UK broadcaster Channel 5 is fortifying its factual slate with six true crime documentary commissions.
Vice Studios UK, the global production and distribution unit of Vice Media Group, is to produce the three-part docuseries Jack the Ripper: Hidden Victims (w/t) for the ViacomCBS-backed commercial broadcaster.
Each episode will follow three experts – a historian, a forensic psychologist and an expert in policing methods – as they re-examine evidence from the 1800s surrounding the murders of five women in the hopes of unearthing new insight and context into the gruesome crimes of Victorian London.
Production will begin this fall with filming taking place across London. The series is expected to premiere on C5 later this year.
Yonni Usiskin and Lexi Rose will executive produce the series for Vice Studios alongside Daniel Louw for Channel 5. Guy Templeton is series director and producer.
ITN Productions, meanwhile, is producing the murder series Manhunt (6 x 90 minutes), about some of Britain’s most infamous crimes, as told through interviews, stylized reconstructions and archive; and docudrama The Railway Murders (3 x 60 minutes), which recounts a series of attacks on young women at railway stations in 1980s Britain through dramatic reconstruction, testimonies and archive footage.
Luke Mitchell (w/t; 2 x 60 minutes), produced by Tinopolis Group-owned Firecracker Films, will reopen the case files to one of Scotland’s most brutal murders. The series will follow a team of private investigators and former detectives as they examine the case of Luke Mitchell who, at age 14, was sentenced to life for the murder of his girlfriend Jodi Jones.
From London-headquartered indie October Films, Worboys: The New Revelations (1 X 90 minutes) tells the story of convicted sex offender John Worboys, with access to the diary he kept, the police interview tapes and testimony of survivors.
Finally, Clockwork Films and Leeds-based indie Daisybeck Studios are set to coproduce the 90-minute documentary The Yorkshire Ripper: The Untold Story. With 2021 marking the 40th anniversary of Peter Sutcliffe’s arrest and conviction, the program will delve into the case using archive, personal testimonies from survivors, police offices and experts.
Clockwork Films, headed by Director Heenan Bhatti, is the eighth indie to have had a commission announced as a result of Channel 5′s BAME (Black, Asian and minority ethnic) indies program, which launched in September 2019 in collaboration with The TV Collective and is intended to support BAME indies’ delivery of mainstream programs for the channel.
The Railway Murders and Jack The Ripper: The Hidden Victims (w/t) were commissioned by Dan Louw; while Luke Mitchell (w/t) was ordered by Sebastian Cardwell.
Davies commissioned Worboys: The New Revelations; Denise Seneviratne commissioned The Yorkshire Ripper: The Untold Story.
With files from Daniele Alcinii