCS Dennis Hoban. (Image credit: ITV)

David Morrissey as DCS George Oldfield

David Morrissey plays DCS George Oldfield, who famously took on the case, which ended up placing a huge strain on his health. He’s starred in The Walking Dead, The Missing, Britannia, The Singapore Grip and Sherwood.

David Morrissey as DCS George Oldfield. (Image credit: ITV)

Katherine Kelly as Emily Jackson

Katherine Kelly is playing Emily Jackson, one of Peter Sutcliffe’s victims. She’s best known for playing Becky McDonald in Coronation Street and has also starred in Mr Selfridge, Innocent, Criminal: UK and Liar 2.

Katherine Kelly as Yorkshire Ripper victim Emily Jackson. (Image credit: ITV)

Daniel Mays as Sydney Jackson

Daniel Mays plays Emily Jackson’s husband Sydney. He’s known for Ashes to Ashes, Line of Duty, Des, White Lines, and the films Rogue One: A Star Wars Story, 1917 and Fisherman’s Friends.

Daniel Mays playing Sydney, the husband of Ripper victim Emily Jackson. (Image credit: ITV)

Who else is starring in The Long Shadow?

Lee Ingleby stars as DCS Jim Hobson and Jill Halfpenny plays the mother of a Ripper victim Doreen Hill, with Daisy Waterstone as her daughter Jacqueline Hill. Jasmine Lee-Jones plays Marcella Claxton, Molly Wright as Donna Deangelo, Liz White as PS Meg Winterburn and Shaun Dooley as DCS Chris Gregg.  

The cast also includes Alexa Davies, Chloe Harris, Stephen Tompkinson, Jack Deam, Michael McElhatton, Adam Long, Ruth Madeley, Dorothy Atkinson, Rob James-Collier, Charley Webb, Steven Waddington and Kris Hitchen.

Lee Ingleby (on left) as DCS Jim Hobson. (Image credit: ITV)
Jill Halfpenny playing grieving mum Doreen Hill. (Image credit: ITV)

Behind the scenes, locations and more on The Long Shadow

The Long Shadow is executive produced by New Pictures co-founder and Chief Executive Officer, Willow Grylls (Des, White House Farm, The Missing) with renowned director Lewis Arnold (Time, Sherwood, Des) directing the series. 

The series is produced by Matt Sandford (Des, White House Farm, Cobra – as script editor), series produced by Sarah Lewis (Noughts + Crosses, McDonald & Dodds) and co-produced by Alison Matthews (Trigger Point, Champion). George Kay, Lewis Arnold and Elaine Pyke also serve as executive producers. Polly Hill is overseeing the production of the drama for ITV. 

ITV’s Head of Drama Polly Hill commissioned The Long Shadow, which was produced in association with Sundance Now, which holds exclusive rights in the U.S. and Canada, and All3Media International. She says: “George’s scripts and Lewis’ direction together with this wonderful cast have produced a sensitive and brilliant drama that we are proud to have on ITV.”

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