The Complete Mystery of Madeleine McCann™
Hi,

A very warm welcome to The Complete Mystery of Madeleine McCann™ forum.

Please log in, or register to view all the forums, then settle in and start chatting with us!

Enjoy your day,

Jill Havern
Forum owner

ITV1 commissions The Suspicions of Mr Whicher adaptation

View previous topic View next topic Go down

ITV1 commissions The Suspicions of Mr Whicher adaptation

Post by kangdang on 26.08.10 10:34

Red Riding actor Paddy Considine is to star in an adaptation of Kate Summerscale’s book The Suspicions of Mr Whicher for ITV1.

The two-hour drama is being made by Hat Trick Productions and adapted by Neil McKay, whose credits include Mo and See No Evil - The Moors Murders.

Set in 1860, the true story tells of the investigation into the murder of three-year-old Saville Kent.

The Suspicions of Mr Whicher will film on location around London in October.

It is being directed by James Hawes and the executive producer for Hat Trick Productions is Mark Redhead.

Redhead said: “This a very modern story. It gripped the country in the way that the case of Madeleine McCann has done in our day. It became an obsession for the press and was even debated in the House of Commons. Perhaps for the first time, the Rode Hill House murder exposed the darkness that lay behind the solid front door of the respectable English home. As a story it is riveting but also deeply touching.”

The production was commissioned by ITV director of drama commissioning Laura Mackie and controller of drama commissioning Sally Haynes
.

For anyone not in the know about the Whicher case look quick look here http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Constance_Kent. This is certainly something I shall be watching.

____________________
Indeed, I swallow a textbook everyday….a fact of which I am proud smug By far preferable and productive than wasting precious hours concocting and launching vitriolic attacks against others in the hope of gaining a few claps on a board frequented by lesser life form.

kangdang

Posts : 1680
Reputation : 3
Join date : 2010-01-29
Age : 38
Location : Corona Mountain

View user profile

Back to top Go down

Re: ITV1 commissions The Suspicions of Mr Whicher adaptation

Post by Ruby on 26.08.10 10:37

'It gripped the country in the way that the case of Madeleine McCann has done in our day.' sure the McCs will be thrilled to get a hat tip...
Can't wait - great story and Paddy Considine's a very convincing actor. rock

Ruby

Posts : 688
Reputation : 0
Join date : 2009-11-27

View user profile

Back to top Go down

Re: ITV1 commissions The Suspicions of Mr Whicher adaptation

Post by Guest on 26.08.10 10:45

Thanks for that kangdang thumbsup Sounds like one not to miss. Had never heard about this before. Some eerie similarities.

Guest
Guest


Back to top Go down

Re: ITV1 commissions The Suspicions of Mr Whicher adaptation

Post by Judge Mental on 26.08.10 10:53

candyfloss wrote:Thanks for that kangdang thumbsup Sounds like one not to miss. Had never heard about this before. Some eerie similarities.

You can say that again!

big grin

Judge Mental

Posts : 2764
Reputation : 1
Join date : 2010-03-17
Age : 79
Location : Chambers

View user profile

Back to top Go down

Re: ITV1 commissions The Suspicions of Mr Whicher adaptation

Post by baconbutty on 26.08.10 11:20

Very pleased that this is being adapted for TV.

It's funny what you remember from childhood. I recall way back in the 1950s there was a radio adaptation of this case, probably on the Home Service (now Radio 4).
It was called 'Saint With Red Hands' and I since learnt that this was the definitive novel on the case (by Yseult Bridges) before 'Whicher' arrived.

I'm glad Mr Redhead has made mention of the McCann case -- the darkness behind the English front door of which he speaks still exists. Maybe the wider TV audience will make a few connections.
And Whicher's investigation and subsequent fate might be seen to mirror that of Amaral's, at least in part.

baconbutty

Posts : 365
Reputation : 0
Join date : 2009-11-27

View user profile

Back to top Go down

Re: ITV1 commissions The Suspicions of Mr Whicher adaptation

Post by Judge Mental on 26.08.10 11:24

A strange tale indeed. Perhaps we could start to list someof the similarities in preparation.

A three years old child.

A missing *******

Judge Mental

Posts : 2764
Reputation : 1
Join date : 2010-03-17
Age : 79
Location : Chambers

View user profile

Back to top Go down

Re: ITV1 commissions The Suspicions of Mr Whicher adaptation

Post by kangdang on 26.08.10 11:37

@Judge Mental wrote:
candyfloss wrote:Thanks for that kangdang thumbsup Sounds like one not to miss. Had never heard about this before. Some eerie similarities.

