The British detective series Whitechapel opens with a murder that uncannily resembles the work of a real-life murderer who was never caught: the serial killer Jack the Ripper. Can a police team rife with discord succeed where their 19th-century counterparts failed?
Like James Bond arriving at a cocktail party, Detective Inspector Chandler sweeps onto his first murder scene in a tux. Seasoned detectives in plastic forensic-gathering ponchos usher the young DI into the tent where the victim lies with a wide slash across her throat. Eyebrows are raised when Chandler nearly pukes at the sight. The DI’s new team has no respect for the novice. A vicious copycat killer is loose on the streets of London’s Whitechapel district, but the tension is greatest in the precinct, where the team assigned to crack the case is hardly a united front.
The drama hailed as “cinematic, distinctive, stylish and individual with a dash of gallows humor — and very, very scary” is available to stream for members of PBS station THIRTEEN, starting August 1. Access to all four seasons of Whitechapel is a member benefit of THIRTEEN Passport, which includes an extended library of series and programs that stream on desktop and the free THIRTEEN Explore app on Roku, Apple TV, Fire TV and mobile devices.
The Cast of Characters
Detective Inspector Chandler
DI Joseph Chandler (Rupert Penry-Jones) may resemble a suave James Bond, but he nearly vomits over his cummerbund when he sees his first slashed corpse. Anyone who has ever floundered when thrust beyond one’s experience will have some sympathy for the novice. He’s been groomed to glide easily up the ranks to a hands-off management position, but he’s not full of himself and wants to earn his privilege. He reads a manual on how to investigate a murder but can’t draft his plan on the team chalkboard because he doesn’t know where the chalk is kept. When he’s frustrated by the case’s lack of leads, he berates his aloof team for not wearing deodorant and tries to force the junk food-fueled bunch to eat healthy “brain food.” Chandler starts earning his team’s respect when he decides to trust the right man and puts the case on track.
Chandler’s Season One Quote in a Nutshell: “You should be ashamed really that it’s taken a pasty like me to work out what’s been going on under your noses.”
Detective Sergeant Miles
We all love the working class underdog, and DS Ray Miles (Phil Davis) dishes the best, salty lines of the first season: put-downs of his senior ranking team leader, DI Chandler. Miles is the cynical sergeant with all the street experience, and though near retirement age, he never made it to the rank of Inspector. He’s passionate about his job, but his Achilles’ heel is that he’s quick to pick his suspect on a hunch rather than by examining the evidence.
Miles’ Season One Quote in a Nutshell: “I have been doing this job for twenty years. I have the trust and loyalty of my men. You think I’d throw all of that away for a long streak of piss like you [Chandler]? You’ll screw this investigation up without my help. I will find your leak for you. And you will apologize. I like single malts, not that blended sh-t.”
He’s over 40 and still lives with his mother. He’s an expert in his field — “Ripperology” — and the small market for his Jack the Ripper walking tours and books is about to grow. When Edward Buchan gets wind of a strangely familiar murder in Whitechapel, he makes an appointment with DI Chandler and describes the wounds and position of the murdered woman down to the finest detail. Is he the gruesome killer who can’t help but gloat over his crime, or is someone using Edward’s Jack the Ripper website and research to re-enact unsolved murders?
Buchan’s Season One Quote in a Nutshell: “This is a classic Ripper tour. Where’s your decency? Your compassion? Murder is not entertainment!”
How to Watch Whitechapel
All four seasons of Whitechapel will be available on August 1 for THIRTEEN members who have activated their THIRTEEN Passport benefit. THIRTEEN Passport gives access to a streaming, on-demand library of THIRTEEN’s best programs, including archival THIRTEEN productions that have never streamed anywhere else. Watch on Thirteen.org or our Thirteen Explore app for tablets, Roku, Apple TV, and Fire TV (Amazon).
Become a Member
See our THIRTEEN Passport page for Frequently Asked Questions and a link to become a THIRTEEN member. The THIRTEEN Passport page also highlights a few of our Passport programs, including Scott & Bailey, The Great British Baking Show, British dramas from Masterpiece, NOVA and Nature programs, and more.
Members can watch all Passport content after they enter an activation code here.
Your four-word activation code is included on the THIRTEEN program guide mailed to your home. You will find it above your name on the mailing label on the back of the guide.
The four-word activation code was also sent to your email address by the sender “THIRTEEN Passport.” If you did not receive an email or are missing your activation code, you can activate your THIRTEEN Passport account by clicking here and filling out the form.
Watch on Roku
Follow our step-by-step instructions on how to pair your THIRTEEN Passport account to your Roku device with the THIRTEEN Explore channel.