Something rare happened last night, ITV served up a decent drama which showed a bit of imagination and didn’t rely on the casting of an ex-soap actor. Yes, Whitechapel was everything ITV drama rarely is – well plotted, well acted and atmospherically directed.
When I’d heard Rupert Penry-Jones was in this Jack the Ripper serial my hopes for it soared, mercifully my trust in his choice of scripts was well rewarded.
With a decent leading man and an easily exportable premise Whitechapel shows it is possible to make commercially exploitable drama without asking your lead actor to affect an embarrassing American accent.
But oh dear, what has Channel 4 done to Skins? It made perfect sense to allow the original characters to move on at the end of series two but their replacements are an unlikable lot.
Skins was highly acclaimed for its sharp, witty and deceptively deep writing and characters, in series three that’s all been replaced by a brash, bawdy caricature of what went before.
There’s enough episodes left for the production team to rescue things but I’m not feeling hopeful.