You can say that again!

big grin

Oh yes indeedy

____________________
Indeed, I swallow a textbook everyday….a fact of which I am proud smug By far preferable and productive than wasting precious hours concocting and launching vitriolic attacks against others in the hope of gaining a few claps on a board frequented by lesser life form.

kangdang

Posts : 1680
Reputation : 3
Join date : 2010-01-29
Age : 38
Location : Corona Mountain

View user profile

Back to top Go down

Re: ITV1 commissions The Suspicions of Mr Whicher adaptation

Post by Guest on 26.08.10 15:36

By Dr Martin Roberts
02 August 2010


ANOTHER PLACE AND TIME


The place is a solidly middle-class establishment in Victorian Wiltshire. The time, Friday 29 June, 1860. Head of the household, Samuel Kent, is asleep with his second wife in their first-floor bedroom. Three younger children and live-in nursemaid Elizabeth Gough have likewise retired for the night. Several older children from a previous marriage, including a teenage son and daughter, are installed on the floor above. At 5.00 a.m. on the Saturday morning, the nursemaid notices one of the younger children, Saville Kent (3 yrs.,10 months), is not in his cot, but assumes he has been taken by his mother into her own bed. After a couple of hours she is disabused of her supposition and a hunt begins for the missing infant.

With no immediate sign of Saville, attention is drawn to an open window in the downstairs drawing room. The assumption that an intruder had absconded with the child quickly gains widespread support. Until, that is, the young boy's body is found lodged against a 'splash board' in the shaft of an outside 'privy.'

At this point the research and narrative skills of author Kate Summerscale must be fully acknowledged. Her 2008 publication 'The Suspicions of Mr Whicher or The Road Hill House Murder' is the complete source for this story as well as the quotes which follow, the first of these taken from The Morning Post of 10 July, 1860:

'...in spite of all these proverbial sanctities, a crime has just been committed which for mystery, complication of probabilities, and ludicrous wickedness, is without parallel in our criminal records...the security of families, and the sacredness of English households demand that this matter should never be allowed to rest till the last shadow in its dark mystery shall have been chased away by the light of unquestionable truth...The secret lies with someone who was within...the household collectively must be responsible for this mysterious and dreadful event. Not one of them ought to be at large till the whole mystery is cleared up...one (or more) of the family is guilty.'

Given the seriousness of the crime and the mysterious circumstances in which it had been committed, local magistrates saw fit to solicit the Home Office for assistance. Despite initial reluctance, come 14 July, Detective Inspector Jonathan Whicher of the Metropolitan Police was assigned to the case.

A time-served member of the constabulary and senior representative of the more recently established detective arm, 'Jack' Whicher was not your everyday copper, even for the age in which he lived and worked. As unprepossessing as he may have been physically, his efficacy as a detective was the stuff of legend. Indeed, it formed the basis of later detective fiction. In one of his earliest reports on this case to Commissioner Sir Richard Mayne, Whicher wrote of the drawing room window:

'This window which is about ten feet high, comes down within a few inches of the ground and faces the lawn at the back of the house, and opens by lifting up the bottom sash, which was found up about six inches at the bottom. These shutters were fastened with a Bar inside, consequently no entry could be made from the outside...Therefore it is quite certain that no person came in by that window...I therefore feel quite convinced that the window shutters were merely opened by one of the inmates, to lend to the supposition that the child had been stolen.'

Consistent with Whicher's documented interpretation, Summerscale informs her readers that "At first Samuel (Kent) did his best to point the police away from the rooms of his family and servants. Like Elizabeth Gough, he insisted that a stranger had killed Saville."

D. I. Whicher's 'nose' led him to a fairly swift conclusion. Pursuing both the evidence, such as it was, and the behavioural characteristics of the various members of the Kent household, on 20 July he reported his suspicions to Wiltshire magistrates, who in turn required that he arrest the suspect in question; an act which would inevitably go against the grain of Victorian society with its much vaunted faith in family and the social order.

Through shrewd background enquiries, Whicher had elicited a telling fusion of character references, but more immediate physical evidence, that he knew to have been a feature of the crime, was conspicuous by its absence, namely a nightdress seemingly unaccounted for. "Then as now, many clues were literally made of cloth - criminals could be identified by pieces of fabric."

Frustratingly for Whicher and the watching world, it was this very omission, together with eloquent appeals from the accused's legal representative, Barrister Peter Edlin, which decided the Magistrates against committing the suspect for trial after all. The accused had held out and was unexpectedly well positioned to exploit the situation. Summerscale describes a relevant precedent thus:

"Madeleine Smith had shown that by being cunning and immovable a middle-class murderess could become a figure of glamour and mystery, a kind of heroine. And if she kept her nerve she might never be caught."

