Moors Murders (Channel 4, Mon/Tues, 9pm) and Yorkshire Ripper: The Secret Murders (ITV, Weds/Thurs. 9pm) both claimed to reveal new secrets and hidden facts, but that was simply a bad reason to go over old, bloody ground.
One of the worst aspects of Channel 4’s look at the appalling crimes of Ian Brady and Myra Hindley was the weird animated mugshots of the pair, images taken just after they were arrested, becoming icons of evil.
Adding nothing to the stock of what we already know, and lending the pair a humanity which they don’t deserve, it was a gimmick, and a tasteless one at that.
The murders were raked over in gruesome detail, mainly using an almost 20-year-old interview with Hindley’s brother-in-law David Smith, once a suspect himself, and very little new was presented.
Much the same could be said of ITV’s Ripper doc, which attempted to link unsolved murders to Peter Sutcliffe, who terrorised West Yorkshire and Greater Manchester throughout the 70s.
These particular waters were muddied by – again –the same old talking heads, including Bruce Jones, Corrie’s Les Battersby, who discovered the body of Ripper victim Jean Jordan.
“The Ripper hysteria was like a drum beat in the back of everything,” someone says, and that insistent rhythm persists today, drowning out the voices of the victims and deafening us to horrors happening now, today.
It’s time to cease the drumming, and let a respectful silence fall on these cases.
Cheaters (BBC1, Tues, 9.50pm & 10.40pm) is a comedy-drama about infidelity, presented in 10-minute chunks. All episodes are on iPlayer, and it’s nothing profound, but easy to binge.
Chloe (BBC1, Sun/Mon, 9pm) ended this week, and unlike a lot of dramas that end with a whimper, this kept its slightly off-kilter atmosphere right to the end. If you haven’t seen it, it’s worth catching.