59 of 61 people found the following review helpful
This review is from: Ripper Street - Series 1-2 [DVD] (DVD)
I must admit - I am very impressed by Ripper Street. It had breathed new life in to BBC drama - and shows that BBC really knows what they're doing. Firstly, I think the programme works because of the backset - it was a genius idea to present a drama coming out of the "Ripper phase", and looking at how Law & Order continued after such a huge embarrassment. The drama cleverly uses historical accuracies to create convincing and realistic storylines, while at the same time it adds in dramatized sections to create effect and tension. A mixture of this works really well and creates believable, but also intriguing episodes.
Firstly, you have Series 1; which is set in 1889 directly following the murders of Jack the Ripper and the police investigation. We see the police facing two battles: their new cases and trying trying to pick themselves us and gain respect after failing to catch the Ripper. There are some excellent storylines presented in this series and the different themes, as well as Ripper, that run through the series create an excellent, and intriguing historically accurate drama. Themes include pornography, the film industry, disease and Victorian transportation. All these different themes allow for some excellent storylines to be be built up and make the series of crimes even more convincing!
I think that Series 2 is even better than Series 1 (and that is hard), as because as well as Ripper and the previous themes it is introducing new key ideas and themes (all of which are historically accurate); including the attitudes towards the Irish, homosexuality and the fight for female equality (the rise of the early suffragette movement). All of this has really allowed the programme to move forward and therefore has ensured that the programme has not become dry. As well as the amazing plot and storyline the show is helped by having an amazing cast list, including Matthew McFayden who convincingly plays D.I Reid - he shows the character as upstanding and respectable while also allowing his darker side to lay mysteriously in the background (for example his portrayal of his adultery and his blaming for the disappearance of his daughter and subsequent mental breakdown of his wife).
Overall, I think that this series is excellent - and the combination of excellent context, scripts and acting has created a real winner. I would recommend this to anyone who enjoys crime thrillers or enjoys seeing history come alive. Plus, if you get this boxset, there are some excellent special features including behind the scenes features! I'm hoping there is a lot more of the show, in its current fashion, to come.