The situation rebounded on Whicher directly, as Summerscale again explains:

"On 15 August...Whicher was denounced in Parliament. Sir George Bowyer, the leading Roman Catholic Spokesman in the Commons, complained about the quality of Britain's police inspectors, using Whicher as an example. 'The recent investigation with regard to the Road murder afforded striking proof of the unfitness of some of the present officers', he said."

And it didn't end there.

"Petitions were sent to the Home Secretary asking for a special commission to investigate the Road Murder - a Bath solicitor was appointed to conduct an 'investigation.'"

The Suspicions of Mr Whicher is an extraordinary book, dealing with an extraordinary historical event, and it would be inappropriate here to reveal the denouement of the story. Suffice to say however that 'what goes around comes around.' There was a comeuppence, and Summerscale is later able to inform us:

"The Somerset and Wilts Journal reminded its readers of the 'merciless and almost universal...censure' to which this 'able and experienced' officer (Whicher) had been subjected."

Art reflects life - reflects art - and Summerscale repeatedly includes examples of the influence this real-life case had on the development of detective fiction subsequently.

"In 'The Moonstone', as at Road Hill, the original source of the crime was a wrong done in a previous generation: the sins of the father were visited on the children like a curse."

In her postscript to the paperback edition, Summerscale postulates, with some justification, that Samuel Kent, the father, was already 'plotting the first book about the murder of Saville Kent' in the winter of that same year, 1860.

Was it not Aristotle's contention that there are only seven basic plots?


wow With thanks to the mccanfiles

http://www.mccannfiles.com/id232.html


Guest
Guest


Back to top Go down

Re: ITV1 commissions The Suspicions of Mr Whicher adaptation

Post by Guest on 26.08.10 15:41

[quote]

Whicher wrote of the drawing room window:

'This window which is about ten feet high, comes down within a few inches of the ground and faces the lawn at the back of the house, and opens by lifting up the bottom sash, which was found up about six inches at the bottom. These shutters were fastened with a Bar inside, consequently no entry could be made from the outside...Therefore it is quite certain that no person came in by that window...I therefore feel quite convinced that the window shutters were merely opened by one of the inmates, to lend to the supposition that the child had been stolen.'


wow again

Guest
Guest


Back to top Go down

Re: ITV1 commissions The Suspicions of Mr Whicher adaptation

Post by kangdang on 26.08.10 15:48

How I love Dr Roberts articles, but of course I am biased Wink How very timely too, I wonder if he had an inside nod on the drama.

____________________
Indeed, I swallow a textbook everyday….a fact of which I am proud smug By far preferable and productive than wasting precious hours concocting and launching vitriolic attacks against others in the hope of gaining a few claps on a board frequented by lesser life form.

kangdang

Posts : 1680
Reputation : 3
Join date : 2010-01-29
Age : 38
Location : Corona Mountain

View user profile

Back to top Go down

Re: ITV1 commissions The Suspicions of Mr Whicher adaptation

Post by Judge Mental on 26.08.10 20:55

It will be interesting to see if this ever gets to air. After all, shortly after the announcement of Madeleine's abduction, a Hollywood film was held back lest similarities have drawn people to conclusions the Tapas 9 would not have wished for.

Judge Mental

Posts : 2764
Reputation : 1
Join date : 2010-03-17
Age : 79
Location : Chambers

View user profile

Back to top Go down

Re: ITV1 commissions The Suspicions of Mr Whicher adaptation

Post by ufercoffy on 26.08.10 21:36

Nicked from MM forum:

ann_chovey wrote:
I've read the book and shall we say there are, ahem, similarities. Don't think they'll like it .

Blimey you're right.....

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Constance_Kent

Sometime between the night of 29 June and the morning of 30 June 1860, three-year-old Francis Savill Kent (almost four years old) disappeared from his home, Road Hill House in the village of Rode (spelled "Road" at the time), in Somerset. Eventually, his body was found in the vault of an outhouse (a privy) on the property. The child, still dressed in his nightshirt and wrapped in a blanket, had knife wounds on his chest and hands, and his throat was slashed so deeply that the body was almost decapitated. Although the boy's nursemaid was initially arrested and quickly released, detective Jonathan Whicher of Scotland Yard suspected the boy's sixteen-year-old half-sister, Constance. She was arrested on 16 July, but released without trial. The family moved to Wrexham, in the north of Wales, and sent Constance to a convent in France[1] or Brighton.[2]

Constance Kent was prosecuted for the murder five years later, in 1865. She made a statement confessing her guilt to a Church of England clergyman, the Rev. Arthur Wagner, and she expressed to him her resolution to give herself up to justice. He assisted her in carrying out this resolution and he gave evidence of this statement before the magistrates. But he prefaced his evidence by a declaration that he must withhold any further information on the ground that it had been received under the seal of "sacramental confession" (see: Seal of the Confessional). He was but lightly pressed by the magistrates, the fact of the matter being that the prisoner was not defending the charge.[3]

