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From The Limehouse Golem to Lady Bird, pick of the week's TV films 

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Peter Akroyd’s 1994 murder mystery Dan Leno And The Limehouse Golem, set in a bawdy and filthy Victorian London of music halls and sex workers, is a hit-and-miss affair in its own right

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It’s no surprise then that in adapting it for the big screen Kick-Ass writer Jane Goldman suffers a few mis-steps. However the biggest change she makes – putting a peripheral police

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detective centre stage – works well enough, and both the performances from the strong cast and the image-making of director Juan Carlos Medina raise this 2016 chiller above the usual

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run-of-the-mill historical serial killer fare
That police detective is John Kildare, played here by Bill Nighy who stepped in after illness prevented Alan Rickman from taking the role. 

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Rickman died of cancer in January 2016, two months after shooting finished. Kildare is given the unenviable job of solving a gruesome quadruple murder

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which appears to be a copycat of the infamous Ratcliffe Highway murders of 1811 – slayings later examined by Thomas De Quincey in his famous 1827 essay On Murder Considered As

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One Of The Fine Arts (and you’ll also find them cropping up in Alan Moore’s celebrated graphic novel From Hell). Other murders attributed to the same killer have seen him dubbed ‘the Golem’ 

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by terrified locals, a reference to clues left at the scene of the murder of a Jewish scholar in Limehouse
At the same time, London bobby George Flood (Daniel Mays) finds himself arresting

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former music hall star Elizabeth Cree (Olivia Cooke) for the murder of her husband, John (Sam Reid). Are the two cases linked? Kildare starts to think so and, with Flood now deputising 

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as his sleuthing assistant, he delves into the Cree case. And so, through flashbacks and testimonies, we learn from Elizabeth how she met her husband and the part played in her life by the 

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great Dan Leno (George Booth), a famous music hall comedian who specialises in playing women
One of the joys of Akroyd’s novel is that Leno was a real person, and the re-imagining of history 

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doesn’t stop there. Kildare finds that a British Library copy of De Quincey’s work has been defaced by weird drawings and symbols and what seems like a confession, so he deduces that the 

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killer must be one of four men who have recently had access to that copy. As well as Cree it turns out they include George Gissing, a fledgling novelist in 1880 when the film is set