At first glance, the BBC's ambitious drama Ripper Street
could be mistaken for a British take on something like Deadwood
. Yet the creative team behind Ripper Street
are wiser than to try that, instead fashioning a taut mix of drama and mystery that more than carves out an identity of its own.
Ripper Street is set in 1889, and kicks off half a year after the last unsolved murder conducted by Jack The Ripper. Yet the Ripper's shadow looms large over East London, and the Whitechapel H division have the uneasy job of policing the district. It is, as you might expect, a dangerous job, one explored over eight episodes of this maiden series for the show.
Starring Jerome Flynn and Matthew Macfadyen, Ripper Street balances nicely between a grisly case to solve, and the ongoing development of its key characters, who somewhat inevitably are not short of shades of grey. Granted, there's a derivative feel to some of the drama, but the historical setting does add a sense that anything could happen here, and the show has its fair share of surprises and twists to keep you guessing.
It's wonderfully realised, with some excellent direction and production design evoking the period. And there's a little bit more going on under the surface here too than might be immediately obvious. A quality drama, and an excellent disc release. --Jon Foster
"Gripping and grisly" THE SUN "A dark, bloody and twisted series, unlike anything else on British TV" DAILY MAIL "Beautifully performed, and beautiful to look at - stylish, and stylized" THE GUARDIAN Haunted by the failure to catch Londonʼs most evil killer, Jack the Ripper, Inspector Edmund Reid (Matthew Macfadyen) now heads up the notorious H Division - the toughest police district in the East End. Charged with keeping order in the blood-stained streets of Whitechapel, Reid and his men fi nd themselves fi ghting to uphold justice and the rule of law; but always in the background lurks the fear of the Ripper - is he back for another reign of terror. The shadow of the Ripper is still felt in the neighbourhood by the vigilantes, the sensation-seeking newspaper hacks and the men who hunted - and failed to find - the notorious murderer. It seems that even though the notorious killer has disappeared, there are plenty more willing to stain the streets of Whitechapel with their victims' blood... Bonus Feature: Walking Whitechapel - behind the scenes of Ripper Street