Jack the Ripper (1973 TV series)

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Jack the Ripper
Created by Troy Kennedy Martin
Elwyn Jones
Starring Stratford Johns
Frank Windsor
Country of origin United Kingdom
No. of series 1
No. of episodes 6
Running time 50 minutes
Original network BBC1
Original release 13 July – 17 August 1973

Jack the Ripper is a six-part BBC television drama made in 1973, in which the case of the Jack the Ripper murders is reopened and analysed by Detective Chief Superintendents Barlow and Watt (Stratford Johns and Frank Windsor, respectively). These characters were hugely popular with UK TV viewers at the time from their appearances on the long-running police series Z-Cars and its sequels Softly, Softly and Barlow at Large. The programme was presented partly as a discussion between the two principals in the present day, interspersed with dramatised-documentary scenes set in the 19th century. The series discusses suspects and conspiracies, but concludes there is insufficient evidence to determine who was Jack the Ripper. The experiment was seen to be a success, and the formula was repeated in 1976 with Second Verdict, in which Barlow and Watt cast their gaze over miscarriages of justice and unsolved mysteries from the past.


No. Title Directed by Written by Original air date
1 "The First Two" Leonard Lewis Elwyn Jones and John Lloyd 13 July 1973 (1973-07-13)
2 "Double Event" Gilchrist Calder Elwyn Jones and John Lloyd 20 July 1973 (1973-07-20)
3 "Butchery" David Wickes Elwyn Jones and John Lloyd 27 July 1973 (1973-07-27)
4 "Panic" Leonard Lewis Elwyn Jones and John Lloyd 3 August 1973 (1973-08-03)
5 "Suspects" Gilchrist Calder Elwyn Jones and John Lloyd 10 August 1973 (1973-08-10)
6 "The Highest in the Land?" David Wickes Elwyn Jones and John Lloyd 17 August 1973 (1973-08-17)



Jack the Ripper was made available for syndication, and was televised in the United States in 1974 with additional footage of actor Sebastian Cabot providing introductions and episode recaps. This was done to provide additional running time to fill U.S. programming slots.

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