The substance of the confession was that she had waited until the family and servants were asleep, had gone down to the drawing-room and opened the shutters and window, had then taken the child from his room wrapped in a blanket that she had taken from between sheet and counterpane in his cot (leaving both these undisturbed or readjusted), left the house and killed him in the privy with a razor stolen from her father. Her movements before the killing had been conducted with the child in her arms. It had been necessary to hide matches in the privy beforehand for a light to see by during the act of murder. The murder was not a spontaneous act, it seems, but one of revenge - and it was even suggested that Constance had, at certain times, been mentally unbalanced.[4]

There was much speculation at the time that Constance Kent's confession was false. Many supposed that her father Samuel Savill (or Saville) Kent,[5] a known adulterer, was having an affair with the toddler's nursemaid, and in a fit of rage, murdered the child after coitus interruptus.[

ufercoffy

Posts : 1641
Reputation : 4
Join date : 2010-01-04

View user profile

Back to top Go down

Re: ITV1 commissions The Suspicions of Mr Whicher adaptation

Post by Guest on 19.04.11 21:01

Just read on MM this programme is due to be aired on



ITV 25th April and 9pm




Guest
Guest


Back to top Go down

Whicher was right

Post by Tony Bennett on 19.04.11 21:57

I read this book just over a year ago.

To assess whether there are any similarities between this case (1860s) and that of the disappearance of Madeleine McCann, here are some of the key features of the murder of 4-year-old Savile:

* Savile's father was wealthy and very well connected

* Savile was the product of his second marriage. His second wife hated the children of his first marriage, one of whom was Constance. Constance and her brother were emotionally and smetimes physically abused. Savile was the father's favourite, he adored him. Constance was very jealous

* Savile was 4 when murdered

* Key pieces of evidence were:

a) a missing blanket, and

b) an open window.

* The detective, Jonathan Whicher, conducted a forensic investigation and charged Constance with the boy's murder.

* The charge was thrown out and a huge campaign against the detective was launched, backed by some well connected people.

* It was indeed the talk of the country in just the same way as the Madeleine McCann case has been.

* Constance later made a full and detailed confession and was sentenced to 20 years in prison. She died quite an old lady.

* Inspector Whicher never really recovered from the devastating blow to his career and the defamation he suffered.

* It was thought by some that Constance's brother helped to murder Savile but that Constance kept him out of her confession.

* The probable motive for the murder was almost-insane jealousy over her father's adoration of his new child Savile, the son of the hated stepmother, and his neglect of her (Constance) and her brother.

* The treatment of Inspector Whicher by the powers-that-be - the intense persecution of him - does have echoes in the case of Goncalo Amaral.

The book documents the careful forensic investigation by one of the world's first detectives, who was proved right in the end.

Tony Bennett
Researcher/Moderator

Posts : 13975
Reputation : 2148
Join date : 2009-11-25
Age : 69
Location : Harlow, Essex

View user profile

Back to top Go down

Re: ITV1 commissions The Suspicions of Mr Whicher adaptation

Post by Guest on 19.04.11 22:04

Thanks for that Tony thumbsup It sounds definitely as a programme not to be missed, next Monday 25th. Rather strange timing with the McCanns book due out winkwink

Guest
Guest


Back to top Go down

Re: ITV1 commissions The Suspicions of Mr Whicher adaptation

Post by Guest on 25.04.11 18:10

Bumping this to remind people this is on this evening at 9 pm on ITV1 thumbsup

Guest
Guest


Back to top Go down

Re: ITV1 commissions The Suspicions of Mr Whicher adaptation

Post by Guest on 26.04.11 0:02

Did anyone watch this programme? Any thoughts on it?

Guest
Guest


Back to top Go down

Re: ITV1 commissions The Suspicions of Mr Whicher adaptation

Post by ufercoffy on 26.04.11 15:14

I didn't want to start watching it as it didn't finish til 11pm, but I did and soon got gripped by it. I thought it was very interesting. It was clear that Mr Whicher wanted justice for the little boy who was bruatally murdered but was sad that he was having to go after another child (Constance who was only 16) and was guilty of the murder. So, even in those days there was an attempted cover up and an attempt to discredit the investigating police officer.

____________________
Whose cadaver scent and bodily fluid was found in the McCann's apartment and hire car if not Madeleine's?  Shocked

ufercoffy

Posts : 1641
Reputation : 4
Join date : 2010-01-04

View user profile

Back to top Go down

View previous topic View next topic Back to top


 
Permissions in this forum:
You cannot reply to topics in this forum