THE SUSPICIONS OF MR. WHICHER: THE MURDER AT ROAD HILL HOUSE. 90+ minutes. ITV, UK, 25 April 2011. Paddy Considine (Detective Jack Whicher), Tom Georgeson (Superintendent Foley), Peter Capaldi (Samuel Kent), Alexandra Roach (Constance Kent) and many others. Based on the real-life Constance Kent murder case of 1860, as interpreted by Kate Summerscale in her 2008 book The Suspicions of Mr Whicher or The Murder at Road Hill House. Director: James Hawes. Currently streaming on Amazon Prime Video.

   This historical based crime film takes place in 1860, and Inspector Jack Whicher is sent from Scotland Yard to give assistance to the local police in finding the killer of a young boy whose body is found in the privy of a large manor house. His presence is resented by the superintendent previously in charge of the case, claiming as an outsider does not know the people in the area as well as he does.

   Whicher is supremely confident, however, and is sure that a proper investigation is bound to bring out the truth. His hubris takes a severe beating, though, when after a long series of questioning and logical deductions comes to a complete halt when he cannot produce the evidence he needs to convict the person he is convinced is the killer.

   Need be he returns to London in disgrace, his career in shambles. (I am giving very little away. This is shown in the prologue to the story in the first five minutes.) I don’t know how closely the teleplay sticks to the actual story, but whether or not, it’s a fascinating one. I did not know any of the players, but between the direction, photography and the actors, the 90 minutes plus running time went by very quickly.

   The remaining three episodes in the series are purely fictional as they follow Mr. Whicher’s career as a private enquiry agent:

      The Mr. Whicher series –

1. The Suspicions of Mr. Whicher: The Murder at Road Hill House
2. The Suspicions of Mr Whicher: The Murder In Angel Lane
3. The Suspicions of Mr Whicher: Beyond the Pale
4. The Suspicions of Mr Whicher: The Ties That Bind